Travis Hafner: Former Cleveland Indians' King of Swat

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Travis Hafner: Former Cleveland Indians' King of Swat
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This week on Remember When….We are reaching way back to one of our Mid-2000’s studs, Travis Hafner of the Cleveland Indians.

There was a time when Pronk, as he affectionately became known, was one of the most coveted first basemen/DH’s in fantasy baseball.

But, as has become the norm, after a couple good seasons, he signed a monster contract and has been a drag on the team ever since.

Hafner’s numbers from 2004-2006 were trending to make you believe we had a star on the rise:

Year Games Runs HR RBI SB Avg
2004 140 96 28 109 3 .311
2005 137 94 33 108 0 .305
2006 129 100 42 117 0 .308

Hafner was a four-category superstar who appeared to be improving in power every year. Suddenly, at 29 years old, Pronk was a baseball phenom.

Then in July 2007, Hafner was signed to a four-year, $57 million contract extension during a slightly down season. That contract runs through 2012 with a club option for 2013 at $13 million. Since that season, his numbers have been as follows:

Year Games Runs HR RBI SB Avg
2007 152 80 24 100 1 .266
2008 57 21 5 24 1 .197
2009 94 46 16 49 0 .272
2010 118 46 13 50 2 .278

Admittedly, Hafner has had a malady of injuries which have accelerated his decline, but I think we would all agree that the Indians haven’t exactly gotten a great return on their money up until this point.

I believe the team option is a lock to be declined barring some incredible turn, which will allow the team to move forward. Hopefully, all of us fantasy players have moved on to new horizons long ago.

Brian is a Senior Writer for where this and other work can be found. Additionally he is Co-Host of the 4th and Home Radio show on Blog Talk Radio.

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