New York Yankees Hit the Jackpot by Signing Bill Hall and Russell Branyan

Harold FriendChief Writer IFebruary 8, 2012

Now Bill Hall Can't Hurt the Yankees or Help the Red Sox
Now Bill Hall Can't Hurt the Yankees or Help the Red Sox

As they used to say on a once-popular New York radio station, the hits just keep on coming.

The New York Yankees made an excellent move when they signed Bill Hall to a minor-league contract, as reported by The New York Post. Hall was so pleased that he made the announcement on his twitter account Tuesday.

Hall can play second base, third base and shortstop. Don’t let the fact that he cannot play any of them well fool you.

It has been discovered that fielding percentage is not a good measurement of defensive prowess, which helps to explain why Hall has a lifetime fielding mark of .948 at third base, .965 at shortstop, .962 at second base and .973 in the outfield.

Hall can trot out to his positions with the best of them.

As a hitter, Hall makes his mark. In his career, he has batted .248/.307/.436, averaging a projected 19 home runs and 68 RBI over a 162-game season. Hall has averaged 105 games a season with about 12 home runs and 44 RBI.

He should really help the Yankees and he will be paid $600,000 if he is added to the Yankees' 40-man roster. The Yankees cannot be accused of pinching pennies. Brian Cashman certainly knows what he is doing.

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It gets even better. Also according to The New York Post, Russell Branyan has been added to the Yankees' stable of sluggers.

The left-handed hitting power hitter blasted five home runs, drove in 14 runs and almost hit .200 last year with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He struck out only 41 times in 126 at-bats. (NOTE: In 1950, Yogi Berra struck out about twice a month. He struck out 12 times).

Branyan has tremendous power.  He once hit 31 home runs in a season and for his career, he has batted .232/.329/.485.

He averages only 171 strikeouts over a 162-game season, but actually doesn’t average even 100 strikeouts a year.

The fact that Branyan has played for the Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds, Milwaukee Brewers, Tampa Bay Rays, San Diego Padres, Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, Milwaukee a second time, Seattle Mariners, Cleveland a second time, Arizona and the Angels merely confirms that he is a much sought-after player.

Some individuals, especially in the media, have wondered whether Brian Cashman’s personal life has impacted negatively on his job as the Yankees general manager.

The signings of Hall and Branyan can put any such thoughts to rest.