Thursday, January 31, 2013

Travis Hafner: The Andruw Jones of 2013?

Supposedly, the Yankees are on the verge of signing Travis "Pronk" Hafner - the former Cleveland DH who Miguel Cabreraed us once, long long ago, in a galaxy far far away -- a strikeout/home run guy who hasn't done Steve Whitaker in the last two years.

And you thought we learned from Andruw Jones?

(Insert sigh here.)

Listen: I have no truck with Brian Cashman jiggling the handle on a veteran MLB lugnut, especially in a minor league deal. I'm all for stashing an arsenal of Jack Custs in the Electric City/Wilkes Barre. But the Yankees have an unfortunate tendency to always play the guy who is being paid the most money, as opposed to the one with the minor league option, regardless of how either of them look in March.

If Hafner signs, does anyone really think Ronnier Mustellier will get a shot? We'll have options on the Cuban, so they'll bounce him to Triple A, where he'll just rot like so many others before him. The Shelley Duncans, the Juan Mirandas, the Alberto Gonzalezes, the Greg Golsons, the Brandon Lairds, the Chris Dickersons - yes, I know there is such a thing as an AAAA player, and I accept that the Yankee brain trust knows more about baseball than I do. But these guys rake in Scranton, and some even rake in their brief glimpses of the majors - but they always, always, always leave and bring us squat in return. And you wonder: That year when Miranda murdered the International League, could he have hit better than the pugs we were contractually mandated to play?

So here would come Travis Hafner, like one of those old singers in TV commercials, where your first thought is, "He's still alive?" Do we think he will magically rejuvenate for an entire year? I don't. If he hits in April-May, it simply guarantees that he will tank in June-July.

And how many K/W/HR hitters can one team digest? We could be "The Team of A Thousand Ks." And we've seen how well those teams do in the post-season, when the pitching improves. Do we want to relive October 2012 ever again in our lifetimes?

Cashman recently lamented in an interview how the pickings were so slim these days on the free agent market.  That was before he signed Juan Rivera. Now Hafner? I'm sorry. It's been a tough winter, one of the worst Yankee winters in memory. But Hafner? This can't end well. 

1 comment:

John M said...

It just gets more and more depressing. I don't even know if I'll follow these clowns much, and I've been following the Yanks since 1967.

OK, I partied a lot in the Winfield/Tartabull era, but that wasn't intentional neglect.