Yankees could be close with Hafner

According to Rob Bradford, the Yankees may be close to a deal with former Cleveland DH Travis Hafner. Hafner, who hit .228/.346/.438 in 263 plate appearances in 2012, fits the Yankees’ profile as a power and patience slugger, but health is a major concern, to say the least. Hafner has appeared in at least 95 games just once since the 2007 season, and he’s more or less incapable of being anything but a designated hitter at this point, even on an irregular basis. Still, the Yankees have a pretty significant need for a DH right now, and the left-handed Hafner owns a 117 career wRC+ against southpaws, so a reasonably priced deal would seem to be a great fit.

20 thoughts on “Yankees could be close with Hafner

  1. OK, he can't stay on the field much, but great googly-moogly, the idea of him teeing off at the short porch is quite giggle-inducing.

    Yeah, I said it.

  2. joef

    Bringing him in along with youk would give us the ugliest 5-6 duo batting order history

  3. uyf1950

    Could be a very nice signing for the Yankees if he can stay even moderately healthy. I’m sure the price is right otherwise the Yankees would not even consider him. It's one of those low risk high reward "potential" signings.

  4. mscott

    I'd say give him a plate appearances incentive laden MLB deal and swing away. Pronk will hit check swing homers to left in YS3.

    • mscott

      To right of course. But as strong as he is, he might hit check swing dingers to left also.

      • Check-swing homers to left… bunt homers to right

  5. SteveB

    Why would the Yankees want Hafner? They have so many lefty hitters– their need is for a righty batter. And someone who can also play the field, not hamstring the DH spot. This is a bad idea, sounds like a desperation move unless this is a minor league deal along with no roster guarantee.

    • uyf1950

      This is just my opinion. But Hafner has a proven record at the Major League level. If he can stay healthy his potential and LH power is far greater then any of the other Yankees LH bench options. Second, the Yankees really don't have anyone that can spell Tex at 1st base even on a limed bases unless you consider Youkilis. And I think Youkilis is going to have all he can handle now at 3rd.

      • SteveB

        I expect Youk to fill in at 1B occasionally for Tex- he fields that position better than 3B anyway. The Yankees have several internal options for 3B backup.

        • uyf1950

          Correct my if I'm wrong but the only real options I see for the Yankees at 3rd base to fill in for Youkilis are: Nunez and Nix. Nix has virtually no power and Nunez scares me every time a ball is hit his way. And while Nunez has speed his base running skills leave a lot to be desired.

          • SteveB

            Also– AAA options Mustelier, Joseph and up & comer David Adams. All could be used as 3B backups. The Yanks need to draw from their own well. to control costs. I don't see Nunez at 3B. He'll be righty DH & spell Jeter at SS occasionally.

          • uyf1950

            Steve if this were 2014 I would agree with you. But considering the Yankees expenditures so far this year I wouldn't be so concerned about a million or so dollars Hafner is probably going to get via a guaranteed 1 year deal. BTW, both Joseph and Adams have spent a lot more time at 2nd base than 3rd base. And Adams has only 86 games in Double A not sure he's ready this year to man 3rd base even as a back up. Mustelier has even less experience at 3rd base. He has spent the bulk of his time in the minors in the OF. That certainly isn't to say that they can't play 3rd in an emergency. But I have to think as I've said Nix and Nunez are the only real options for the Yankees as of today to backup Youkilis at 3rd.

      • mscott

        For what it's worth, both Canzler and Johnson "play" first.

        • uyf1950

          Canzler has virtually no big league experience at 1st base plus he's only signed to a minor league deal. BTW, who's Johnson?

          • mscott

            Dan Johnson. Nothing special but has actually played first in the major leagues at about a league average fielding percentage. He's the guy who hit the homer against the Yanks for the Rays in 2011 that won game 162 and knocked the Red Sox out of the playoffs — so what's not to like?

          • uyf1950

            That Dan Johnson! There for a minute I thought you were talking about a guy who actually stood a chance of making the team.

          • mscott

            Well….your righty DH is currently Nunez/Diaz/Rivera/Canzler and your lefty DH is well….me…so unless Hafner or similar is signed one should perhaps be not so quick to diss and dismiss the Immortal Dan Johnson!

          • uyf1950

            Sorry but even is Hafner isn't signed dismissing Johnson is in vogue.

    • skeaney

      Why do you need a righty if a lefty can hit lefties? Hafner falls into that group.

      • mscott

        Hit lefties over his career. Hasn't hit them since 2010.

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