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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Indians - Signed Hafner

Cleveland Indians - Signed DH Travis Hafner to a 4-year, $57 million contract extension.

The length of the contract make this a pretty nice signing for the Indians.  I’m not sure I’d be too excited about a declining Hafner in his late 30s, but the relative shortness of the deal keeps it from being too risky for the Indians to undertake and probably gives them an opening to be more aggressive at paying Sabathia.  Hafner’s one-tool is quite good and given the state of the market, just assuming his true level of ability is a rather disappointing 2007 wouldn’t have him overpriced.  Victor Martinez remembering how to throw out baserunners this season has also proved very helpful, allowing the Indians more flexibility in planning long-term at 1B/DH (catcher arm may be overrated, but the 56 net stolen bases Vector allowed last year was worrisome).

2007 ZiPS Projection - Travis Hafner
———————————————————————————————————-
Period       AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG
———————————————————————————————————-
Actual 2007*  301 49   79 11 2 14 57 65 64   1 .262 .397 .452
Rest of 2007 230 42   67 14 1 15 50 45 55   1 .291 .416 .557
———————————————————————————————————-
2007 Total   531 91 146 25 3 29 107 110 119   2 .275 .407 .497
2008       516 94 146 31 1 32 115 103 122   0 .283 .408 .533
———————————————————————————————————-
* - Includes minor league translation, if applicable.
Top Comp - Carlos Delgado

Dan Szymborski Posted: July 12, 2007 at 12:38 AM | 20 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: July 12, 2007 at 02:47 AM (#2437923)
really? a 128 OPS+ is worth over 14m a year for a DH?
   2. Danny Posted: July 12, 2007 at 02:51 AM (#2437928)
really? a 128 OPS+ is worth over 14m a year for a DH?

Yeah, who cares if he's led the league in OPS+ for each of the last 3 years. Only the last 3 months count!
   3. SouthSideRyan Posted: July 12, 2007 at 02:55 AM (#2437930)
just assuming his true level of ability is a rather disappointing 2007 wouldn't have him overpriced.


Read Danny.
   4. I Love LA (OFF) Posted: July 12, 2007 at 03:00 AM (#2437935)
Those last three years were nice, but what have you done for me lately?
   5. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: July 12, 2007 at 03:01 AM (#2437938)
last two years, actually.

and he's a slugger on the wrong side of 30.

who can't actually play the field.

when he's 33 and broken down with 26m left on his contract, you'll be saying "wow, who knew it was a bad idea to extend a slugger into his mid-30's in the middle of a year where he was showing a significant decline in his skills!"

it's not a terrible contract, but mark me down as meh, especially since they could have waited until the end of the year, or into NEXT year, to see if he pulls out of this slump.
   6. Danny Posted: July 12, 2007 at 03:01 AM (#2437939)
They really need to get that edit fuction all over the site...

Anyway, OPS+ underrates Hafner's 2007 because his OPS is so OBP heavy. Still not $14M worth, though.
   7. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: July 12, 2007 at 03:05 AM (#2437940)
dang. wish i could edit that post. i didn't think a 158 OPS+ was enough to lead the league, but i'm wrong. anyways.
   8. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: July 12, 2007 at 03:06 AM (#2437943)
Anyway, OPS+ underrates Hafner's 2007 because his OPS is so OBP heavy.


And it overrates him because he doesn't play the field and has never had more than 580 PAs in season.
   9. Walt Davis Posted: July 12, 2007 at 05:53 AM (#2438083)
What years does this cover?

This is roughly current Thome money. Also current Burrell money I think. :-)

Only two things to dislike about it -- his age and the career high 140 games in a season. And that top comp of Carlos Delgado isn't exactly inspiring. Oh yeah, and if they already had him under contract for next year, I might well have pushed for a bigger discount.

anyway, close enough in my book, so I'll give it an OK.
   10. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: July 12, 2007 at 02:15 PM (#2438233)
What years does this cover?

It covers '09-'12, his 32-35 seasons. But some of the payments will be over the next two years.
   11. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 12, 2007 at 02:30 PM (#2438247)
How is Einar Diaz doing for the Rangers this year?
   12. Sir Stamford Raffles Posted: July 12, 2007 at 02:35 PM (#2438253)
How is Einar Diaz doing for the Rangers this year?


They turned him into Chris Young (the pitcher) after 2003. So basically, that deal ended up as Travis Hafner for a big ol' sack of beans.
   13. THEOSU Posted: July 12, 2007 at 03:35 PM (#2438320)
i'm not a big fan of this deal, particularly if we let sabathia walk. hafner's comps are full of guys that could go either way. there are players excellent in their thirties, highlighted by mccovey (who even then was injured quite a bit), those who were steady if unspectacular like fred mcgriff, and those who fell off a cliff at age 30. boog powell, anyone?

hafner hasn't begun his thirties in entirely inspiring fashion. on the one hand, you can look at what he's done and say 'well, he's trying to pull everything, he isn't going the other way like he has in the previous two seasons. once he gets back to that, his numbers will rebound.' on the other hand he's a one tool player with a history of niggling arm injuries (and a rather nasty concussion) who brings nothing else to the table. once that one tool begins to decline, you're looking at an albatross of a contract, especially since the team will be looking to lock sizemore up at the end of the contract.

i'd much rather have waited to see how 2007 turned out before locking in the 2009-11 seasons.
   14. Boots Day Posted: July 12, 2007 at 03:48 PM (#2438337)
While Hafner is undoubtedly a terrific hitter, every single other indicator is negative: He can't run, he's not durable, he can't play the field at all (when the Indians gave him some time at first base in 2003, he managed to make six errors in 42 games), he doesn't look like much of an athlete.

He's been a marginal MVP candidate each of the past three years, and justifiably so, but at this year's level, he's just another guy. I'd rather have Ichiro at his reported deal than Hafner at this one.
   15. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: July 12, 2007 at 05:45 PM (#2438495)
Here is B-Pro's PECOTA card for Hafner with projections through '11.
   16. Mike Emeigh Posted: July 14, 2007 at 10:50 PM (#2441185)
Hafner has not hit well in high-leverage situations, FWIW. I'm running some studies of hitter performance using Tango's LI to weight performance by leverage, and Hafner loses 33 points of OPS when his PAs are weighted by LI - more than any other "good hitter" in the study, where "good hitter" is defined as someone with at least 250 PAs in each of the last four seasons and an OPS of .850 or better (I selected .850 to get Jeter into the study). Hafner is one of only four hitters in the group of 37 in the study who loses OBP when his plate appearances are weighted by LI - the others are Carlos Lee, Miguel Tejada, and Vernon Wells. The typical "good hitter" gains 14 points in OPS when PAs are weighted by LI - 12 OBP, 2 SLG.

-- MWE
   17. Cris E Posted: July 17, 2007 at 03:15 AM (#2443375)
If they really think this is a temporary slump and nothing to worry about, then part of this deal might have been striking while the iron is cold, so to speak. That is, given how well he's performed the past few years this is about as low a point as Pronk has been at and gives a little leverage to the team during negotiations. I have to believe that if he's hitting .300/.400/.600 again he could have extracted the fifth year.
   18. Exploring Leftist Conservatism since 2008 (ark..) Posted: July 31, 2007 at 07:56 PM (#2463350)
Ignorant signing. A DH entering his decline phase, who can't stay in the lineup.

Only two things to dislike about it -- his age and the career high 140 games in a season.

That's a whole fat lot to dislike. It's akin to noticing there are only two things to dislike about the Titanic--there's a big hole below the waterline, and it's sinking fast.
   19. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: July 31, 2007 at 08:55 PM (#2463456)
Ignorant signing. A DH entering his decline phase, who can't stay in the lineup.


Well, he's managed to stay in the lineup so far this year. Problem is, he hasn't been very good.
   20. sunnyday2 Posted: October 28, 2007 at 12:27 PM (#2596956)
Now, this is looking like about 3 and a half years too many.

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