Indians Lock Up Hafner

UPDATE: Anthony Castrovince of adds that the deal includes a club option for 2013.

And now Paul Hoynes has more details.  The breakdown:

2007: $3.75MM
2008:  $4.75MM club option (exercised)
Additional $9MM added to 2007-08 salaries, bringing AAV for those years to $8.75MM
2009: $11MM
2010: $11MM
2011: $13MM
2012: $13MM
2013: Club option for undisclosed amount

Ken Rosenthal has the scoop: the Indians have signed DH Travis Hafner to a four-year, $57MM contract extension. The deal covers the 2009-12 seasons, though Rosenthal notes that some of the money will go towards Hafner’s well below-market salaries this year and next.  We’ll have to wait for further details.  It’s likely David Ortiz‘s 4/52 contract signed in April of ’06 served as a benchmark.  What else would?

Some have speculated that Hafner’s contract situation has affected him at the plate this year.  He posted just a .702 OPS in June; he hasn’t had a month like that since 2003.  Pronk has consistently supplied 1.000 OPS seasons.  He’s quietly been one of the game’s very best hitters for years.

If you ask PECOTA, this extension is reasonable no matter how the compensation is spread.  They have Hafner as a $19MM player each year for 2007-09, and a $13MM player annually for 2010-11.  On the other hand, there are warning signs that Hafner could fall off rapidly as some of his top comparables did.

Earlier this year, Mark Shapiro said negotiations with Hafner would be tabled until season’s end.  He also believed at the time that it might be possible to retain Hafner, Jake Westbrook, and C.C. Sabathia.  He’s two-thirds of the way there, and both have been below-market.

Perhaps Shapiro will also change his tune and try to hammer something out with Sabathia?  C.C. is a Cy Young contender this year, and could ask for a contract resembling Barry Zito‘s if he hits the open market.  Most likely, Sabathia’s agent Greg Genske will recommend he wait to see what happens with Carlos Zambrano.   

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