Cashman was ‘this close’ to signing Hall

Open Thread: March 2nd Camp Notes
Dissecting the Great City Subway Race

For some reason or another, Bill Hall has been one of those players constantly linked to the Yanks in recent years. During the Winter Meetings in December 2008, Mike wondered why Hall was being connected to the Yanks, and in November of 2010, we heard some low-level rumblings about a connection between Hall and the Bombers. Ultimately, though, the 31-year-old signed a one-year deal with the Astros for $3 million, and the two sides hold a mutual option for $4 million.

For a guy who’s going to give you 0.5-1 wins above replacement, that’s not an awful deal, and today, we learn it could’ve been the Yanks’ checks Hall might have cashed this year. Jack Curry, via Twitter, relates an exchange from today’s game. Brian Cashman says to Hall, “I almost had you. It was this close.” Hall, says Curry, sheepishly says, “Sorry.”

The Yanks won’t miss Bill Hall’s production or lack thereof, and they should be able to replicate it with the much cheaper cast of characters they have in camp right now. It’s always entertaining though to ponder the deals that weren’t. I wonder how many other close calls the Yanks have had over the years.

Open Thread: March 2nd Camp Notes
Dissecting the Great City Subway Race
  • Robert

    Moises Alou for Alfonso Soriano.

  • Ryan

    thiiiis close to Feliz Hernandez

    • Ryan


    • Ted Nelson

      First one kind of works too, because we’d all be feliz if the Yankees had signed him…

  • Xstar7

    “I wonder how many other close calls the Yanks have had over the years.”

    Cliff Lee was. But whether or not that was a blessing in disguise or a terrible mistake has yet to be seen.

  • %

    Cashman was ‘this close’ to signing Hall, he said holding his arms as far apart as possible.

  • vin

    Albert Belle.

  • The Real JobaWockeeZ

    As said on here before, Mo.

  • whitey


  • Mr. Furious

    The Andy Pettitte trade with the Philles that never materialized at the deadline in ’99, described here a few years ago:

  • Tom Zig

    Willie Mays

  • bexarama

    Randy Johnson for Andy and Mo in like…1997?

    • Total Dominication

      That would have been worth it, right?

      • bexarama

        Probably? But I certainly understand why they didn’t do it.

  • Steve H

    Willams for Dimaggio.

  • mike_h

    Bill Hall would have been a much better upgrade over Russo/Nunez/Pena in the infield. I sucks we missed out on him

    • Ted Nelson

      Not necessarily. His wOBA was .342 in 2010. At that level, sure, he’s an upgrade. The problem? His wOBA was .261 in 2009, .297 in 2008, and .317 in 2007. How likely is he to repeat 2010?

      Ramiro Pena’s career wOBA (09 and 10) is .268, so at his 2009 production Bill Hall is not at all an upgrade even over Pena’s awful bat. Nunez is a better offensive player than Pena.

      Hall also can’t play SS, so one of Pena or Nunez would be on the team anyway.

      • Benjamin Kabak

        Nunez is a better offensive player than Pena.

        Based upon what? 50 major league at-bats? Maybe he is; maybe he isn’t. But you can’t say either conclusively yet.

        • Ted Nelson

          He played baseball before his 53 MLB PAs in 2010, you know…

          Based on his minor league performance. Based on the fact that he out OPS’d Pena by 100 points in AA and AAA. Based on the fact that his AA wOBA was .356 compared to Pena’s of .312 and his AAA wOBA was .329 compared to Pena’s of .299. You can’t say anything conclusively–especially with prospects–but I think it’s fair to say that Nunez is a more skilled offensive player than Pena.

          • Ted Nelson

            I know I come across as a huge Nunez fan because of how much I defend him. However, I really have no personal feelings about the guy or his MLB prospects. I’m just trying to take an impartial view. 100 points in OPS across both AA and AAA and 30-40 points of wOBA across both AA and AAA isn’t conclusive, but it’s pretty convincing. If their names weren’t Pena and Nunez and I told you one prospect out-performed another on the same AA and AAA teams by those margins only one season apart… who would you call the better offensive player? Not conclusively, but who would you honestly hesitate for long?

            Same goes for looking at the MLB SS position in an impartial way. I’ve said a million times… Nunez doesn’t have to even hit well to be a starting SS in MLB. Only about 50% of MLB teams have a regular SS put up a wOBA above .300. I never said I thought 53 PAs at a .329 wOBA are representative of his talent–though they certainly could be… low BABIP and extremely low K% may balance out over time. If he can wOBA .300, though, and keep his errors under control he’s a 1.5-2 WAR MLB starting SS. Given that he’s a AAA guy knocking on the door of the MLB, his probability is relatively high.