Rumor: Yankees considering Travis Hafner for DH role

Travis+Hafner

There is no deal imminent, but the Yankees are currently considering going after Travis Hafner as a potential left-handed DH, according to David Waldstein of the NY Times.

Hafner made $13 million last season, but the Indians paid him $2.75 million as a buyout rather than pick up his option for this season. The reason is simple, Hafner can’t stay healthy. Over the past five seasons he’s averaged just 86 games played. The reason the Yankees are interested in him though is because he still managed to hit .259/.353/436 over that stretch and has big powerful bat when healthy.

Hafner could fit in even better if the Yankees use him only against right handed pitchers and use one of their spare outfielders among Matt Diaz, Russ Canzler, Thomas Neal, and Juan Rivera to platoon with him. They all have good splits against lefties while Hafner hits .287/.391/.534 against righties.

That would not only give the Yankees a strong lefty/righty platoon at DH, but it would also help to keep Hafner healthy by limiting his playing time.

Right now the Yankees have no DH and there aren’t a lot of other options on the market so this makes sense. If he does sign though it’ll either be on a non-guaranteed minor league deal or a similar deal to Raul Ibanez, the man he would essentially be replacing. Ibanez signed with the Yankees on a one-year, $1.1 million deal with incentives based on at bats. If the Yankees could workout something like that with Hafner the only risk would be keeping him healthy until Alex Rodriguez returns to take some DH at bats in July.

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5 Responses to Rumor: Yankees considering Travis Hafner for DH role

  1. john says:

    again another cant hurt could help move. why not if hes cheap he may replace Ibanez numbers.

  2. gcorcoran says:

    This would be a great move. Between him and the guys who can hit lefties, the DH should be productive for the Yankees this season. People are quick to complain that this team is worse than last season, and they'd be right, but we're really one good player away from being a better team than 2012.

    The one thing that's still missing is a catcher. Hopefully either Cashman steps up and gets a better catcher, or Austin Romine steps up and gives us above average offense in addition to his good defense.

  3. Tanned Tom says:

    At least this guy can hit when healthy.

  4. YankeezFan says:

    I like this signing… Hafner is a hard nose guy who has a good work ethic…. Low risk high reward, His at bats should easily replace Swishers from the left side of the plate, and been even a harder out. Romine and Cervelli have 3 months to show us what they have, then the Yankees will look for a replacement. I like the way this team is beginning to take shape. AL East crown here we come….

  5. Mike says:

    I hope the signing works, but I must admit I became a huge fan of Ibanez this past season. What a gamer. The Yanks will miss his intensity and professionalism.