Indians rumors: Jim Thome, Travis Hafner

Leon Halip

Cleveland is mulling over the idea of bringing back one of their old sluggers to DH.

The Cleveland Indians are considering bringing back a pair of their former DHs: one from the distant past, the other from just last season, reports Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer:

The Indians still don't have a designated hitter and Travis Hafner and Jim Thome are still available.

It's believed the Indians are talking to the players' agents.

With Luke Scott and Delmon Young are no longer on the table, the two veteran sluggers are close to being Cleveland's best options at DH in an almost completely depleted market.

Thome, 42, would be donning an Indians uniform for the third time were he to sign with the club. The lumbering lefty slugger last took the field for the Indians in the latter half of 2011, acquired in a trade with the Twins.

Prior to that, Thome hadn't been a part of the Tribe since 2002, when he walloped 52 home runs and led the league in free passes with 122. The lumbering lefty slugger is not the elite player he once was, but he would be a cheap option and it would be the perfect place for him to close out his baseball career.

Thome appeared in 58 games last season for the Phillies and Orioles, hitting .252/.344/.442 with eight home runs.

If Hafner, 35, were to return to Cleveland, he would have to take a serious pay cut. Cleveland declined Hafner's $13 million option for 2013 following this past season, with very good reason. The Indians had paid the lefty slugger $49 million over the last four seasons, a time in which he averaged just 93 games a year.

Hafner is still a productive hitter when healthy, but that one caveat is a crucial one. The veteran is a career .278/.381/.507 hitter in 11 big-league seasons, but he hasn't slugged anywhere close to .500 since 2006.

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