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Yankees have a deal “in place” with Travis Hafner

Jan 31, 2013, 2:14 PM EDT

Travis Hafner AP

Yesterday the Yankees were said to be close to signing Travis Hafner and now Chad Jennings of the New York Journal News reports that “the deal is in place” and could be announced as soon as today.

No word yet on the specifics, but Jennings speculates that it’ll be similar to the one-year, $1.1 million deal Raul Ibanez got to leave the Yankees for the Mariners.

Hafner can’t stay healthy and is purely a designated hitter, but as a part-time bat versus right-handed pitching he remains plenty dangerous and certainly worth that type of modest commitment.

During the past three seasons Hafner hit .278 with an .855 OPS versus righties. For comparison, over that same span Ibanez hit .261 with a .793 OPS versus righties.

  1. digbysellers - Jan 31, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    He’ll get hurt using the pen to sign his contract.

  2. uyf1950 - Jan 31, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    IF the info. in the piece is correct it’s a very good deal for the Yankees, low risk high reward. Assuming Hafner can give the Yankees about 300 PA’s during the season they Yankees have just found their part time LH-DH and very part time sub for Tex at 1st base.

    • proudlycanadian - Jan 31, 2013 at 3:43 PM

      Rather a quiet off season for the Yankees this year. More subtractions than additions is quite unusual.

      • uyf1950 - Jan 31, 2013 at 3:57 PM

        Yes it has been. But I think the Yankees have gone about their business in a very professional and methodical way. I for one like what Brian has done. I think Ichiro is going to surprise a lot of fans and make a lot of thing happen. Getting Gardner back is certainly a big plus. Really the only fault I can find with this off season for the Yankees is the catching position. But I think that will be rectified with either Romine winding up being the full time catcher at some point OR the Yankees doing something in season. But we will have to wait and see.

    • takemytalentstosoutheuclid - Jan 31, 2013 at 6:38 PM

      He hasn’t played in the field since 2007. Not once. Probably doesn’t even own a glove. And Vegas has the over/under on his plate appearances at 120.

      Good luck, NY. He is no Chavez, and honestly, the Bombers would have been better off signing Thome.

  3. number42is1 - Jan 31, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    PRONK!

    • takavl - Jan 31, 2013 at 2:48 PM

      I thought that it was “Gronk.” Good for the Yanks…heh.

      • number42is1 - Jan 31, 2013 at 2:50 PM

        it is indeed Pronk! ( i think that the exclamation is even part of the name)

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Travis_Hafner

  4. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jan 31, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    Has anyone ever TRIED him at catcher?

    #snark

    • cur68 - Jan 31, 2013 at 2:59 PM

      I think he would die back there. Catchers get hit by baseballs, bats and runners. Pronk would be killed in his first game as catcher, probably first pitch if it was Sabbathia throwing heater. The Pronk Catcher Experiment would end in tears. They should try him at batboy first.

  5. yankeepunk3000 - Jan 31, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    I am not pleased with this deal…he will get hurt and miss time, or most of the season. If healthy yes he would be a good option, but it just doesnt seem like a real chance

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 31, 2013 at 3:13 PM

      It’s $1M for a year to get like 350 ABs in the year. He’ll most likely see a LOOGY in the late innings so the Yanks will swap a righty in, and the Yanks face a good share of lefties in the AL E. He shouldn’t get the 425 ABs Ibanez got last year b/c Ibanez was occasionally forced to play the field.

  6. APBA Guy - Jan 31, 2013 at 3:58 PM

    Remember teh Yankees signed Eric Chavez, who had an injury history as bad or worse than Hafners, and last year Chavvy came through with 113 games, 313 PA’s and an .845 OPS.

    These kinds of deals are gambles, and the Yankees $1M or so offer reflects the risk. Sometimes it pays off: Andruw Jones 2011, and sometimes it doesn’t: Andruw Jones 2012.

  7. timpaz - Jan 31, 2013 at 4:09 PM

    Yankees always seem to do well with these guys trying to keep their careers going, may work out we’ll for them.

  8. mgscott - Jan 31, 2013 at 4:50 PM

    This guy is washed up

    • mazblast - Jan 31, 2013 at 10:50 PM

      Probably, but he’s still trying. If he proves to be a waste of $2 million, better it happens to the Yankees than, say, the Indians.

  9. jfk69 - Jan 31, 2013 at 6:52 PM

    The non pitching version of Parvano. He will trip over the foul line in his first game and be done for the year. The Yankees will then look to bring back the durable Nick Johnston

    • cackalackyank - Jan 31, 2013 at 11:07 PM

      Johnson retired last week.

  10. uyf1950 - Jan 31, 2013 at 7:45 PM

    Over the last 4 years Hafner has given his respective team:
    2009: 383 PA’s / .272 BA / .355 OBP / .470 SLG / .826 OPS / .120 OPS+ (w/16 HR’s)
    2010: 462 PA’s / .278 BA / .374 OBP / .449 SLG / .824 OPS / 130 OPS+ (w/13 HR’s)
    2011: 368 PA’s / .280 BA / .361 OBP / .449 SLG / .811 OPS / 128 OPS+ (w/13 HR’s)
    2012: .228 PA’s /.228 BA / .346 OBP / .438 SLG / .784 OPS / .121 OPS+ (w/12 HR’s)

    If Hafner can give the Yankees something along the average of these numbers in 2013 his signing for about a million or 2 dollars guaranteed will be well worth it. And his slugging numbers should actually go up being a lefty in Yankee Stadium.

  11. joeyfalco - Jan 31, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    He was never the same hitter after Mark Buehrle hit him in the face with a pitch. Between him and Grady Sizemore, there will always be that “what if”. Good luck Pronk!

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