The Yankees have announced that they’ve reached an agreement on a one-year, major league deal with DH Travis Hafner and have designated Russ Canzler for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for him.
The deal finally gives the Yankees a replacement DH after Raul Ibanez left this offseason. Hafner would be a solid one at that as long as he can stay healthy. Over the last four seasons he’s posted a .268/.361/.453 line, but has only averaged 93 games played including just 66 last season.
He’s especially good against right handed pitching as well, hitting .287/.391/.534 against them in his career. This is good because the Yankees have stockpiled backup outfielders, Juan Rivera, Matt Diaz, and Thomas Neal, who could potentially platoon with Hafner at DH as a way to maximize production from the position and keep Pronk healthy.
Canzler is a loss, but not a huge one. He fits into that Diaz/Rivera/Neal role as well. He’s been much travelled this offseason. He was already designated for assignment by the Indians, then the Blue Jays, the Indians again, and now the Yankees. He’s not necessarily gone from the Yankees though and has a chance to clear waivers and be stashed in the minors as another option.