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The Yankees are thinking about bringing back Raul Ibanez

Nov 19, 2013, 9:10 AM EDT

Seattle Mariners v New York Yankees Getty Images

If your team is getting old the best thing to do is to go young. If you can’t go young, the next best thing I suppose is to bring in old players who don’t ever age. To that end:

The Post has also learned the Yankees have an interest in bringing back the popular and productive Raul Ibanez to be the DH against right-handed pitching. Some voices within the organization believe it was a mistake to let Ibanez leave following the 2012 season, when Ibanez grew impatient waiting and signed for a second stint with the Mariners.

Ibanez, at this point, is homers and not much else. His line for 2013: .242/.306/.487, 29 HR in 454 AB. Which is better than a kick to the back of the head, but if the power suddenly goes — and it tends to do that with guys over 40 at some point, he’s not worth a diddly-durn. Of course he’d almost certainly be back on a one-year deal, and there really is no such thing as a bad one-year deal.

That column from George King and Ken Davidoff also links the Yankees with approximately eleventeen other free agents, suggesting that the Yankees are casting as wide a net as possible to grab a couple of needed pieces.

  1. chip56 - Nov 19, 2013 at 9:24 AM

    I think bringing Ibanez back would be a knee-jerk reaction to the fact that the team was starved for power last year.

    It does go along with what the Yankees have done over the last couple of years, bringing in guys who will go year-to-year (there are also reports they’re trying to bring back Eric Chavez) but the team needs to stop with these band-aid solutions and make some moves that actually close up the wounds.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 19, 2013 at 10:01 AM

      Is there anything available though? All of their prospects on the farm that are even close to ready are OF/C and maybe RP. They have some intriguing young prospects in low A, but nothing that can help in ’14.

      The one year stop gaps aren’t necessarily an issue, as long as they are one year. The Wells/Ichiro deals were/are a problem though.

      • chip56 - Nov 19, 2013 at 10:27 AM

        I’m not suggesting that they rush prospects. But that doesn’t mean they can’t pursue longer term options via free agency.

        Saying “we don’t want to sign Brian McCann because he would block Gary Sanchez” assumes that Gary Sanchez is going to actually reach the majors. Same with saying “we don’t want to invest long term in an outfielder because we have Slade Heathcott and Tyler Austin.”

        Prospects are great and I do hope that Heathcott, Austin, Williams, Bird, Cave, O’Brien and Sanchez make it to the majors as significant players for the Yankees – but there are a lot of steps that they have to go through before getting here – none of them are above AA ball right now so it’s not like they’re knocking on the door.

        Signing a Raul Ibanez or Eric Chavez for bench roles isn’t the end of the world – but when they go that route for everyday players (Hafner, Ichiro, Wells, Youkilis) that’s when you wind up with disaster seasons.

      • uyf1950 - Nov 19, 2013 at 10:48 AM

        Wells really isn’t an issue. Since the Angels are picking up his entire 2014 contract he has “zero” impact on the Yankees luxury tax calculation. The Yankees could if they wanted to dump him and it not effect them one penny in 2014. Ichiro is a different case unless the Yankees can find a taker for him or he retires the Yankees have a $6.5MM obligation for him in 2014.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 19, 2013 at 12:28 PM

        @chip

        I agree, they shouldn’t worry about blocking prospects when so many are far away. What I mean though is are they any FA’s that are actually worth long term spending on to begin with? Outside of Cano I can’t see anyone worth giving a 3+ year deal to. [I'd love for the Yanks to get Peralta who can play both SS and 3b, but I doubt he'd sign with Jeter having a guaranteed starting spot].

        @ufy

        Wells is an issue in that he’s a taken roster spot. If Granderson accepted the QO, the Yanks would have had 5 OF already signed with a FA (Beltran) who was better than all of them. Even without Granderson the Yanks are going to have to find a way to work a rotation of Wells/Soriano/Gardner/Ichiro with only 3 spots available. And Wells/Ichiro should probably not be on the team to begin with.

      • uyf1950 - Nov 19, 2013 at 4:29 PM

        church, I beg to disagree with you about Wells again. I don’t see him as a problem. The Yankees can dump him and he would not have any impact on their luxury tax number since the Angels are paying his entire 2014 salary and he would not be taking up a roster spot. If they wanted to sign Beltran OR Choo for that matter the Yankees could dump both Wells and Ichiro if they chose and the only hit they would take to their luxury tax number is $6.5MM for Ichiro if they couldn’t move him to another team such as the Mariners. Neither player would be taking up a roster spot in that case.

        Forgive me but since we are both speculating I would suggest that should the Yankees sign either Beltran OR Choo, one or both of Wells and Ichiro could be jettisoned. But I doubt both would be since one would serve as the 4th outfielder. I’m sure I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know but virtually all clubs carry 4 outfielders on their active roster.

        It’s just my opinion but I seriously doubt having Wells and Ichiro currently on the Yankees roster would inhibit the Yankees from signing either Beltran OR Choo.

  2. uyf1950 - Nov 19, 2013 at 9:33 AM

    According to sports blogs the Yankees are and have been this season thinking about bringing in at least 10 to 15 of the players on the market. Ibanez might have made sense had the Yankees not signed both Wells but especially Ichiro for the 2014 season. Ibanez is the nice name for the media to throw around because of the year he had in 2013 with the Mariners. But the reality is unless the Yankees jettison Ichiro because Ichiro counts $6.5MM against the Yankees luxury tax number there is no need and especially no place for Ibanez.

  3. Old Gator - Nov 19, 2013 at 10:13 AM

    A-roid may not be using his steroids this coming season. Give them to Ibanez. Problem solved.

  4. dinofrank60 - Nov 19, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    No, the way to go is to get players who can play.

    No sense getting young players if they can’t play.

  5. jdillydawg - Nov 19, 2013 at 6:08 PM

    And here I was hoping the Mariners would have at least “some” power in their lineup next year…

  6. bigmeechy74 - Nov 19, 2013 at 8:40 PM

    Since it’s the yankees he will probably hit around .300 with 40 home runs. 30 of them being in dramatic fashion. Such a cheesy team!

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