Update: Yankees on the verge of deal with Travis Hafner

Poll: Voiding A-Rod's Contract
Yankees announce Spring Training invitees

Thursday: The Yankees are on the verge of a deal with Hafner according to Chad Jennings. They two sides are finalizing some contract language and the agreement could be announced as soon as later today. The deal is believed to be along the lines of the one-year, $1.1M contract Raul Ibanez signed last year.

Wednesday: Via Rob Bradford: The Yankees might be nearing a deal with free agent DH Travis Hafner. Dan Barbarisi says Pronk is believed to want more than a minor league contract, and Jon Heyman says the team is talking to other players as well.

Hafner, 34, hit .228/.346/.438 (119 wRC+) in 263 plate appearances for the Indians last season while dealing with a bulging disc in his lower back. Various injuries, most notably right shoulder surgery, have limited him to just 429 of 910 possible games over the last five years. Hafner is a pure DH who can’t play a position (even in an emergency) or hit left-handed pitchers, but he’s a lefty bat with power and patience. Classic Yankees hitter. Given the available options right now, he’s by far the best.

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Poll: Voiding A-Rod's Contract
Yankees announce Spring Training invitees
  • blake

    Like it if true….he’s always hurt but when he’s not he hits RHP very well and he gets on base

  • pounder

    No Flexibility,no position,no way.

    • blake

      he plays DH vs RHP….which currently they don’t really have.

  • Cris Pengiucci

    Given the available options right now, he’s by far the best.

    With his injury history and inability to field a position, that’s a scary statement.

  • Manny’s BanWagon (formerly Andy Pettitte’s Fibula)

    I’d take a flier on him in YS3. No better options at this point.

    • Cris Pengiucci

      If it’s a major league deal, it’s not quite a taking “a flier”. However, this is a position that needs to be filled (left handed hitting DH), so if he’s the best option and he doesn’t cost millions, then they should go for it.

      • jjyank

        Yeah. I’d be cool with this, even as a major league deal, for a mil or two. If he’s not expensive, they can always cut bait with him if he’s injured/not hitting/pure DH becomes a problem.

        • MannyGeee

          This. Ibanez/Jones/Thames/Winn/Park all fall into that ‘flier’ definition, and regardless of if they are MiLB or legit MLB deals. If the cost is low then its a flyer.

      • Ted Nelson

        We’ll have to see the terms of the deal, but a low base salary with incentive could be considered a flyer.

        • Manny’s BanWagon (formerly Andy Pettitte’s Fibula)

          Exactly.

          Guys like Chan Ho Park, Randy Winn, low salary guys who are relatively disposable if they don’t perform.

  • Austin Aunelowitzky

    Not interested.

    • Scott

      whom would you sign instead? easy to crap on an imperfect option, harder to say what you would actually do

      • Austin Aunelowitzky

        Today, nobody. I would wait until Spring Training and try to get somebody on a deal or someone who gets released (someone who can play in the field too for flexibility.) But at the money Mike is writing today, I guess it’s pretty low risk.

  • LK

    I’ll wait until the deal is completed, but this would be a pretty solid addition. (Probably) low money, potentially very high reward if he actually has a healthy year.

    • Minor Leaguer

      Exactly but they shouldn’t just sign h they shouldnsign chins doggone to a minor league deal too. Chone Figgins can play 3B/SS/2B/LF/RF/Can fake center. He’s a switch hitter and hits pretty well even though his #’s have been down. He also has speed which makes him versatile for INF/OF/Bunting/Pinchrunning&Stealing. He would be a great replacement for nix because of the fact he xm play almost everyday since he can switch hit so he’d fit perfect. Also he would fill nix spot with Canzler taking Chavez spot and either Rivera/Diaz/Mesa/Almonte/Mustelier taking jones spot, Hafner taking ibanez spot. This is a move we need toake for sure with both of them.

  • thenamestsam

    I really like this as an upside play assuming the price is fairly low. The guy can’t stay on the field, but when he’s healthy he has basically never not hit.Even last year the batting average fell off a cliff, but .346 OBP and .438 slugging is still pretty damn decent. If we get a 119 wRC+ from the DH spot next year (what Hafner put up last year) I’d consider that a significant victory.

    • blake

      right…when he’s healthy he hits RHP.

  • Jim Is Bored

    I’m ok with this for ~2 million. Any more than that seems like a stretch.

    • Mike HC

      I agree the money should be low. But as fans, there is nobody else out there to throw money at, and we know it will be a one year deal, so who cares if the Yanks overpay by a couple of million.

      • Jim Is Bored

        I mean in a vacuum, no one should. I guess it just sets a precedent, why spend more than you have to?

        • Mike HC

          I’m with you. Just saying it is not like spending a couple extra mil in this case prevents any other move. But again, agreed, the Yanks obviously shouldn’t just pay a couple extra mil for the hell of it.

          • jjyank

            I think the salary may come into play if the Yankees are thinking about DFA’ing him at some point, though. If he’s making 1-2 mil, no big deal. But if he’s not performing, they may be hesitant to DFA him if he’s making 5 mil.

            Maybe it’s a factor, maybe it’s not.

            • Mike HC

              Good point. And on second thought, it could effect a mid season trade where the Yanks have to pick up some extra salary. So overall, ignore my previous comment, ha.

  • Walter

    ick…

  • trr

    I don’t know… then again, it’s only money (don’t tell Hal I said that!)

  • FLYER7

    How bout pairing him with say Carlos Lee as the other half of a DH team?

    • Mike HC

      I don’t think the Yanks are going to hand out a Major League deal to a righty DH. With Nunez and the Minor League deal guys they signed, I think, they think, they are set there. On a minor league deal though, sure.

      • MannyGeee

        Yes and Yes. I am rooting for Carlos Lee to get a look, but H think the Yankees are staying pat on RH DH candidates unless they drop in their laps a la a MiLB deal.

    • Ted Nelson

      Not so sure about that. You’d have two roster spots taken up by guys who can’t field a lick. I think the winner between Diaz, Rivera, Canzler, Mustelier, Mesa, Almonte, etc. would make more sense than Lee. Maybe if I were confident Lee would hit, but I’m not.

  • FLYER7

    Could it be possible that our bench be stronger thsn 2012, our bullpen and rotation stronger but our front eight much weaker???

    • LK

      Well, if you consider the DH to be a bench position and slot Hafner there, then I’d say the scenario you envision is not only possible but fairly likely.

      • Cris Pengiucci

        I’d disagree with the front eight being “much” weaker. Weaker, yes. Much weaker, no.

        • Jim Is Bored

          We lost Swish and ARod, and are replacing Swish with Gardner, and Arod with Youk. I consider those, given ARods recent history, a wash.

          We downgraded pretty steeply at catcher, but that’s the only place i’m seeing much weaker. And it’s not like Martin was an A+ catcher.

          • Mike HC

            100% agreed here.

          • Ted Nelson

            I agree, and to keep beating this same drum… the C position is probably the least well quantified by the mainstream metrics at this point. So, the downgrade at C might not be as steep as WAR or other aggregate player ratings indicate.

            • Jim Is Bored

              Sure, I’m just willing to concede that the steepest drop off could be there, just for the sake of discussion.

          • MannyGeee

            perfectly stated. At worst its a wash for 7 positions not including catcher.

        • LK

          Fair enough. All depends on what we mean by much, I suppose. I’d say of the front 8, there’s 2 positions I expect to be significantly worse (RF and C), 3 I expect to be marginally worse (SS, 3B, 2B), 2 I expect to hold steady (1B and CF), and 1 I expect to be better (LF).

          • Jim Is Bored

            See, usually I think you’re pretty on point.

            But what reason do you have to think that Cano is going to be marginally worse? I’d think he’d be in the “same” category. And for that matter, 3B? A healthy youk is going to be similar to what we got out of A-Rod/Chavez last year.

            I concede RF and Catcher, although I think the upgrade in LF could make up for the downgrade in RF.

            • LK

              So when I say marginally worse, I’m not expecting any kind of big drop-off.

              2B I think could end up holding steady, but if I had to assess the most likely outcome, I’d say a slight decline is in order. Cano is over 30 now, so a small step back is likely. But, like I said, that’s a marginal drop-off, less than 1 WAR, but those small declines can add up.

              As far as 3B goes, A-Rod was much better last year than he’s being given credit for, and Chavez was actually pretty awesome (even if unsustainably so). I think Youkilis will be solid, but he’s injury-prone and right now the back-up situation isn’t as good as it was last year. So, once again, I’m seeing a slight downgrade.

              Certainly in the optimistic scenario both 3B and 2B could be as good or better.

              I think the upgrade in LF will actually more than cancel out the downgrade in RF, and therefore make up some, but not all, of the gap at C.

              • Jim Is Bored

                Fair enough, thanks for clarifying.

              • Ted Nelson

                With Cano, I don’t think it’s so much that players decline at 30. I think it’s just that he had an “up” year in 2012. I think it was a 134 wRC+ in 2011 and a 150 wRC+ in 2012. He certainly has the talent to maintain or improve, but I would agree a marginal decline is more likely.

                I’m about even at 3B. A-Rod’s overall performance was weighed down by the injury, so his overall #s were a lot like Youk’s after leaving Boston. Chavez was great, but A-Rod is still expected back mid-season.

                C will be interesting to see.

                • LK

                  Good points, Ted. I think it’s hard to count on A-Rod now, even at mid-season. I could see MLB turning this into a real witchhunt.

                  • trr

                    This is Cano’s walk year, and I expect a big year from him; He should easily be our top offensive player this year.

                    It’s time to forget about A-Rod. Stick a fork in his PED enhanced ass, he’s done.

                    As far as catching, how’s that ancient Chinese curse go? “May you live in interesting times” I think our catcher in August will be someone not on the opening day 25 man roster

            • Manny’s BanWagon (formerly Andy Pettitte’s Fibula)

              I know I’ve posted this before but the last Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projection I saw had the Yankees at 87 wins so someone’s off base somewhere since they were a 95 win team a year ago. Fangraphs hasn’t posted the entire Yankees projection so it’ll be interesting to see who they have regressing.

              Not that this system is the end all be all but I think it’s likely more scientific than speculating about this guy will be a bit better, this guy worse, this guy balances out that guy, etc.

              • Mike HC

                I was going to counter you by showing how zips was wrong about the Yanks win total from last year … but, um, I looked it up, and they projected 95 wins. Fuck. ha

                They did have the Sox winning 91 and the Orioles winning 69 though.

                I still have the Yanks at 90-93 wins.

                • Mike HC

                  Nevermind. I think I read the wrong thing citing Zips but not really using it. I don’t know. For the second time this thread, please ignore previous comment.

              • Jim Is Bored

                If i’m not mistaken I think ZiPS also takes into account the competition.

                Could just be a case of other teams being better, rather than us being that much worse, talent wise.

                • Jim Is Bored

                  To put what I’m trying to say into an example, I wonder what last year’s exact roster(ages, positions, etc) would have projected to in this year’s AL East.

              • LK

                ZIPs, like all projection systems, tends to be conservative though to hedge its bets. Generally, my expectation is that a team will finish a couple games further from .500 than ZIPs expects, so I’d give them more like 88-90 than 87.

                • Manny’s BanWagon (formerly Andy Pettitte’s Fibula)

                  Even 90 is a pretty big drop off from last year and more than likely won’t get the Yankees into the playoffs.

                  • LK

                    Yes, this is true. They do still have the remainder of the offseason and the trade deadline though. But they’re in a more precarious position than recent years.

                  • Jim Is Bored

                    I think 91-92 is going to take the East this year, given the level of competition. If we’re projected to hit 90, I’d take my chances with the ebbs and flows of the season.

              • Herby

                It’s still a projection, it can’t forecast unexpected things that happen, trades that are made. I do think too much is made of ZiPs, not that you’re saying that here, but just in general.

    • Mike HC

      And I don’t necessarily think our front 8 will be much weaker either. In my opinion, catcher is really the only spot that will be much weaker. A full year of Ichiro and Gardner makes up for the Swisher loss, in my opinion.

      • Cool Lester Smooth (formerly YanksFanInBeantown)

        Let’s see which Ichiro we get before we replace Swish with him

        • Mike HC

          True enough. I’m on the optimistic side regarding Ichiro after being pretty pessimistic about the trade last year. But he proved me wrong last year, so I’m on the bandwagon.

        • Ted Nelson

          It’s really a defense/offense thing, in my opinion. Ichiro didn’t hit at all in aggregate last season (.300 wOBA, 90 wRC+ in RF), but fangraphs still had him as worth 2.6 fWAR because he’s a strong defender and decent baserunner. Likewise, Gardner has put up an annualized fWAR over 5 from 2009-11 largely because of his defense. Defensive metrics aren’t as reliable as offensive, but there’s a chance that they are improving their OF even though the offense will probably fall-off. If Ichiro and/or Gardner also hits, they could really be improving their OF.

          • Manny’s BanWagon (formerly Andy Pettitte’s Fibula)

            Mike has commented before on how fangraphs seems to overestimate the value of speedy defense first outfielders and I’m wondering if that’s the case with Ichiro since baseball reference had him worth 1.6 WAR last year which is pretty much an average major league player not to mention a big drop off from Swisher’s 3.5 last year.

            I do agree that an OF of Ichiro, Gardner and Granderson has the potential to be better than an outfield of Swisher, Granderson and Ibanez when factoring in defense and baserunning.

            • Ted Nelson

              Tough to say if fWAR overvalues it or bWAR undervalues it.

    • Ted Nelson

      Considering how Jones’ and Nunez’ seasons went last year, plus McGehee and Pearce stinking up 89 PAs, it’s definitely possible. Chavez was a real asset, though, in 2012, Stewart was on the bench, and Wise had a nice run. Also not sure if Nix will hit as well.

      Like others, I’m not sure the “front eight” is much weaker. And I also don’t know I’d count DH as a bench spot.

    • Barry’s Gift Basket

      Definetly no on the bench and rotation being stronger, probably on the and bullpen, and yes on the front eight getting weaker.

      The following is just theory before opening day of each season obviously, and the “W” are just IMO.

      Bench

      Andruw (coming of a good season) VS Juan Rivera, some guy named Canzler or something, and Matt Diaz. W team 2012

      Chavez (coming of a meh season) VS ??? W team 2012

      Nuñez and Nix VS Nuñez and Nix. Lets call it a tie.

      Stewart VS Cervelli/Stewart/Romine. Lets call it a tie.

      Bullpen

      Phelps-Logan-Robertson-Soriano-Mo VS Phelps-Logan-Joba-Aardsma-Robertson-Mo. Ehhhhh hell W team 2013.

      Rotation

      CC/Kuroda/Nova (coming of a decent season)/Hughes (Coming of a shitfest)/Andy (Coming of retirement) VS Pretty much the same, just switching the description of Nova (shitty) and Hughes (decent), plus CC losing a month to the dl, plus everybody one year older, and who knows about Pineda. W team 2012.

      And Line up

      Martin VS Cervelli/Stewart/Romine. lol W team 2012.
      Arod VS Youk. i’d say a tie
      Ichiro+Raul VS Gardner+Pronk. probaly W team 2013.
      Swisher VS Ichiro. another lol W team 2012.

      I guess that what i’m trying to say with this mess is that the yankees were in a better position at this date last year than now, in almost every aspect of the MLB roster, not just the line up.

      • Ted Nelson

        Andruw put up a wRC+ of 89 in 269 PAs in 2012. On paper he looked like a smart move, but he just stunk it up. They won 95 games not with Jones on paper, but with Jones in the field. If he’d have repeated 2011, they probably win more than 95 games.

        Nunez was out almost the entire season in 2012.

        I don’t see the rotation as weaker. A month on the DL does not necessarily permanently impact your performance. I’d take the 2013 rotation, with Pettitte actually starting the season with the team. (He didn’t sign until March 16 last year.)

        This date last year Ibanez was not on the Yankees’ roster (2/21), nor was Pettitte (3/16), nor was Ichiro (7/23).

        You basically seem to be ignoring defense if you think that Gardner is “probably” an upgrade over Ibanez. Of course, this date last year Gardner was on the roster, but again if he’d have played all year they might have been better than a 95 win team.

        A-Rod is also expected back this summer.

        • trr

          Jones was a loafer, and I can’t abide a loafer.
          Counting on A-rod??? Puh-lease…

  • Robert

    Another Nick Johnson Stay away!

  • Mike HC

    Definitely would be a nice addition.

  • Ted Nelson

    While they are not sexy moves or huge impact moves, I think that Diaz, Rivera, and (possibly) Hafner were the right free agent moves given the situation (Youkilis too, and Andy, Kuroda, Mo). I’m a little skeptical of some moves/non-moves (C, Ichiro… Montero-Pineda last year), but I’m generally optimistic about this FO because they tend to make moves that I think make sense.

    • Ted Nelson

      And there’s a silver lining that I can see with Ichiro and even Stewart, so I’m not up-in-arms the way a lot of fans are.

      • LK

        Agree for the most part, but I just don’t really see it with Stewart. I hope that I’m wrong.

        • Ted Nelson

          I don’t claim to have a good grasp on exactly how important P framing is, but he graded out really well in Fast’s study from a few years ago (in a small sample, I’m sure, as a back-up). With the Rays almost giving away Jaso to make Jose Molina their starting C, I’m hoping that they and the Yankees are riding a new saber wave. I could be wrong. I could be right and they could be wrong about P framing being so important. We’ll have to see.

          It does seem to me to make sense to judge a C more on P framing than other traditional measures, intuitively. MLB Ps live on the edges of the zone, while PBs and CSs are pretty rare (CS is also somewhere between 33-50% on the C, I’d say). Besides the direct benefits of more strikes and fewer balls, there could be some more marginal indirect benefits in keeping pitch counts lower. Who knows?

          • Mike HC

            Molina has been a better hitter than Stewart though and also seems to have better hitting upside. But I will concede that my opinion of Stewart is only based on his limited playing time last year, so maybe the Yanks have a higher opinion of him based on much more scouting and knowledge from not only last year, but past years as well.

            • Ted Nelson

              Yeah, Stewart can’t hit at all and might be inferior to Molina overall. Just saying that a C’s true value might be much different than we tend to think it is based on mainstream metrics.

              (His best offensive showing since like 2006 was in AAA for the Yankees in 2009, so maybe they are rationally or irrationally higher than most teams.)

          • vicki

            all good points. but if the yanks were riding the mike fast wave wouldn’t they have coughed up the few extra ducats for stellar russell martin?

            • Mike HC

              good point.

            • Steve (different one)

              Take this with a huge grain of salt, but Marchand said in his chat today that Cashman wanted to bring Martin back.

              Don’t know if this was because he wasnt authorized to make offers or whatever during the GM meetings.

              Or maybe this whole offseason has been colored by how much the yanks have known about ARod, which is why they were focusing on 3B so hard at the time.

              Prob a lot going on behind the scenes.

              • Jim Is Bored

                “Prob a lot going on behind the scenes.”

                I wish people would remember that. Myself included.

              • Manny’s BanWagon (formerly Andy Pettitte’s Fibula)

                If I had to point to one instance this offseason where I think the front offices goal to get under $189 hampered Cashman, Martin would be my guess since his contract with the Pirates was more than reasonable and easily matchable.

            • Ted Nelson

              I don’t know, a lot of consider there. There is opportunity cost in terms of the 2014 budget and even 2013 budget: how else can that money be spent? There is Martin’s health, which some have questioned as a possible cause for letting him walk. I believe Stewart rated significantly better than Martin (in a much smaller sample) on the spreadsheet I’m thinking of, as well. There’s also their expectations for Romine and Murphy and maybe even Sanchez.

              (Also, not sure if they are riding Fast’s wave or he is riding a larger wave. Hard to believe that he is the only one thinking about pitch framing. He’s quantifying for the public something that any baseball fan/player/coach/scout/exec knew was important. Yankees had Stewart back in 2009 and Molina back in 2007-9 and Martin a couple of years. This might not be anything new to them.)

              • LK

                Definitely agree that there’s a lot of factors to consider here, many of which we don’t know, and there are a lot of good points being made here and above.

                I do think, though, that Stewart would have to be REALLY good at pitch framing to make up for his offense to be a viable replacement for Martin.

                However, we’re also ignoring the fact that they might roll with Cervelli (I don’t know how he grades out as far as pitch framing) or Romine (where we really have no idea how well he frames).

                All that said, from everything I’ve seen, I still haven’t been convinced that letting Martin go was the correct decision to make. As I said above, I’m hoping the FO proves me wrong.

                • Ted Nelson

                  My first reaction to letting Martin go was that they must be higher on Romine than most of us. Given that they actually know some details about his back, that might be warranted.

                  Then I started to think they must be pretty comfortable with Stewart to say Romine will probably start the season in AAA and to have traded Kontos for him. I started to think about the parallels between Molina and Stewart. Here’s a recent article so that people know I am not the only one thinking about this: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs.....se-molina/

                  It’s also possible that while Cervelli disappointed offensively in AAA last season, maybe he made huge strides defensively. Cervelli has demonstrated the ability to hit basically like 2012 Martin for a fairly prolonged period in MLB.

                  So, yeah, who knows? I assumed they’d re-sign Martin. I’d like to think that they know something I don’t about one or all of those three, though, and there’s at least pretty tangible reasons to think they might on all three. Since I think their FO is pretty rational and generally makes sound decisions, I’m more inclined to examine that aspect than immediately conclude that they are dumber than I am. Which is what has bugged me about the reaction around here this off-season (which was also annoying in that the consensus went from “Martin is a bum who must be replaced” to “they will not be able to replace Martin” to “Kottaras is the next Jorge Posada who must be acquired!”)

                  • LK

                    Yeah, I certainly won’t be shocked if I turn out to be wrong about the C situation, given that I do have a lot of faith in the FO. They aren’t infallible though, and in this case I have trouble seeing the rationale barring something that seems to me rather unlikely (Martin’s health falling apart after 2 pretty healthy seasons, Romine being much better than most evaluators seem to think, Stewart being the god of pitch framing, etc.)

                    • http://AOL AMANDA

                      i actually think yanks are hopeing sanchez has a huge spring and makes the team that would be awesome

                    • Ted Nelson

                      Martin’s had nagging health problems that took him from a first rate All-Star to a solid starter, and the Yankees have a first hand view of whatever routine, therapy, etc. he needs to follow. I’m not saying it is the case, but it’s possible they know more than the public.

                      Romine was a top 100 prospect not long ago. I don’t think that he has to be any better than most talent evaluaters think he is. His back just has to hold up.

                      It seems pretty likely that Stewart is a very, very good pitch framer. On-line with Molina since 2010.

  • endlessjose

    If the Yankees can get out of some or most of A_Rod contract than that will be a successful offseason.

    • LK

      Yeah. They can’t, though.

  • Jersey Joe

    Meh.

  • Nick

    They have 3 top 100 guys in A-AA, another guy on the cusp and a (when healthy) top 30 pitcher sitting on the DL. With a 2013 that is even remotely successful, they could very well have 5 (!!!) top 100 prospects in AA or even AAA. There’s nothing embarrassing about that.

  • Pasqua

    If true, I look forward to the 150-200 at bats that he will provide before hurting himself.

  • Troll Hunter

    2012-2013 offseason recap: 1)Yankees are rumored to be interested in a player. 2)RAB community starts a lengthy comment thread on how we would take a flier on said player and how he would be a great fit.(excitement builds) 3)Player signs with a different team and another lengthy comment thread where community says they didn’t want him anyway. Lather, Rinse, Repeat!

    • Mike HC

      I don’t know. “Nearing a deal” is a bit different than a reporter claiming the Yanks are showing interest.

    • Preston

      Just like every other off-season…

    • LK

      To me it seems more like:
      1. Reports say Yankees are interested in a player.
      2. Lengthy comment thread about how said player is a scrub and George would roll over in his grave about the Yankees being interested in such a piece of garbage.
      3. Player signs with another team.
      4. Lengthy comment thread about how Hal cares only about money and George would roll over in his grave about the Yankees passing on such a perfect fit.

      • Havok9120

        This seems a bit closer to the truth.

        This and the Rivera thread (until the end) are the two most peaceful signing threads we’ve had since we got the pitchers taken care of.

      • MannyGeee

        hehe… yup, you have been lurking for a while.

        • http://AOL AMANDA

          i think this one will happen but then again it could mikes tease of the day like all winter

      • Robinson Tilapia

        This, this, and this.

  • MannyGeee

    I like the move, and I like that he came cheap (we assume). The low risk high reward signings are always fun to speculate on

  • Betty Lizard

    Oh good grief.

    First my heart was broken (Martin). Then stomped on (Swisher). Then kicked into the gutter (Rodriguez).

    Then I got a superb opportunity to practice my equanimity and team loyalty with the addition of Youkilis.
    But Travis Hafner!

    Fie! I say. Fie on you, Cashman!

    • Jim Is Bored

      What do you have against Pronk?

      • Herby

        That nickname for starters.

    • John C

      Losing Martin broke your heart? What did you have a crush on him or something?

      • vicki

        who didn’t?

        • Betty Lizard

          Exactly. Catcher. Smart. Gutsy. Hunky. Clutch hits. Loves jazz. Cooks!

          I don’t think “a crush” quite describes it . . . .

          Were you not on the game threads last year?

          • Jim Is Bored

            I read Cooks as a completely different word.

            • Betty Lizard

              I’m surprised I didn’t misspell it. Freud and all . . . .

        • Cris Pengiucci

          Probably nearly all of the guys on here.

        • MannyGeee

          Everyone not named Vicki, Betty or Erica for starters…

      • Havok9120

        You were apparently not in the Game Threads last season.

    • John C

      Losing Martin broke your heart? What did you have a crush on him or something?

  • vicki

    pronk, eh? or as he’ll be known around the clubhouse, “kid.”

    • MannyGeee

      Oh…. I see what you did there, because OLD… very clever

    • Fernando

      LOL. Girardi will come up with some annoyingly silly variation –Travisy, Hafy, Pronky, etc.

  • Jimmy

    The Evil Empire strikes again!

  • http://www.twitter.com/_swarlesbarkley Mark Teixeira – Ghostbuster (formally Drew)

    Well this sucks.

    • Jim Is Bored

      Yankees don’t sign guy with some upside: “Why is cashman sleeping? Wtf? That was such a no-brainer!”

      Yankees sign a guy with upside: “This is the best they can do?”

      • John C

        some people aren’t happy unless they have something to complain about.

        • Mike HC

          I’m just happy to be talking about an actual baseball move rather than PED’s or the perpetual “Yanks are too old” arguments.

          • Jim Is Bored

            True that.

      • http://www.twitter.com/_swarlesbarkley Mark Teixeira – Ghostbuster (formally Drew)

        So I am suppose to like every single signing the Yankees make?

        • Jim Is Bored

          You’re supposed to not say “this sucks” without any justification at all.

  • Al

    Wishin we still had Dickerson. He had a great swing for the STadium and could field too- what a concept.

    • MartinRanger

      Death. Taxes. and WHY DID CASHMAN GET RID OF DICKERSON?!

      • MannyGeee

        Death. Taxes. and WHY DID CASHMAN GET RID OF GOLSON Jo-Vah DUNCAN DICKERSON?!

  • dasani

    We need a lefty DH , who else is left ? Jim Thome ? I’d rather take a shot with Hafner,

  • MartinRanger

    I’m just inordinately excited to get to root for Pronk.

    I might have rather had Jim Thome as the DH/pinch-hitter for our catcher in late game situations. But unless we’re guaranteed to get the Twins Jim Thome, it’s not a huge difference.

    If it’s Ibanez-type money, 1-2 mil, it’s a good deal in my book.

  • WhittakerWalt

    OK, what will Sterling’s home run call be for Hafner?

  • DJ4K&Monterowasdinero

    “Takin’ a flyer on a downsider”

    The 2013 Yankees.

    Considering Ibanez last year and the post season success at age 40…..why not?

    Let’s just not get pissed if he doesn’t hit in ST.

    • Jim Is Bored

      Don’t hold your breath.

    • MannyGeee

      “Let’s just not get pissed if he doesn’t hit in ST.”

      You must be new here…

      • MartinRanger

        To be fair, I saw Ibanez in ST in Tampa and was absolutely convinced he was cooked and done.

        and then the regular/post season happened.

        • MannyGeee

          counterpoint, he completely fell off the map in August/September. But yeah, Ibanez is a cautionary tale here for “don’t let ST be the sole decision maker”

    • LK

      Anyone who takes an 0-fer in their first spring training game should be cut immediately in my book.

      • Havok9120

        I know you’re a fairly new regular commenter, but were you lurking here last season? Because you should have SEEN the comments sections in and before ST about Ibanez. It was incredible.

        • http://AOL AMANDA

          not new been checking out comments for a few years actually

        • LK

          I’ve lurked since, let’s see, at least 2009 sometime? So yes, I remember the Ibanez hate. I think that had more to do with people not liking the signing intially as anything else. A lot of people thought he was done, then he went out in ST and looked done, so people freaked out that he was done. But yeah, there was definitely a tendency to go…let’s be diplomatic and say overboard.

          • http://AOL AMANDA

            all i know is if he bats left was a pure power hitter is sign him up! thats why i understand why mike wants the yanks to sign a lefty cather

            • http://AOL AMANDA

              catcher :)

          • Havok9120

            Last offseason the only real debate to be had after January 13 was “who should be the LH DH off the bench?” So just like this offseason where the limited number of topics caused debate to spiral into silliness we had the DH nonsense. We were treating the 24th man on the roster as the Key Component.

            Turns out he was, too, so there you go.

  • FIPster Doofus

    This would be a good move.

  • http://pinstripepundits.com Derek

    This would be a fine move…Shouldn’t cost much. His splits vs. righties are very good the past few years. Just a matter of keeping him healthy…which is a big if. Hopefully Cashman’s hoard of DH types eventually results in one good picking.

  • http://AOL AMANDA

    look chavez came back from the back problems its worth a shot this guy was a beast when healthy you never know ! its better then the michael kay signing eh

    • Herby

      I’d say double his contract if we could put a gag on Michael Kay.

  • RetroRob

    The main drawback is he’s a DH-only player. Ibanez last year could play the field, and that turned out to be key. Some player will need to fill the Ibanez role from last year, meaning 4th OFer, which means the Yankees will be using two players to fill roles last year handled by one. That means they need to drop another player elsewhere.

    Beyond that, he add power and OBP, two areas the Yankees took a major hit this offseason. Even in decline, his OPS+s 120, 130, 128 and 121. His wRC+s are right in that same range. He’s productive, and the Yankees lineup is much thinner compared to last year.

    • Ted Nelson

      Most AL teams carry a DH, so I don’t really see it as a big deal. They’ve got a decent number of 4th OF candidates.

  • Brian S.

    I guess Corban Joseph doesn’t exist.

    • RetroRob

      He might. Depth. Have both.

      • Scott

        I love the idea of giving a try to C.Joseph, D.Adams, R.Mustelier… but against RHP for the past four years, Hafner has at OPS of about .840 (I did the math in my head, very roughly). You don’t pass up that for the B to B+ level AA-AAA folks I just listed; you sign Hafner as DH vs RHP, and you use some of the AA-AAA guys to fill in for the mix of 30somethings we have all over the field — and if one starts tearing the cover off the ball, great, but yuo can’t count on it now.

  • mick taylor

    how about grady sizemore and hafner

  • dkidd

    it is high! it is far! it is… gone!!!

    the man from dakota just helped his pecota!

    his state may be lutheran, but his homers are ruthian!

    • Herby

      sorry but we have to break your thumbs now.

    • MannyGeee

      hehehe. The calls were brutal, but the effort is duly noted.

    • Mscott

      Pronks for the Bronx!

  • http://aol amanda

    can you played 3rd mr robonson

    • DC

      Can you express a comprehensive thought?

  • Sexy and Cano It

    Keeping Pronk in a platoon DH role exclusively instead of an everyday player will definitely help to keep him healthy.

  • Pistol Pete

    This years version of Ibanez. Should love the porch. Decent cheap sign,

  • Wayne

    He is not worth signing because it will cost us a draft pick!

    • G

      No he won’t.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    One year, one million? Absolutely sold.

  • Blake

    Love it for that money

  • MannyGeee

    1 yr, $1.1M? All day long.

  • CountryClub

    Well worth the injury risk at (or around) that price.

  • Get Phelps Up

    I really like this move.

  • mick taylor

    hey where are all the fers who attacked me for advocating yanks should sign hafner. next up grady sizemore

    • Jim Is Bored

      Justified imaginary persecution complex! Always fun.

    • Preston

      I’m the guy who was on you for Sizemore, I also advocated for Hafner though. Hafner has had health problems but still managed to play in 170 more games than Sizemore over the past three years. Sizemore hasn’t played much in the last three years, hasn’t played well in the last three years, and didn’t play at all last year. Sure give him a MiLB deal if you want. But I doubt anything would come of it.

  • dkidd

    it’s out the park for the man from bismarck!

    • Reuben Sierra’s Chains

      Being from Bismarck myself I love this. Although Pronk is really from Sykeston, ND.

      Try rhyming that noise.

  • LK

    He doesn’t have Ibanez’ durablility or ability to play the OF, but I’ll take his offensive upside any day of the week.

    *pours one out for Dan Johnson*

    • MannyGeee

      This signing may just punch Johnson’s one way ticket to Scranton… Until the inevitable Hafner injury in July.

      • Preston

        This seasons Russel Branyan

  • dkidd

    the contract is similar but unlike ibanez, he’s unable to fill in defensively for anyone

    things that would be nice:

    youkilis stays healthy so he can play 1st when tex needs a rest
    nunez stabilizes his defense so we can rest derek
    david adams is ready to back-up 2nd and 3rd

  • Betty Lizard

    Sigh. I remember summer days when I watched Yankees games for fun and to relax. Those were good times.

  • Herby

    Does it count as a HR if his body explodes rounding 2nd?

    • The Evil Umpire

      If 51% of the body is able to cross home plate…

  • Anthony

    And the disappointing off season continues! Not one move I’ve liked. No attempt to get younger.

    • Colombo

      But there have been attempts to get better. Would I have liked a young impact bat or an established everyday catcher? Sure. But on a one year deal at such a low salary, there is nothing to complain about regarding this deal.

    • Preston

      Cervelli is younger than Martin, was that the kind of move you were looking for?

  • Jim Is Bored

    At 1.1 million? Yes, yes please.

  • Anthony

    Nice signing- As long as the guy is healthy he will hit. He has a career 888 OPS… pretty nice signing for a guy who will be at DH and for 1.1 Million… Add this in to the fact Girardi likes to rest some of the veterans and use them at DH still solid signing all around.

  • dasani

    Does this make us any worth ? No. So whats the beef about this move ? Also I agree with Minor Leaguer, I think Chone Figgins would be a good move on a minor league deal, but I wouldn’t give him guranteed money. If anything fans should be more worried about the catching situation.

    • dasani

      I need to correct myself, I meant to type Does this make us any worse.Sometimes my mind and my typing fingers aren’t on the same page.

    • jsbrendog

      oooooooooof. figgins? really? ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  • Manny’s BanWagon (formerly Andy Pettitte’s Fibula)

    Good signing.

    Nice upside as a power lefty in YS3. Should bat with more runners on base in NY compared to the Indians, has hit well against righies for years.

    Biggest negative is he’s got some Nick Johnson in him with more than 400 ABs once once in a season since 2007 but for $1.1 million, if he doesn’t work out, he can just be released.

  • Preston

    Hafner has been very injury prone, but on the other hand this is a really low salary. If we get 250 AB’s from Hafner at DH against RHP that’s 250 AB’s not going to Matt Diaz/Eduardo Nunez or some equally marginal hitter and in my opinion that’s money well spent.

  • CC

    PRONK!

  • thenamestsam

    Nice price and I’m happy to see them try more of a full-time DH after a few years of this “rotating DH” business. It will squeeze the other roster spots a little tighter but if Pronk puts up a 130 wRC+ against righties I think it’s going to be worth it.

    • RetroRob

      I don’t know if that’s their plan. I think they’re going with the plan they originally had last with with Raul. Hafner will be the fulltime DH against RH’d pitchers, but they will then use a rotation of sorts against LF’d pitchers.

      I do like, Hafner, though. That health thing is the question.

      • thenamestsam

        The distinction I was trying to make was that even last year they clearly felt that they needed Ibanez to be able to field a position. So while they were intending to play him every day against righties I don’t think he was ever intended as a full time DH. He was a poor fielding outfielder who was going to DH a lot. Hafner is a fulltime DH in the sense that he won’t be playing anywhere else (except maybe some days at 1st, although I bet even those are limited).

  • RetroRob

    Hitting wise, Hafner will outperform Raul this year. He won’t, however, be able to play the OF!

    • jsbrendog

      ibanez was league average in 130 games.

      no chance in HELL halfner plays even 100 games. he only has once since 07 when he played in 152….and that is without playing the field.

      but, yuo’re probably right, he will outperform ibanez but without any defensive flexibility. so, eh.

      • MannyGeee

        I would imagine he will be used sparingly. Only against RHP and in late inning heroics duty.

        So LITERALLY what they hired Ibanez to do. Not what Ibanez ended up doing, but what he was brought here for.

        • nsalem

          DH against righties may mean 110 to 120 starts and that doesn’t include late game PH appearances.

        • RetroRob

          I think he’s going to start against almost all righties, health willing. He will get the PAs that Ibanez was supposed to get in 2012. Those of the starting DH against righties. Injuries forced Raul into playing the field and 130 games.

      • nsalem

        Many here said the same thing about Eric Chavez last year,

      • RetroRob

        I was referring to the productivity he provides when he’s used. I’m not going to guess how many games, since that’s been his big issues — injuries.

        His OPS+ the last four years: 120, 130, 128 & 121.

        His wRC+ the last four years: 115, 126, 125 & 119.

        He’s averaged 93 games during that span, triple slashing to a .268/.361/.453 line.

        Raul will appear in more games, most likely, but I believe Hafner will be more productive when he plays. That was my point.

        The thing about Ibanez is he was way more valuable that the league-average OPS+ he shows. His leverage index was very high. It’s not repeatable, but he did it, and that’s something the Yankees will miss.

  • nsalem

    Interestingly enough (to me anyway), Hafner has never been on an all star team according to reference. In 2006 he had an 1112OPS at the break. Don’t know if he was injured or not at point,

  • MannyGeee

    Wow, that escalated quickly…

    https://twitter.com/KenDavidoff/status/297089740145033216

    Travis Hafner’s salary with the #Yankees is in the neighborhood of $2 million guaranteed.

  • Greg

    gosh, who really cares? now we know what it’s like – to have a boring winter because we have no money.

    • Get Phelps Up

      You obviously care enough to complain about it…

  • LK

    Another underrated thing about this signing: most players take a hit with their offense when they DH vs. playing the field. Since Hafner has been a DH for some time, there’s reason to expect that he’ll perform up to the face value of his numbers.

  • MartinRanger

    2 million? Sure. It’s not as though they ought to give the money to anyone else at this point in the offseason.

    I’d like a depth starter or two, but I’m ready to roll into ST with this roster and see what happens. Maybe some guys (Canzier, Ronnie, Johnson etc) will surprise us. It happens to other teams (and sometimes to the Yankees, but not often).

    I do like having Dan Johnson as a backup in AAA though. He’s not likely to be quite as good, but he could be comparable when Hafner gets hurt.

    At this point the only thing I’m really sore about in this offseason is letting Martin walk. Swisher going made sense for the team. And the Ichiro re-signing was meh.

    I wanted Mike Morse, but not for a player like Jaso. And it doesn’t look like Theo’s going to budge on asking for a good prospect for Soriano. Which isn’t worth it given the risks that come with him. Would have like Keppinger, though.

    It’s not been a great offseason, but considering the circumstances, I don’t know that it’s been utterly horrid.

  • Vern Sneaker

    Hafner makes sense — a few lefty DH shots into the bleachers beats what we can project up to now: nothing. Absent changes we can’t foresee at this point, the keys to our hopes of making the playoffs are out good pitching staff and whether Jeter can perform strongly. The rest presents as a decent team just short of playoff quality, IMHO.

  • Vern Sneaker

    Btw, I still don’t get why Dickerson didn’t project as a better lefty DH option than Hafner. And he adds +defense. Well, that beaten horse is dead dead dead.

    • MartinRanger

      Because Hafner has elite on-base ability and much more power potential.

      Other than that..

  • Pistol Pete

    Another aging obvious former ped user in a declining part in his career. What an off season. I’m no doctor but if this guy wasn’t a juicer nobody was. Huge power decline, can’t stay healthy, loss of athleticism but at 1m for a year what the heck. I thought Ibanez was done and I was wrong last year. He performed well and was very clutch. Hope Pronk can do the same. Maybe Arod can introduce him to his cousin.