It was Rob Bradford who first reported that the Yankees are talking to Hafner about becoming their primary designated hitter.Injuries have had an impact, and clearly Hafner’s skills are slipping — that’s why he’s still out there — but last season he hit .241/.361/.437 against right-handers. The year before last, he hit .302/.404/.482 against them. He has a terrific clubhouse reputation and it seems unlikely that he’d require more than a one-year deal. One source said that Hafner could be a perfect fit for Yankee Stadium.
This is the kind of guy the Yankees have had success acquiring this time of year.
With the right-handed outfield market growing increasingly thin — the Yankees signed the best available option when they got Juan Rivera on a minor league deal on Monday — it seems that the last hole free agency can fill is the DH spot. At the very least, Hafner could be the left-handed part of a platoon (maybe Eduardo Nunez could handle the right-handed part?). It’s worth noting that Bobby Abreu, Casey Kotchman and Jim Thome are also still out there from the left side, but I’d have Hafner at the top of that list.
Let’s do a chat tomorrow. Noon, as usual. Stop by if you can. Can’t imagine what we’ll have to talk about…