It’s been a while since Travis Hafner, 35, fielded grounders as a first baseman in spring training. Hafner hasn’t played a single defensive inning in the majors since 2007, and he’s strictly seen as the primary designated hitter against right-handers on the Yankees. "That’s the plan," said manager Joe Girardi.

A fearsome left-handed hitter with the Indians until various injuries took a toll, Hafner averaged 86 games per season over the last five years. Hafner was limited to 66 games last year with Cleveland, batting .228 with 12 homers and 34 RBI in a season marred by back and knee problems.

But Hafner arrived to Yankees camp in good shape. "Physically, I feel great. Ready to go," said Hafner, who signed a one-year, $2 million contract. He essentially replaces Raul Ibanez, who was forced to play more in the outfield than expect in 2012 because of Brett Gardner’s elbow injury.

Yankee Stadium’s short porch in right is "a really good fit" for Hafner. "I think this was the best spot for me." And playing on a club that has a perennial chance to win was "probably number one" on Hafner’s priority list as a free agent.

"I’ve only been to the playoffs once in the last 10 years. I know here we’ve got a great chance," said Hafner, who brings a glove to camp. He just doesn’t use it. "Usually, if people need first baseman’s mitts, they call me."