CHICAGO WHITE SOX
Traded CF-L Kenny Lofton to the Giants for RHP Felix Diaz and LHP Ryan Meaux. [7/28]
Kenny Williams’ strategy with Kenny Lofton wasn’t unsound, at least the initial part of it. Sign a veteran down on his luck for a low price and a one-year contract. If you contend with him, that’s great, you have the financial flexibility to help yourself down the stretch. If you don’t, he’s cheap and therefore interesting to other contenders. If he doesn’t hit, then you didn’t spend all that much money.
The Texas Rangers selected Travis Hafner of Cowley County Community College (Arkansas City, Kansas) as a draft-and-follow in the 31st round of the June 1996 draft, and got his signature on a contract just before the 1997 deadline. Now 25 years old, the 6’3″, 240-pound Hafner has developed into one of the most feared hitters in the minor leagues. As of this writing, he is hitting .339/.460/.541 with the Oklahoma RedHawks and leads the Pacific Coast League in on-base percentage and major-league EqA (.302). He took time to speak with us before a recent game against the Tacoma Rainiers.