MLB Free Agency 2013: Yankees to Sign Travis Hafner to 1-Year Deal for 2013

Doug RushSenior Analyst IJanuary 31, 2013

CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 19: Travis Hafner #48 of the Cleveland Indians reaches first on an error during the fourth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Progressive Field on September 19, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

*******UPDATE (4:44p.m.)***********

Ken Davidoff of the New York Post has reported that Travis Hafner's salary with the Yankees is worth $2 million guaranteed.

 

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

— Ken Davidoff (@KenDavidoff) January 31, 2013

 

It's more than the $1.1 million that was originally reported, but it's still a very affordable contract for the Yankees.

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*******UPDATE (3:55 p.m.)***********

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports confirmed that Travis Hafner's deal with the Yankees is all but done. It will be a one-year deal with a low-base salary, but will include incentives.

Hafner deal with #Yankees all but done, as first reported by @jonheymancbs. Will be one year, low base salary, plus incentives.

— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 31, 2013

No official word yet on the incentives, but if Hafner can be anywhere near the player he once was, this could really be a steal for the Yankees.

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Talk about not wasting any time.

The New York Yankees moved rather quickly in their pursuit for a designated hitter for the 2013 season.

On Wednesday, we had first heard the team's interest in signing former Cleveland Indians slugger Travis Hafner.

Chad Jennings of the Journal News was the first to break the news that the Bombers and the 35-year-old Hafner will agree on a one-year-deal.

The deal is still waiting to be announced either later on Thursday or Friday, but it looks like it will be in the range of a one-year, $1.1 million deal.

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports and WFAN also confirmed the deal, and said it will be a major-league deal.

#yankees, travis hafner close to a deal. will be major league contract.

— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) January 31, 2013

On Wednesday night, we talked about if adding Hafner to the Yankees' lineup would be a wise move, in which 80 percent of the vote in the story felt that it would be a good move.

The contract that Jennings reported in his story for Hafner is the same value that the Yankees gave Raul Ibanez last season, which ended up being a bargain given how many big home runs he hit for the team.

Hafner is coming off two consecutive injury-riddled seasons, including hitting .228 with 12 home runs and 34 RBI for the Tribe in 2012 while only playing in 66 games.

After making $13 million in 2012, the Indians decided to buy out Hafner's option for 2013, which made him a free agent after spending 10 years with Cleveland.

While the team is going to give him a guaranteed contract, it's still a low-risk signing with the potential of a high-reward given that once upon a time ago, Hafner used to hit 30-40 home runs in a season.

The Yankees have had luck in recent years with the one-year signings of veterans such as Bartolo Colon, Freddy Garcia, Eric Chavez and the latest being Ibanez.

Hafner could fall into this group as well if he can stay healthy, be a patient hitter and drive the ball.

Overall, I like the signing and I think it'll work out for the Yankees.

Stay tuned, Yankees Universe.