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Yankees sign DH Travis Hafner

The New York Yankees today announced they signed designated hitter Travis Hafner to a one-year Major League contract.

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Hafner, 35, is a career .278 (1054-for-3796) batter with 588 runs, 242 doubles, 201 home runs and 694 RBI in 1,101 games over 11 seasons with Texas (2002) and Cleveland (2003-12). Among current active American Leaguers, he ranks sixth with a .381 career on-base percentage and an average of 7.92 plate appearances per walk.

He appeared in 66 games with Cleveland in 2012, batting .228 (50-for-219) with six doubles, 12 home runs and 34 RBI, also drawing 32 walks. The left-handed batter hit .241 (38-for-158) with eight home runs off right-handed pitchers. After batting .295 (18-for-61) in April, Hafner endured two stints on the disabled list from May 24–July 4 (underwent right knee surgery) and August 6–September 19 (lower back inflammation).

Hafner is tied for fourth among active players with 12 grand slams. He owns a .286 lifetime average against AL East pitching, his highest against any AL division.

Originally selected by the Texas Rangers in the 31st round of the 1996 First-Year Player Draft, Hafner was acquired by Cleveland in December 2002 in exchange for Einar Diaz and Ryan Drese. He owns the Indians' all-time club record among designated hitters for home runs (200) and RBI (688).

In order to make room on the 40-man roster, OF Russ Canzler was designated for assignment.

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