The Astros have signed Bill Hall to a one-year, $3.25MM deal that includes a mutual option for 2012. Hall will earn $3MM this season and either $4MM or a $250K buyout in 2012. The Yankees and Dodgers were among the teams pursuing Hall, who will play second base regularly for Houston. Gaylord Sports represents Hall.
Hall, 31 this month, hit 18 homers for the Red Sox as a utilityman last year. He batted .247/.316/.456 and played all three outfield positions plus second, third and short. He even set the Royals down in order when Terry Francona called on him to pitch in May.
The agreement "practically ensures" that the Astros will trade Jeff Keppinger, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes (Twitter link). Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi reported earlier that the Yankees have spoken to the Astros about acquiring Keppinger for their bench.