Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reported this afternoon that the New York Yankees "might be close to a deal" with free agent designated hitter Travis Hafner. A deal has yet to be announced, as the Yankees are talking to Hafner, as well as others, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports:
Hearing #Yankees might be close to deal with Travis Hafner— Rob Bradford (@bradfo) January 30, 2013
Hafner hit the free agent market following the 2012 season when the Cleveland Indians opted to exercise his $2.75 million buyout over his $13 million option for 2013. Cleveland hasn't closed the door on a reunion at a reduced price.
Last season for the Tribe, Hafner hit .228/.346/.438 with six doubles and 12 home runs over 219 at-bats. The 35-year-old has hit .278/.381/.507 over 11 seasons at the major league level, but since 2010 he's hit .267/.363/.447.
Hafner bats from the left side of the plate and offers far superior career numbers against right-handed pitching. New York has reportedly been targeting players that can help out specifically against southpaws. However, considering they currently have Russ Canzler, Eduardo Nunez, Juan Rivera and Matt Diaz as in-house DH candidates, it's not surprising to see the Yankees tied to Hafner.