Source: Yanks, Hafner close to deal

The Yankees, moving to fill their need for a left-handed designated hitter, are close to signing Travis Hafner, according to a major-league source.

The Yankees, moving to fill their need for a left-handed designated hitter, are close to signing Travis Hafner, according to a major-league source.

The deal is expected to include a low base salary in the $1 million to $2 million range, plus an incentive package, the source said.

Hafner, 35, batted .228 in 66 games for the Cleveland Indians last season, but with a .784 OPS. He spent time on the disabled list with right-knee and lower-back inflammation, and has not appeared in more than 118 games since 2007.

The Yankees lost two left-handed hitters, Raul Ibanez and Eric Chavez, as free agents this offseason, as well as switch-hitter Nick Swisher.

Third baseman Kevin Youkilis, shortstop Derek Jeter and first baseman Mark Teixeira, a switch-hitter, are among their other players who could see time at DH.

Hafner spent the previous 10 seasons with the Indians, and averaged 32 homers from 2004 to '07.

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