Travis Hafner hasn’t officially called it a career despite hitting just .202 with a .679 OPS in 82 games for the Yankees last season, but the former slugger has gone into coaching.
Dennis Manoloff of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Hafner has joined the coaching staff at Notre Dame College–which is not to be confused with the University of Notre Dame–and will be a volunteer assistant coach for the Division II team. Notre Dame College’s head coach is Len Barker, who spent 11 seasons in the majors as a starting pitcher and threw a perfect game in 1981.
However, Hafner made it clear that he’s still hoping to sign with a team and continue playing at age 37: “I’m working out every day, getting ready for the upcoming season. The body and swing feel good.”
The Mets have signed catcher Wilson Ramos to a two-year deal, SNY’s Andy Martino reports. The total value of the contract is $19 million, per Fancred’s Jon Heyman.
Ramos, 31, split last season between the Rays and Phillies, putting up one of the best offensive seasons among catchers. In 416 total plate appearances, he hit .306/.358/.487 with 15 home runs and 70 RBI.
Ramos will presumably get the lion’s share of plate appearances behind the plate with Travis d'Arnaud backing him up. Grandal was made a qualifying offer, so the Mets would have had to forfeit a draft pick to sign him. And, of course, Realmuto would have cost prospects. Ramos simply costs money.
The Mets were aggressively pursuing a catching upgrade, having been involved in rumors surrounding J.T. Realmuto and Yasmani Grandal, but ultimately settled on Ramos. New GM Brodie Van Wagenen has made a significant impact on the team already, having also added second baseman Robinson Canó and closer Edwin Díaz from a trade with the Mariners.