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Eager to acquire a left-handed hitter, the New York Yankees have

July 11, 1988

CLEVELAND (AP) _ Eager to acquire a left-handed hitter, the New York Yankees have made inquiries about Cleveland Indians left fielder Mel Hall, a published report said Monday.

Indians president Hank Peters said he has spoken to Yankees front office executives during the past few days, but he declined to say Hall’s name had come up in conversations.

″They were very preliminary talks, really,″ Peters said Sunday. ″But I expect them to get back to me.″

The Akron Beacon Journal quoted an unnamed source in the Yankees’ organization as saying Hall is the player the Yankees want. Team spokesman Harvey Greene declined to confirm that Monday but said it would make sense for the Yankees to be in the market for left-handed hitters.

″The ballpark is tailored for left-handed hitters, but as far as any particular hitter or any particular team, I think you could say we’re talking to everyone,″ Greene said. ″Really, we don’t comment on any questions regarding proposed trades and trade rumors.″

Greene said Hall’s name was bandied about during the off-season as a player the Yankees might be interested in.

Because of Tuesday’s All-Star Game in Cincinnati, the Indians are off until Thursday, when they travel to Seattle for a weekend series with the Mariners. California swept the Indians in a weekend series in Cleveland, leaving Cleveland with a 45-43 record at the All-Star break.

For the first half of the seasons, Hall has batted .298, .312 against right-handed pitchers. He has two home runs, 34 runs batted in and has committed seven errors.

Peters said it would be tough to part with Hall, since Hall and first basemen Willie Upshaw are the only regulars who bat left-handed. A significant reason for the Indians’ offensive shortcomings is a lack of production from the left side, he said.

″It would be difficult to trade anybody who has given us a little offense,″ Peters said. He gave no indication of what it would take to get the Indians to trade Hall.

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