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If the Yankees wanted an old, mediocre designated hitter why not just keep Jorge Posada?

Feb 20, 2012, 11:19 AM EDT

posada wide getty Getty Images

Raul Ibanez‘s one-year contract with the Yankees is worth just $1 million in guaranteed money, but the bigger issue is that he’s 40 years old and coming off a terrible season in which he hit .245 with a .289 on-base percentage and .419 slugging percentage in 144 games.

Within that awful overall performance was some decent work versus right-handed pitching, against whom Ibanez hit .256 with a .307 on-base percentage and .440 slugging percentage. Of course, that’s hardly good for someone who is now a designated hitter and Ibanez also batted just .211 with a .232 OBP and .353 SLG off lefties.

So–as our own D.J. Short just asked on Twitter–if the Yankees were willing to hand the DH spot over to an old, rapidly declining hitter who posted decent numbers versus righties and terrible numbers versus lefties last season, why not just re-sign Jorge Posada (who retired because the Yankees weren’t interested)?

Because for as much criticism as Posada took in what turned out to be his final season, he dramatically out-hit Ibanez against right-handed pitching and the Yankees are going to use Andruw Jones as their DH versus left-handed pitching anyway. Last season Posada hit .269 with an .814 OPS off righties, compared to .256 with a .747 OPS for Ibanez.

Ibanez may be a slightly better fit for the roster because he can play the outfield, but he certainly can’t play it anything but very poorly and, if playing a position very badly counts as versatility then Posada’s catching has similar value. Whatever the case, the Yankees said goodbye to a 41-year-old, mediocre designated hitter who played his entire 17-year career in New York and signed a 40-year-old, mediocre designated hitter who might actually be worse for the role.

  1. proudlycanadian - Feb 20, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    The CBA and luxury tax is the big issue. Posada would cost a lot more than Ibanez.

    • grapes911 - Feb 20, 2012 at 11:29 AM

      And don’t forget that Joe Girardi and Posada aren’t on the best of terms, while Ibanez is one of the nicest guys in the league and a great clubhouse guy.

      • Old Gator - Feb 20, 2012 at 12:44 PM

        Plus, New York is a now-a-go-go type of town. A new old, mediocre designated hitter sells more hot dogs than an old old, mediocre designated hitter.

        Of course, designated hitters are old and mediocre by their very natures. That’s why they’re designated hitters.

  2. uyf1950 - Feb 20, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    Considering the way Posada reacted to being dropped to 9th in the batting order last season and let’s admit it he acted like a spoiled child. I doubt very, very seriously he would have even considered a contract from the Yankees like the one Ibanez signed.

    I’ll say this one more time considering the left handed DH will at most see about 225 PA maybe even less paying any more then the very minimum guarantee the Yankees paid Ibanez would have been foolish.

    • yankeesfanlen - Feb 20, 2012 at 11:38 AM

      Considering I’ve hated the last 4 or 5 DHs the Universe has chose, except that Andruw Jones is ok, now who cares?
      We need no DH in name only.

      • Old Gator - Feb 20, 2012 at 5:05 PM

        We need no DH, period. Neither does anyone else except the player’s union.

  3. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Feb 20, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    The answer the the question: Because Posada retired and Ibanez didn’t.

    The better answer to this question: Branyan

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Feb 20, 2012 at 12:04 PM

      I’m with you. You can’t sign a guy that doesn’t want to play anymore. This article brings up an interesting topic, but it’s moot.

  4. Jonny 5 - Feb 20, 2012 at 11:31 AM

    Posada made 13M last season and I highly doubt he would take the payment offer similar to what Ibanez is getting without becoming offended.

    • grapes911 - Feb 20, 2012 at 11:43 AM

      And Ibanez made 12+ million last year with the Phillies. Unless your point is that Posada is a jerk and Ibanez isn’t, then I missed it.

      • Jonny 5 - Feb 20, 2012 at 12:27 PM

        Ball players wanting to be paid more than they’re worth doesn’t make them a jerk does it? With Ibanez nobody has to hear about how the Yankees owe a player and have to overpay them. They “owe” ibanez exactly what he’s worth now, but with Posada? I’m not so sure it would have worked this easily.

    • deathmonkey41 - Feb 20, 2012 at 12:08 PM

      I don’t think it’s the same. I think there was a sense of entitlement with Posada because he came up through the system and was an integral part of their championships. Ibanez is coming to a different team and if I’m not mistaken, is looking for his first WS ring?

  5. modellforprez - Feb 20, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    yank deez son word up fuc about kno mark ass biznitch poopstripes all ur world series are tainted like the fargin patriots u cheated and we hav proof cuz

    • rip4gehrig - Feb 20, 2012 at 11:49 AM

      You drunk?

      • deathmonkey41 - Feb 20, 2012 at 12:11 PM

        Leave Bobby Brown alone- he hasn’t been the same since Whitney died.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Feb 20, 2012 at 12:14 PM

      smartest thing a Patriots fan has said in a long time


    • cur68 - Feb 20, 2012 at 12:36 PM

      Is there a translation service for this one? Is it even worth it? I’m not the spelling and grammar cops, but gee wizz man, have some pride.

      • deathmonkey41 - Feb 20, 2012 at 1:18 PM

        Maybe he’s possessed and speaking in tongues?

      • cur68 - Feb 20, 2012 at 2:45 PM

        Talking out his ass is what I think.

  6. deathmonkey41 - Feb 20, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    Leave Bobby alone- he hasn’t been right since Whitney died and getting kicked out of her funeral probably didn’t help.

  7. yankees177 - Feb 20, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    I love articles like this that only show black and white and leave out all of the important gray area. Posada accept 1 million base? Do you think he would have or do you think that low ball of assn offer would’ve burned already strained bridges? I love Jorge but that offer would’ve been offensive to him.

    Also he can’t play anywhere. Maybe 1st or 2nd in a pinch. Ibanez can still play the corner outfield positions.

    Speed. I’m not saying Ibanez is going to be a speed demon but he’s certainly faster than jorge. That opens up more 1st to 3rds and a waive home or two on a ground ball up the middle.

    Hunger. Ibanez wants a ring. Jorge has 5. Less to play for not that its ever stopped him tho.

    Overall value goes to Ibanez so to answer why not Posada. Thats why!

  8. pisano - Feb 20, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    cur68…I think our boy urteamsux52 is back under another screen name, what do you think?

    • cur68 - Feb 20, 2012 at 2:49 PM

      Could be. But wasn’t urteamsux52 a Rays fan? I suspect this guy’s a miserable PFT fan, of which there are MANY. Nothing better to do that adjust his foil hat, hitch up his depends and make with the illiteracy.

  9. yankeesgameday - Feb 20, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    Wow, anyone else notice they took down my comment to this post about this being a poorly thought out twitter comment that didn’t really deserve its own full post?

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Feb 20, 2012 at 3:37 PM

      Comments have been really funky today. I’d check again in a bit.

  10. mackie66 - Feb 20, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    Aaron Gleeman is not a MLB General Manager, nor a MLB scout. Gleeman checks and passes on to us as the the “last word”. Why hasnt any major league team hired Gleeman as a GM or at least head scout? Makes u wonder?

    • The Common Man - Feb 20, 2012 at 4:10 PM

      Congratulations, you have won the Internet. No one is allowed to have an opinion without first serving as a general manager like Ed Wade and Jim Bowden.

      Taste the burn, Gleeman! What does it taste like? I bet it tastes like numbers. Nerd.

    • aaroncool88 - Feb 20, 2012 at 4:23 PM

      (1) We assume as true mackie66’s Internet Law that one cannot have an opinion unless one has been either a GM or head scout. This negates the validity of Gleeman’s post.
      (2) However, as mackie66 is (probably, I guess I don’t know for sure) a GM or head scout himself, his Internet Law negates the validity of his own Internet Law.
      (3) This means Gleeman’s post is once again valid, and once again needs mackie66 to formulate an Internet Law to deal with it.
      (4) Repeat Step 1.

      This is the kind of “what if you went back in time and killed your own grandmother?” style logic puzzle that I try to escape by coming to baseball blogs. Thanks for nothing, mackie66.

  11. jfk69 - Feb 21, 2012 at 5:18 AM

    I will give you 5 million reasons why,
    Posada …at minimum would want 3 million with incentives to sit in the bench and cheer lead
    Ibanez and Chavez combined for the same price or less.
    and as far as Posada being a future mgr in training. He will need to learn to swallow his pride and listen once in a while. He can start by taking a coaching job in Staten Island…lol

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