PITTSBURGH -- If the Brewers can't find a trade partner for Bill Hall by Friday, they'll have to release the player and eat the more than $10 million left on his contract. General manager Doug Melvin could be closing in on a better alternative.
"I'm working on something," Melvin said, an indication that he had found a team willing to trade for Hall. "I've gotten some interest. I don't want to say which teams have called or what we're working on, though."
The slumping Hall was designated for assignment by Milwaukee on Wednesday, giving the team 10 days to trade or release him. The window for a trade closes on Friday.
A deal would require Melvin to either take on an equally bulky contract or to include cash to cover some or all of Hall's remaining salary. Hall is making $6.8 million this year, is due $8.4 million in 2010 and will get a $500,000 buyout if a team isn't willing to exercise his $9.25 million club option for '11.
The Reds, who traded shortstop Alex Gonzalez to the Red Sox last week and have been playing without Scott Rolen (concussion), have been mentioned as one potential suitor for Hall, who has bashed Cincinnati pitching through the years (his 18 homers and 56 RBIs against the Reds are his best totals against any team). Hall has not played shortstop since 2006, but he was more than capable that year as a fill-in for an injured J.J. Hardy. Hall belted 35 home runs along the way and earned his four-year, $24 million contract.
Cincinnati happens to have two pitchers -- Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo -- nearing the end of big contracts who have been mentioned in trade rumors this summer. Both are signed through next season, with Harang due to make $12.5 million in 2010 and Arroyo $11 million. FoxSports.com reported last week that both pitchers cleared waivers, a necessary step before players are traded in August.
Melvin wouldn't say whether the Reds were a match for a possible trade.
If the teams are a match, Cincinnati may be more likely to part with Arroyo, who is 11-11 with a 4.74 ERA ahead of his scheduled start in San Francisco on Wednesday. He has worked four consecutive quality starts, including a two-hit shutout of the Nationals on Thursday, but made waves last week when he told USA Today that he takes nutritional supplements -- as many as 16 on days he pitches -- that are not on Major League Baseball's approved list. He said he doesn't worry about testing positive for a banned substance.
Hall, a 1998 Draft pick, was the longest tenured player in Milwaukee's organization until last week. He batted .201 in limited duty this season with six home runs and 24 RBIs, his third straight year of decreased production.
Hall is at home in Arizona and did not return a telephone message on Tuesday. When he last addressed reporters, he said he was ready for the "next chapter" of his career.
"This game isn't going to break me down for the rest of my life," Hall said. "It's not like I'm getting released when I'm at the end of my career when I feel like I can still play. I'm 29 years old and in the prime of my career. I'm going home to Arizona for a couple days -- probably won't be there very long from the looks and the sounds of things -- and it's not the last time you'll see Bill Hall."
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.