The abysmal ending to last season against the Detroit Tigers, not to mention more recent problems with high paid players, calls for quite a few changes in the New York Yankees lineup. Still, they’re not looking for youth at the moment, as Travis Hafner, 35, is lineup up to be the team’s next DH.
Hafner, a free agent, has played over 100 games in a season only once since 2007. Last season, his 9th and final with the Cleveland Indians, he played in only 66 games, hitting 12 home runs with a .228 batting average; miles away from his best days between 2004-2007, when he was one of the best hitters in baseball, hitting more than 100 RBIs in each of those season and leading the league with a 1.097 OPS.
Hafner is probably going to be brought in to fill the void of a left handed DH, created after Raul Ibanez signed with the Seattle Mariners. The Yankees have Eduardo Nunez as their right handed DH, but might also use the position to give guys like Derek Jeter and Kevin Youkilis some rest. Hafner can play first base, but that’s not the reason the Yankees are planning on offering him a one-year, incentive-laden major league deal.
Hafner will be turning 36 in June, and has made $13 million a season on each of his last two years with the Indians. The Indians want nothing to do with him anymore, while the Yankees seem to be trying and get creative while bringing in big (formerly big) hitters as they wrap their heads around the Alex Rodriguez situation, and his contract which is taking up too much of a payroll that is too big for the wrong reasons, without too many young, at-their prime stars to show for it.