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Report: Mariners have “serious interest” in Raul Ibanez

Dec 22, 2012, 11:02 AM EDT

Getty Raul Ibanez Getty Images

The Mariners acquired Kendrys Morales from the Angels this week in exchange for Jason Vargas, but they aren’t done trying to add bats.

George A. King III of the New York Post reports that the Mariners have “serious interest” in Raul Ibanez. It’s a bit of an odd fit on the surface, as the club already has a bit of a log jam between DH, first base and catcher, but King speculates that Jesus Montero would get the chance to be the regular catcher while Morales would play first base. Justin Smoak could become trade bait under this scenario, as Ibanez would project as the regular DH and occasional outfielder. And don’t forget the M’s also have John Jaso, who is quietly coming off a very nice season.

King hears that the Yankees have kept in touch with Ibanez’s agent, but they are currently focused on trying to add a right-handed hitting outfielder to complement Curtis Granderson, Ichiro Suzuki and Brett Gardner, who all hit from the left side. Scott Hairston remains a possibility, but they are hesitant to give him a multi-year deal.

Ibanez, 40, batted .240/.308/.453 with 19 home runs, 62 RBI and a .761 OPS in 130 games this past season. He was originally drafted by the Mariners back in 1992 and had two different stints with the big club, first from 1996-2000 and then from 2004-2008. The Rangers and Phillies are among the other clubs who have expressed interest.

  1. tc4306 - Dec 22, 2012 at 11:52 AM

    Don’t see that as a real good fit. If they want to sit Jaso vs lefties, they could DH Liddi or Wells and have Montero catch. Hard to say what any of those right handed bats will be with the fences coming in. Unlikely they have Montero catch every day, sit Jaso vs righties and have Ibanez DH. Would make no sense at all.

  2. swu32733 - Dec 22, 2012 at 12:44 PM

    Mariners have too little patience. Smoak is getting ready to break out in a big way. Unfortunately it will likely be with another team.

    • tuberippin - Dec 23, 2012 at 12:42 AM

      At this point, Smoak’s career trajectory mirrors that of Crash Davis. Lot of minor-league success, putrid at the major-league level. We’ll see if Smoak ends up succeeding with another team in the way Davis has done with Baltimore.

  3. xpensivewinos - Dec 22, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    Hey Cherington:

    Let Napoli and his one good hip limp away and then get on the horn with Seattle about trading for Smoak.

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