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Travis Hafner’s deal with Yankees worth $2 million plus incentives

Feb 1, 2013, 2:14 PM EDT

Travis Hafner AP

As expected the Yankees have signed Travis Hafner to a one-year deal, with Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reporting that the designated hitter will get $2 million in upfront money and $4 million in potential incentives.

If you’re paying Hafner a lot and counting on him to make an everyday impact in the middle of your lineup that’s a mistake, as the Indians found out all too well, but for a cheap one-year commitment and a part-time role he can still be pretty valuable.

Hafner can’t stay healthy, but he’s never ceased knocking around right-handed pitching and it sounds like the Yankees plan to basically use him as a platoon DH. Offensively he’s likely to be an upgrade over Raul Ibanez, who left the Yankees for the Mariners.

  1. joshftw - Feb 1, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    Hafner!? Youkilis!? Did the Yankees find some kind of CBA loophole that gives Luxury Tax relief for having too many players on the DL???

  2. JustMeMike - Feb 1, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    Let’s say Hafner opens the season in good form. Plays healthy for April – hits maybe 4 hrs, drives in 12. Establishing his presence. As May begins – fantasy baseball punters will begin to notice him, and deem him worthy of getting a shot. And after that is when he will breakdown.

    I know this will happen, because for Hafner, it seems to be inevitable. I bought him for my team on 4-24 last year. By May 8th, I took out of my lineup. On May 30th, he went on the DL, and on June 5th I released him.

    Hope the Yanks will get more than I did..

  3. losangelesfan - Feb 1, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    Pronk’s a Yank? Good for him.

  4. historiophiliac - Feb 1, 2013 at 3:03 PM

    That’s 1.48 Svelte Delmon Youngs.

    • badintent - Feb 1, 2013 at 10:59 PM

      sweet ! funny, trying to picture mr young with .53 less but laughing too hard

  5. budmanjim - Feb 1, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    Thank God he is out of Cleveland. That was the worst contract in the history of Cleveland, and hey have had some doozies.

    • Detroit Michael - Feb 1, 2013 at 3:53 PM

      I don’t know if the Indians’ track record for bad baseball contracts has been worse than other clubs, but they did have the first disasterous free agent signing:
      Wayne Garland, $2,300,000 for 10 years during the 1976-77 off-season:
      http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/g/garlawa01.shtml
      http://articles.latimes.com/1988-03-20/sports/sp-2144_1_wayne-garland

  6. uyf1950 - Feb 1, 2013 at 3:45 PM

    For $2MM plus incentives it’s a very good deal for the Yankees.

    • jwbiii - Feb 2, 2013 at 1:23 PM

      Yep. If he’s healthy and effective, he’ll meet his incentives and get up to $6M, which is in the $5M – $8M range that aging DHs have been getting the last few years. If he isn’t, the Yankees are only on the hook for $2M. Good deal.

  7. scrock25 - Feb 1, 2013 at 3:46 PM

    Super super supermarket!!

  8. takavl - Feb 1, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    Yesterday I said his moniker was “Gronk” and got sassy w/a fellow poster about it. Yolk’s on me, fer shur…that’s what I get for posting pre-coffee. Mea culpa.

    See, the last guys at the dance are getting called, what with Hafner going to the Yanks (again, heh) and Lyle O getting a minor deal with the Sox. Seems like a better deal for the Sox but the Yanks have always liked their lunk-headed sluggers, haven’t they…

    • badintent - Feb 1, 2013 at 11:02 PM

      You ‘re right.Long legacy of luck headed guys. They had a certain moron named Cancesco for a year at DH( or HGH)………

  9. yankeepunk3000 - Feb 1, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    So this guy is our DH? or is he our DL guy? maybe he’ll be like Chavez and stay healthy for most of the year. We can get lucky I think?

    • cur68 - Feb 1, 2013 at 6:17 PM

      You’ll come to love him. He’s the size of house and as tender and delicate as a lotus blossom. Do not let the wind blow upon him the wrong way: he will bruise and be sat down for a month. But, vs right hand pitching, he can get the job done. He’s got a cool nickname (PRONK! = a cross between “The Project” & “The Donkey”: MLB’s weirdest hybrid.) Im not sure if its true, but he seems like cheerful, friendly guy the few times I’ve seen him in action. He’s no Wily Mo Pena, but till WMP comes back from the wastelands, he’ll do.

      • yankeepunk3000 - Feb 1, 2013 at 7:27 PM

        I Hope you’re right, cause he is really a strong bat to have in the line-up. Just with so many injuries messing with his career he has really dropped low. I plan to watch every Yankee game this year and I just don’t like the idea of him in our line -up if hurt because hurt players just damage the team more then help when they stay on the field. He IS an upgrade to Ibanez who I didn’t enjoy watch play last year and I like him more then Chavez or Jones so he does seem like an upgrade. Hoping

    • ctony1216 - Feb 1, 2013 at 6:37 PM

      Anyone know if Hafner is in the best shape of his life? Or at least in the best shape of the last four years of his life?

      Reminds of the Yankees’ Nick Johnson deal. The second one.

      • cackalackyank - Feb 1, 2013 at 7:29 PM

        Well the Yankees couldn’t go for Nick Johnson Episode III. He retired last week.

  10. brandedthefirst - Feb 1, 2013 at 9:36 PM

    joshftw | Feb 1, 2013, 2:24 PM EST
    Hafner!? Youkilis!? Did the Yankees find some kind of CBA loophole that gives Luxury Tax relief for having too many players on the DL???

    LOL! Very funny.

  11. sawxalicious - Feb 2, 2013 at 3:04 AM

    If Pronk has a year 1/2 as good as his peak, this could be the most cost/effective signing of the off-season.

  12. davebrownspiral - Feb 2, 2013 at 4:40 PM

    Cashman is horrible. The Mike Tannenbaum of baseball. When are the yanks going to get a guy who can evaluate talent, and not some empty suit?

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