(Update: Hafner has reportedly signed a one-year, $1.1 million deal with the Yankees)
While he was rumored to be in the mix for the Cleveland Indians’ vacant designated hitter job, it appears that long-time Tribe slugger Travis Hafner could be rocking a half-buttoned pinstrip jersey for 2013.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) January 30, 2013
Hearing #Yankees might be close to deal with Travis Hafner
— Rob Bradford (@bradfo) January 30, 2013
WEEI’s Rob Bradford followed up on an earlier report from CBS Jon Heyman, both with terms going undisclosed.
Hafner hit free agency after the Indians chose a $2.75MM buyout over a $13MM option earlier in the offseason. The 35-year-old provided a slash line of .228/.346/.438 with 12 home runs in 263 plate appearances for the Indians in 2012. Hafner, a left-handed hitter, has a career batting line of .287/.391/.534 against right-handed pitching. As WFNY’s Jon wrote earlier this week, outside of the 2008 season, Hafner had never had a wOBA below .340 and never slugged less than .440.
While Hafner may not come near 150 games played, his swing is perfect for the short porch at Yankee Stadium. Where this leaves the Indians with regard to the designated hitter position remains to be seen.