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Indians, Hafner's agent rekindle talks

Indians, Hafner's agent rekindle talks

SAN FRANCISCO -- His office sits just across the street from AT&T Park, where the All-Star festivities are taking place, but Scott Parker wasn't in attendance Tuesday night.

As the agent for Indians designated hitter Travis Hafner, Parker has had other matters to attend to this week. He and the Indians have been in conversations about a contract extension for the man known as Pronk, who would be eligible for free agency after next season.

"We've touched base," Parker said. "We're taking advantage of the All-Star break."

The two sides had broken off negotiations shortly after the season started. Hafner turned down a multiyear offer from the club and chose instead to focus on the '07 season.

It hasn't been the most Pronk-like of years. He's hit just .262 with 14 homers and 11 doubles. He has, however, driven in 57 runs, ranking 11th in the AL.

Parker said he couldn't forecast the likelihood of a deal being reached this week.

"The conversations have always been positive," he said. "But if you're asking me for a prediction, I don't have one."

When talks were tabled in the spring, Parker and the Indians didn't make a firm plan to pick up the conversations at the break. But Parker said the negotiations were positive enough to do so.

"We had done enough work on the deal when we left off that it made sense to take stock again," he said.

Hafner's teammates in attendance at the All-Star Game are interested to see how the talks pan out.

"It would be huge [if a deal is reached]," Tribe ace C.C. Sabathia said. "I would be happy. I would definitely take that as a good sign about getting something done with me. Everybody wants to stay. The core of this team has been together for a long time. We've been through a lot together, and we want to bring a championship to Cleveland together."

Sabathia, who would also be eligible for free agency after the '08 season, is also represented by Parker. Talks about a Sabathia extension were broken off during Spring Training, and Parker said they have not picked up since.

"That's not something that's been a current topic right now," Parker said.

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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