The book on Travis Hafner may be closed in Cleveland after the designated hitter was placed on the disabled list Thursday. The four-year, $57 million to which the Indians signed him was a complete bust. Hafner was often hurt during the term of the deal, and beyond that, the investment in the designated hitter greatly restricted the Indians in their efforts to piece together a contending team.
The latest from ESPN’s Buster Olney is not surprising news to Indians fans who have followed the team closely all season. Hafner was not expected to return in 2013, and with his latest trip to the disabled list, it seems he may have played his final game for the Wahoos.
Now 35 years old, “Pronk” has played all but 23 games of his 11-year MLB career with Cleveland. He has career totals of .278/.382/.508 with 242 doubles, 200 homers and 692 RBI. He finished fifth in MVP voting in 2005 and led the AL with a 1.097 OPS in 2006.
Olney shared that over the past four injury-riddled seasons of his massive contract, he played just 366 games with 53 home runs, 154 runs scored and a WAR of just 5.6.
According to Baseball-Reference.com, Hafner has a $13 million team option for 2013 that includes a $2.75 million buyout. For relatively little money then, the Tribe could buy out his deal and let the DH find another home in the AL.