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Yankees have “preliminary discussions” with Raul Ibanez

Nov 14, 2012, 10:15 AM EDT

Raul Ibanez Getty Images

Raul Ibanez was mostly not very good this year before going nuts in the playoffs, but Dan Martin of the New York Post reports that the Yankees “have had preliminary discussions” about re-signing the 40-year-old free agent.

Ibanez played this season on a one-year, $1.1 million contract and hit .240 with 19 homers and a .761 OPS in 130 games. If spotted mostly versus right-handed pitching he’s still a reasonably competent hitter, but it’s hard to imagine the Yankees can’t do better even if they’re shopping on a budget.

Among the 108 first basemen, corner outfielders, and designated hitters to appear in at least 100 games this year Ibanez ranked 67th in OPS, and that was while being shielded from tough lefties.

  1. zidanevalor - Nov 14, 2012 at 10:31 AM

    If he were willing to come back to the Yankees for 1-yr, $1.5M, I think it would be worth it for the Yankees at least as a PR move if not a baseball move. A lot of Yankees fans were praising Lord Voldemort as being the lone bright spot for the team during the playoff run (at least on offense), and it’s a no-risk contract to a current fan favorite.

  2. Detroit Michael - Nov 14, 2012 at 10:42 AM

    In other news, at least some influential people in the Yankees front office continue to believe that performance in 9 post-season games holds more predictive value than performance in 162 regular season games.

  3. Jeremy T - Nov 14, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    He had a few “clutch” moments in the regular season, too. Attach whatever predictive significance to that that you think it deserves. As a part-time DH and emergency OF, I don’t have a problem bringing him back for another season. I just hope Joe doesn’t start pinch hitting with him in every big spot just because he came up big in a few high-visibility situations.

    • badintent - Nov 14, 2012 at 2:14 PM

      He had a ton of Clutch HRs in the regular season. I don’t do SARS but I know that most of his HRs came in late innings and tied games or put Yankees ahead to win. Pay the man. He got game. Great Clubhouse guy too.Take him over A-Rod-Less any day of the week.

  4. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Nov 14, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    How many of those other 66 guys in front of him are free agents, can back up in the OF and will take a 1 year deal worth less than $3MM? Perhaps if they can keep Raul off the OF grass for most of the season, he will stay fresh. And going forward, they should not play him against lefties as much as they did this season, which should help his numbers further.

  5. uyf1950 - Nov 14, 2012 at 12:11 PM

    Considering Ibanez earned just over $3.3MM ($1.1MM guaranteed and $2.25MM in PA incentive) in 2012 with the Yankees it will be interesting to see what he expects in guaranteed dollars. Very interesting indeed. My guess is the Yankees will not guarantee him more then $2MM with an additional $1MM to $1.5MM in possible incentives.

  6. cackalackyank - Nov 15, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    Don’t get me wrong I like some RAAAAUUUUUL as much as the next fan…but I’d rather hear they were talking to Ichiro….

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