why would a banana grab another banana?
That's what CHONE says. And CHONE certainly isn't projecting 150 games. Even still, that's a great rate. Personally, I have a hard time seeing Jim Thome being significantly less productive than Hafner. At best, Hafner duels Thome to a draw. Hafner's injury history is worse despite the Indians good medical staff (see: Will Carroll ) and his most recent good season is worse and less recent than The Gentleman Masher. The Indians, of course, can more capably shuffle their lineup to cover such a hole thanks to Victor Martinez and Kelly Shoppach.
The other real player here is Billy Butler, who wil be 23 this year. He's already in Kubel's realm and he may well break out. His top 3 comparables according to PECOTA are Dave Winfield, Prince Fielder and Boog Powell. So far he hasn't demonstrated anything like that kind of power, but he's still quite young.
But really, I don't think the Royals are anyone's biggest concern and it's nice to see that the better teams in the division have set the bar so low. The Tigers are stuck with Gary Sheffield's contract, Jason Kubel is no great shakes and Hafner's been covered. So this rests on Thome's health. So let's all heavily invest in Herm Schneider Magic Salve™. It comes with Kenny Williams' highest recommendation!