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Transaction Roundup: Brewers/Phillies Swap

With Corey Koskie still out another 3-4 weeks, the Brewers made another trade today, acquiring David Bell from the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for Wilfrido Laureano. Bell isn't necessarily the first option you think of when it comes to plugging a hole at third base, but he's a free agent after this year, and the Brewers need an everyday guy at the corner until/if Koskie returns.

Bell is usually known for his defense, but according to Zone Rating, he's basically league average this year. His ZR is .775 (league average is currently .774) and he's accumulated 0.04 of a run above average defensively in over 750 innings in the field.

Here are the last two year's of Bell's career, using positionally-adjusted Net Runs Above Average:

David Bell 2005-2006 pNRAA
2005 428 .232 150 -18.28 5.22 -21.88 .265 -16.66 -16.66
2006 236 .256 91 -1.55 0.04 -5.16 .269 -8.46 -5.13

Bell hasn't exactly set the world aflame this year either, but he's improved on last year's problems somewhat. Considering the Brewers have 59 games left after tonight, Bell should only cost them roughly -3.34 runs above average, and that's if he plays everyday. If the Brewers continue to run Jeff Cirillo out to third every few games (ZR of .800 in 188 innings so far, .798 in 365 innings in 2005; EqA of .276 and .279 in 2005, 2006 respectively) then they can attempt to maximize production out of the spot. If Corey Koskie is able to come back for September, the situation improves further.

As for the pitcher that was given up, he's a 22-year old right-hander, 6'6" and 175 pounds. I heard the plan is to fill him up with Philly cheese steaks to bulk him up, but Milwaukee sausages would've worked fine as well. He's given up a .224/.323/.366 opponent line (South Atlantic League Average: .255/.332/.377) and seems to dominante right-handed hitters (.201/.299/.306). His home BABIP is very low; only .233, as opposed to .329 on the road. His walk rates are scary high, over 5 per 9, but he strikes out a batter per inning as well. His homerun problems seem to come mostly from left-handed batters, who are hitting 1.69 HR/9 against him this year, slugging .466. I think it's safe to say he's the kind of guy you expect to see in a trade for David Bell at this stage of his career.

If Brewer manager Ned Yost plays his cards right, damage control over at third base should work out well; split the time as much as possible between Cirillo and Bell. It should do both players some good, as Cirillo can't seem to be an everyday player at this point (if he was capable, do you think the Brewers would've dealt for Bell?) and David Bell is known for his back problems. We'll see how Yost handles the situation; either way, hope for a quick return for Corey Koskie, who is still dealing with his scary head injury.