Bill Hall Rumors
Four of the six best AL teams by winning percentage (and run differential) reside in the AL East at the moment. Here's the latest from what again appears to be the toughest division in baseball...
- Utility man Bill Hall tweeted that he has been called up by the Orioles. He signed a minor league contract with Baltimore last month, and the team will need to clear both a 25-man and 40-man roster spot for him.
- "I feel very bad for the Yankees," said Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik to Ken Davidoff of The New York Post when asked about the Jesus Montero-Michael Pineda trade. Pineda is out for the season with a torn labrum and Montero homered against his former team last night. “I don’t think you enter a deal thinking that you’re going to win a deal," he added. "I think what you do is, you have common sense and respect for all parties involved and say, ‘I hope this helps all organizations.’"
- David Robertson's route to the Yankees started with a letter from a high school coach to George Steinbrenner about a minor league utility infielder more than a decade ago, according to the AP. Robertson is currently closing for New York following Mariano Rivera's season-ending knee injury.
Hall had signed a minor league deal with the Yankees in February, but elected free agency earlier this month. The 32-year-old played for the Astros and Giants in 2011, posting a .211/.261/.314 line in 199 plate appearances. He played second base and left field last year, but has MLB experience at a wide array of other positions.
In lieu of their game tonight, here's a look at items on the Yankees and Red Sox..
- With the Cubs in rebuilding mode, Marlon Byrd expected to be traded but was surprised by the timing, writes Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe.
- Former Red Sox pitching prospect Michael Bowden might be able to find his groove with the Cubs, writes Brian MacPherson of The Providence Journal. Bowden was sent to Chicago as part of the Byrd deal and should finally be given the chance to pitch consistently at the major league level.
- Veteran Bill Hall told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that teams assume that he will not play in Triple A because he elected free agency after failing to make the Yankees’ Opening Day roster. In actuality, the utility man says that he opted out because of Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's strange schedule in 2012. Because of ballpark renovations, they will be playing "home" games in six different cities this season. The 32-year-old says that he's willing to play in the minors and get started right away.
- Buster Olney of ESPN.com (Insider sub. req'd) writes that manager Bobby Valentine is not to blame for the Red Sox's poor start. Olney expects the club to comb the trade market early and wouldn't be surprised to see pitcher Aaron Cook called up to the varsity squad prior to his opt-out date.
- Meanwhile, Valentine is rather critical of his own performance, writes Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe.
- Andy Pettitte's comeback quickly went from an interesting story to a necessity for the Yankees, opines Mike Bauman of MLB.com.
Utility player Bill Hall elected free agency upon learning that he didn't make the Yankees' Opening Day roster, Daniel Barbarisi of the Wall Street Journal tweets. Hall wants a Major League job and will try to sign with another club.
The Yankees had signed Hall to a minor league deal in February. The contract would have been worth $600K plus incentives at the Major League level and it included an opt-out clause in case Hall didn't make the Opening Day roster. The 32-year-old played for the Astros and Giants in 2011, posting a .211/.261/.314 line in 199 plate appearances. He played second base and left field last year, but has MLB experience at a wide array of other positions.
3:24pm: Hall will earn a base salary of $600K in the Major Leagues and can earn more incentives based on plate appearances, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets. Hall can opt out of his deal if he isn't on the Major League roster on April 4th.
2:51pm: The Yankees have signed utility infielder Bill Hall, based on his tweet, "IT'S OFFICIAL IM A YANKEE!!!!!!!! #IwannaRing!!!!" He signed a minor league deal, tweets Erik Boland of Newsday. Hall is a client of Gaylord Sports Management.
Hall, 32, posted a .211/.261/.314 line in 199 plate appearances for the Astros and Giants last year, playing mostly second base. In more of a utility role for the 2010 Red Sox, Hall managed 18 home runs in 382 plate appearances. Hall works out with Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long during the offseason.
The Yankees are in serious talks with utility man Bill Hall, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Rosenthal thinks Hall could reprise a 2010 Red Sox-type role, and notes that the 32-year-old works out in the offseason with Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long. No deal is imminent and Hall is still considering a couple of teams, tweets Andy Martino of the New York Daily News.
Hall began the season as the Astros' starting second baseman, but finished with a .211/.261/.314 line after adding a stint with the Giants. He received the contract on the strength of his 2010 season, in which he hit 18 home runs in 382 plate appearances. Hall seems highly likely to sign a minor league deal this offseason.
The latest players to get outrighted to the minors...
- The Indians announced that they outrighted outfielder Travis Buck to Triple-A. He has three days to accept or decline the assignment.
- The Giants outrighted Bill Hall to the minor leagues and he accepted the assignment, according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter). The Giants designated Hall for assignment last week to create roster space for Carlos Beltran.
- The Braves outrighted Diory Hernandez to Triple-A yesterday, according to MLB.com's transactions page. Atlanta designated the infielder for assignment five days ago to create 40-man roster space for Jose Constanza.
Hall, 31, hit .158/.220/.211 in 41 plate appearances for the Giants, playing mostly second base. He'd been released by the Astros previously after signing a $3MM contract in December.
The Giants will sign Bill Hall, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The move comes after second baseman Freddy Sanchez dislocated his shoulder diving for a ball on Friday night. San Francisco is also without Pablo Sandoval (hand) and Mike Fontenot (groin). Fontenot left last night's minor league rehab game with tightness in his groin.
Hall, 31, hit .224/.272/.340 with the Astros before being released last weekend. He did hit .247/.316/.456 with 18 homers for the Red Sox last year, plus he's capable of playing almost every position on the field. Houston will pay Hall the majority of his $3MM salary; the Giants will only be on the hook for the pro-rated portion of the league minimum (less than $300K according to Rosenthal). The Orioles, Nationals, and possibly the Yankees also had interest in signing Hall.
For a player that hit .224/.272/.340 before being released by the Astros, Bill Hall is drawing quite a bit of interest. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that both the Orioles and Nationals have interest in Hall, and he mentions that the Yankees could get in the mix as well.
Baltimore's interest stems from Brian Roberts' injury and uncertain status while Washington sees him as a super-utility player. It's unclear how that would work, since Jerry Hairston Jr. figures to return to that role once Ryan Zimmerman comes off the disabled list. Rosenthal says New York's level of interest is unclear, but they would presumably use him off the bench.
Hall, 31, will be collecting checks for the rest of his $3MM salary from Houston, less the pro-rated portion of the league minimum that his new team (whoever that ends up being) will pay him. Despite his ugly showing with the Astros, Hall did hit .247/.316/.456 with 18 homers for the Red Sox just last year, and he can play pretty much any position on the field.