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Yankees 'on the verge' of signing Travis Hafner

01/31/2013 2:01 PM ET
By Jon Lane

Hafner spent all but one of his 11 seasons in Cleveland.(AP)
The New York Yankees are targeting their left-handed designated hitter, one who would essentially replace Raul Ibanez. And according to The Journal News in Westchester, the team is on the verge of a one-year, Major League deal with free agent Travis Hafner.

WEEI-AM in Boston was first to report the Yankees' pursuit of the veteran slugger. At 35 years old, Hafner's career has been derailed by injuries since 2008, but he's a lefty hitter with power and a career batting line of .287/.391/.534 against right-handed pitching. The Cleveland Indians declined Hafner's $13 million club option for 2013 after he was limited to 66 games, and batted .228 with 12 home runs and 34 RBIs.

The apex of Hafner's career came in 2007 when he tied Don Mattingly's single-season record of six grand slams and set the Tribe's single-season club record with 39 home runs and 110 RBI as a DH. However, Haftner is batting .259 in 429 games since with a .436 slugging percentage, a dropoff from the .556 he had from 2003-07.

That said, Hafner owns a stat line of .278/.385/.470 versus right-handed pitching over the past three years. If he can stay healthy, he'll take advantage of Yankee Stadium's tantalizing right-field porch.

Follow Jon Lane on Twitter: @JonLaneNYC

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