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The Yankees are in “serious discussions” with Raul Ibanez

Feb 6, 2012, 7:29 PM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies v Arizona Diamondbacks Getty Images

It’s almost closing time for MLB’s Hot Stove and folks are beginning to get desperate. We’re seeing minor league deals all over the place and players who once were seeking multi-year contracts are now settling for one-year deals. Many speculated that the Yankees would be in the market for a hitter after trading Jesus Montero to the Mariners in the Michael Pineda deal, but they’ve understandably played things pretty close to the vest in hopes of getting a bargain.

Well, it appears they are finally ready to strike.

Ken Rosenthal of reports that the Yankees are in “serious discussions” with free agent Raul Ibanez, who is willing to take less money to sign with them than he would make elsewhere.

Ibanez, who will turn 40 in June, batted .245/.289/.419 with 20 home runs, 84 RBI and a .707 OPS over 575 plate appearances with the Phillies last season. He had a .747 OPS against right-handed pitching.

This seems to jibe with a report by Buster Olney of earlier this afternoon in which he said the Yankees are considering adding a left-handed bat and could sign Ibanez, Johnny Damon or Hideki Matsui within the week. Whoever they sign would likely share at-bats with the righty-hitting Andruw Jones out of the DH spot.

Fair enough, but don’t the Yankees already have enough veterans they could shuffle in and out of the DH spot along with Jones? Olney writes that the Yankees would likely look at alternatives prior to the trade deadline if they aren’t getting sufficient production out of the DH spot, so I suppose it doesn’t hurt to have options in the interim. Especially if they are on the cheap.

  1. yettyskills - Feb 6, 2012 at 7:34 PM

    LOL really?
    What a waste of AB’s

    • deathmonkey41 - Feb 7, 2012 at 8:47 AM

      He’s a lefthanded bat off the bench- it’s not like he’s a starter and he could also go in and play close to a serviceable left field if need be.

  2. proudlycanadian - Feb 6, 2012 at 7:39 PM

    I wouldn’t mind it if the Yankees signed him.

  3. uyf1950 - Feb 6, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    I like Ibanez as an alternative. IF he’s cheap enough why not. If he doesn’t perform or something better comes along during the season the Yankees can always release him. It’s not a big deal.

  4. genericcommenter - Feb 6, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    I would like it with 2 stipulations:

    1. MINOR league deal with ST invite.
    2. NEVER use him against lefties.

    • genericcommenter - Feb 7, 2012 at 3:09 PM

      A Considerable % of down-votes but no explanation. What’s the disagreement? I assume 1. So you think he deserves a low guaranteed major league deal with incentives instead? I don’t have much problem with that.

  5. b7p19 - Feb 6, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    For what it’s worth, Raul is at the Sixers game tonight…

    • CJ - Feb 6, 2012 at 9:45 PM

      he probably had a better chance of playing tonight for the sixers than he does DHing for the Yankees next season.

  6. Ari Collins - Feb 6, 2012 at 7:58 PM

    I guess there aren’t any hitters out there who could really put the H in DH. I’d go with Damon, personally, since he at least was an above-average hitter last year. And his defense is better as well, if they need to spell someone in the OF.

    • pisano - Feb 6, 2012 at 8:19 PM

      I agree with Ari,but I wouldn’t count on either for defense, although Damon in a pinch can run down a ball, but he just can’t throw it. As my friend says, just my opinion.

      • uyf1950 - Feb 6, 2012 at 8:32 PM

        Pisano, my friend. Neither Ibanez or Damon if it were him that the Yankees wind up signing is going to see much if any action in the field. Jones will be the 4th outfielder when one is needed and he’ll be in when there is a left hander on the mound and probably not all left handers at that. That’s just my opinion.

  7. Kevin S. - Feb 6, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    Oh hells to the no. Ibanez was barely even a league-average bat against righties last year. A league-average hitter is a replacement-level DH. And that’s exploiting his platoon splits! I still like IIATMS’ idea of trying to pry Giambi loose from Colorado. Barring that, I’d re-sign Chavez and let A-Rod DH against righties before I let Raul Ibanez anywhere near pinstripes. He’s had a really nice, underrated career, but it’s over man. It just really shouldn’t be that hard to find somebody whose only skill is being above-average against one pitcher handedness.

  8. CJ - Feb 6, 2012 at 9:41 PM

    Someone misheard the conversation. I think what happened was Raul called Cashman wanting to “discuss” to be signed as a DH/OF, and Cashman said, “You can’t possibly be serious?”.

    Raul: “Yes, I’m serious. I can’t be any worse than Posada last year.”


    • Utley's Hair - Feb 6, 2012 at 11:18 PM

      Yahoo Serious is a part of the negotiations.

    • Utley's Hair - Feb 6, 2012 at 11:19 PM

      Hey!!!!!! Look at all the italicky comments!!!

  9. humanexcrement - Feb 6, 2012 at 10:24 PM

    Yes, the Yankees could use a rotating DH. The problem is, that means Eduardo Nunez is in the lineup almost every day. For all intents and purposes, HE would be the DH. I’d rather take a chance on Ibanez or Matsui platooning with Andruw Jones. That should be a solid #7 hitter.

  10. CJ - Feb 6, 2012 at 11:58 PM

    crap. I screwed up the HTML


    • CJ - Feb 6, 2012 at 11:58 PM

      now it is.

      • Utley's Hair - Feb 7, 2012 at 12:22 AM

        Still not. Didn’t we go through this before?

      • CJ - Feb 7, 2012 at 1:51 AM

        Yes, we did. Wasn’t me last time though. There’s a new version of HTML tagging out there so I used that thinking it was correct here, but apparently this still uses just the old version.

      • CJ - Feb 7, 2012 at 1:53 AM

        doesn’t matter which way i try to fix it, busted the whole thread. doh.

      • Utley's Hair - Feb 7, 2012 at 11:19 AM

        By “we,” I meant HBT. I think it was FC last time.

  11. dirtyharry1971 - Feb 7, 2012 at 12:52 AM

    let the bum stay in philly where he belongs

    • kiwicricket - Feb 7, 2012 at 8:33 AM

      He’s a free agent, Harry.

  12. buffalomafia - Feb 7, 2012 at 4:41 AM

    All three of those guys suck! Sign Gurerro!

  13. buffalomafia - Feb 11, 2012 at 5:44 PM

    David Ortiz to the Yanks?

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