Travis Hafner hasn’t drawn much free agent interest after Cleveland declined his $13 million option and the Indians haven’t ruled out re-signing the veteran designated hitter.
“He could be [an option], potentially,” general manager Chris Antonetti said, via Jordan Bastian of MLB.com. “I think some of that is going to depend upon other opportunities for Travis and his thoughts on returning, as well as what opportunities we may have for him compared to other guys.”
Bastian writes that the Indians are prepared to go with a rotation of players in the DH spot, but with no clear primary option there if Hafner is willing to accept a modest one-year deal a return could make sense.
He hasn’t been able to stay healthy since 2007 and missed 96 games last season, but Hafner has remained productive throughout all the injuries by posting an OPS above .775 in each of the past four seasons.
Cubs closer Brandon Morrow has been out since the All-Star break with a bone bruise and biceps inflammation. In recent days there had been hope that he would be activated in the season’s final two weeks in order to be ready for the playoffs, but that’s not happening: Theo Epstein just said that Morrow is done for the season.
It’s not the first time good expectations for Morrow’s recovery were not met. When he was placed on the DL back in July manager Joe Maddon said he didn’t anticipate Morrow being on the DL for much more than the minimum 10 days. Two months later and here we are.
Morrow, 34, had an excellent season until the arm trouble started, saving 22 games with a 1.47 ERA and a 31/9 K/BB ratio in 30.2 innings. Once he went out the closer’s duties fell to Pedro Strop. Now Strop too is out for at least the rest of the regular season and likely more due to a hamstring strain he suffered last week while running the bases.
Bullpens become a lot more important in the postseason. The Cubs’ bullpen is becoming thinner.