In the midst of a clearly dismal season for the Cleveland Indians, a complete overhaul of the organization is well underway.

After trading key players like CC Sabathia, Cliff Lee, and Victor Martinez last season, the Indians entered the 2010 season with a sense of optimism and many new faces filling out the roster. Those good feelings from opening day seem like years ago for many fans who have watched the Tribe fall to a disappointing 21-36 on the year.

Among the many disappointments the Tribe faithful have seen this year is the resurgence, or lack thereof, of DH Travis Hafner to be near the top.

After two injury plagued seasons in 2008 and 2009, many Indians fans hoped that Travis would return to his old “Pronk” form.

But that has just simply not been the case.

So far this season, Hafner is hitting .243 with only four home runs and 18 RBI, including a miserable .088 average over his last 10 games.

So where has the Hafner of old gone? Travis has simply not been the same ever since his amazing 2006 season where he hit .308 and tallied 42 home runs.

In 2007, Hafner signed a four-year, $57 million contract extension that keeps him in Cleveland until the end of the 2012 season.

With Cleveland focused on rebuilding and Hafner’s lack of production, many are beginning to wonder if he will be the next big name shipped out of town.

Because of his large contract, moving Hafner would be difficult even if the Indians wanted to. A team would have to have great faith in Hafner to believe that he can turn his numbers around and take on his financial burden.

Travis is scheduled to make $11.5 million this season and next season, and does not have near the amount of trade value he once held years ago. Cleveland’s inability to trade Hafner over the last few seasons directly leads to other valuable contracts being shipped out by the organization. 

While the Indians were trying to pay Hafner’s large salary, the contracts of Martinez, Lee, and Sabathia became more expendable, which ultimately resulted in their departure.

Cleveland is going to continue to have a rough road with Hafner as long as his production remains sub-par.

Many Tribe fans, including myself, have been waiting patiently for the return of the “Pronk” we once knew. If those numbers don’t return within the next two seasons, it is possible that we may see another big name shipped away from Cleveland.

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