Yankees Close in on Travis Hafner

HafnerThe Yankees are close to adding Travis Hafner to their roster. The slugger is expected to help fill the designated hitter spot in the Yankees lineup.

The Yankees are expected to sign the 35year old Hafner to a major league contract. It seems the Yankees are staying with status quo, signing aging, declining players to their roster. Last year Hafner batted .228 with 12 home runs and 34 RBI’s in 64 games with the Cleveland Indians.

Last season Hafner and the Indians parted ways. The Indians released Hafner in October and had to pay him a $2.75 million buyout, which saved them from having to pay him the $13 million salary due this season.

The Yankees tried to acquire Hafner last spring before the season. They were offering to send A.J. Burnett for Hafner. Talks fell apart between the sides and Burnett was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates instead.

Hafner hasn’t played in the field since 2007, lending him to fill the designated hitter position. Hafner will most likely face right-handed pitchers as the Yankees have Andruw Jones to face left-handed pitching. Hafner has struggled against left-handed pitching. Although, dating back to 2008, Hafner has hit .269 with a .371 on-base percentage against right-handed pitching.

The Yankees are hoping that Hafner will fill the role that Raul Ibanez was meant to fill. Hafner has 201 home runs in his 11 year career, going to home run friendly Yankee stadium may produce for Hafner and the Yankees. By Steve Kish

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