Report: Yankees show interest in Raul Ibanez

Kuroda's contract includes full no-trade clause
Open Thread: What?!?

Via Kevin Kernan, the Yankees have some interest in Raul Ibanez. Ibanez’s representatives contacted the Yankees about their DH opening last week, but apparently now the interest is mutual. I’m not the guy’s biggest fan, but Joe did made a decent case for him a few days ago. We have to be talking about a minor league contract at this point in the offseason, and I suppose it’s worth noting that Ibanez has posted a .337 wOBA with a .181 ISO against right-handed pitchers over the last two years. He’s unusable against lefties and on defense, though. The Yankees could do worse, but they probably could do better as well.

Kuroda's contract includes full no-trade clause
Open Thread: What?!?
  • Mister Delaware

    Yuck. Lots and lots of 4-3 or 4-6-3 if he’s signed.

    • Ted Nelson

      I’m not into Ibanez particularly, but what other options are out there on MiLB deals?

      Could just be a negotiating ploy with another FA or a trade partner… who that they have options they’re exploring. Heck, if Ibanez will take a MiLB deal I would sign him even if they are close to a trade.

      Also… guy doesn’t hit any more GBs or GDPs than Cano or A-Rod. I don’t think there will be that many 4-3/4-6-3s so much as there just might not be too many good outcomes either.

      • thenamestsam

        Right. On a minor league deal, what do you have to lose? If tomorrow you swing a trade for Headley (my personal fantasy) or sign Damon, who cares? You give him a chance to showcase if he has anything left in camp and then let him go. There’s really no risk with minor league deals.

        • CJ

          Minor league deal is a no brainer. Not sure that’s what he has in mind though.

        • CJ

          Headley makes so much sense I would be Cashman has already called on him. The cost for him is the question. Tweet Jon heyman and see if he knows? He will be the first to tweet a done deal though.

      • Mister Delaware

        Ignoring the whole “what they do the other __% of the time they arent ground balling” angle, my wild(ly intelligent) speculation says Hit F/X would show a tangible difference in Cano’s GBs and Ibanez’s.

        • Ted Nelson

          Apparently you’re ignoring my comment. I specifically said the issue is what he’s doing with the non-GBs

      • CJ

        I agree. For a minor league deal sign him even if a trade is coming. Otherwise, this is probably the last line on the back of the Raul Ibanez baseball card and that’s usually an ugly line.

  • CMP

    Posada would be a better choice as lefty DH. I’ll pass on Ibanez.

    • Mister Delaware

      I’d agree with this.

    • CJ

      Jorge is going to monument park

  •!/czm26 Craig

    Would rather Damon–he can put up the same #s as Ibanez, and actually run.

  • Dan

    My guess is this ‘leak’ is a move to get Damon to lower his price. I think (and hope) that this is just like the rumors of being interested in Edwin Jackson which I think lowered Pineda’s and Kuroda’s prices.

    • Craig Maduro

      Maybe Kuroda, but I would have to guess ‘no’ on Pineda. It’s not like I have any more inside information than you do though.

  • Steve (different one)

    Give me Damon.

    • Monterowasdinero

      This. I don’t want Gandhi Ibanez.

      • Craig Maduro

        If we’re (aka I) going to beg AND choose, give me a real DH.

  • STONE COLD Austin Romine

    I’m 100% certain that a better option be it a DH or a Hitter who could play the corners or outfield in general will be available during the Trade deadline. Why not sign Ibanez ??? Say Damon continues to regress then you’d face the reality of once again releasing another fan favorite/clubhouse guy in Damon.

    Ibanez has no ties to the org other than Kevin Long and Alex Rodrieguez if he’s terrible he can easily get released in comparison to Damon.

    • Monterowasdinero

      Disagree. Damon is better-sign him. We shouldn’t sign the better guy because we might be more sad if he doesn’t work out because he used to play for us?

      Sound logic right there.

      • STONE COLD Austin Romine

        Okie if you say so.

        Sound logic is also acknowledging that there will be better options as the season progresses to fill that DH role.

      • Craig Maduro

        If we wanna talk about sound logic, let’s talk about the fact that Damon is 38 and has posted some of his worst numbers in the past two years. I know people have talked about the parks playing a role, but I think there is more to it…like him being 38 and well into his decline phase.

        If all options aside from Damon or Ibanez were exhausted, I’d go with Damon, but I won’t stop banging the “real DH” drum until the role is filled.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          Then someone needs to steal your drum.

          • Craig Maduro

            Someone has to find it first. And of all the commenters to ever post even one comment on RAB, I’d bet that 97% have never even the drum I’m banging on.

            I may take certain things lightly, but hiding fancy drums is not one of them.

          • Craig Maduro


            “seen the drum”

        • RetroRob

          For the heck of it, things to like about Johnny Damon, especially compared to Raul Ibanez:

          -118, 118, 105, 110 are his OPS+’s the last four years. He’s declining, but he’s hardly collapsing.

          -wRC+ likes him too, some years even more so than OPS+, with ten straight seasons over 100, including 109 the last two years.

          -He hit 16 HRs while playing his home games at the Trop last year.

          -He stole 19 bases last year, and for the ninth time in ten seasons his stolen-base % rats him as a net positive.

          -He’s slower than the Damon year back, but still runs well and is a heads-up baserunner. He is not going to be a negative in this area like Posada (or Ibanez).

          -He remains statistically one of the most difficult men in baseball history to double up.

          -His swing certainly works for Yankee Stadium, although I do believe that the wide home/road HR splits he showed in 2009 had as much to do with the timing of a couple of hot streaks.

          -He has almost no platoon split through his career, although he did have a bit of reverse one last season, which is probably randomness. This is important because if he’s starting against a RH’d pitcher, or brought into pinch hit against a RH’d pitcher, we don’t to go into a panic when the opposing manager goes and brings in one of his weak-ass LOOGY’s. In fact, it’ll be a strength, as opposed to a zero like Posada last year, or Ibanez now.

          -He historically takes more pitches than most batters, which fits right into the Yankee philsophy of grinding down starting pitchers to get to the pen.

          His walk percentage and his BABIP both took dips last year. One argue either way if this is a negative (age) or that he actually had a slightly unlucky year last season and can rebound to an evern strong one.

          This is not meant as a love letter to Damon. I don’t feel a strong desire to bring him back and we know the negatives, but I’m not quite as concerned about age with him. He seems to be grinding it out quite fine in his later 30s, and if he shows up at Yankee Stadium and sucks, then move on. Hard feelings should not enter the equation.

          • Monterowasdinero

            In other words-he is perfect. What was tough to take 3 years ago was Damon in LF. Even the binder knows that is no longer an issue.

    • nsalem

      Sorry this doesn’t make sense to me whatsoever. If Damon comes here and doesn’t play well it will be the fans calling for his release.

      • Mike Axisa

        Fans wanted him released in April and May of 2009. Look through our archives and read some of the comments from those months.

        • RetroRob

          They also wanted Johnny benched during the early postseason 2009.

          • cheddar

            The old Reds catcher? He must be in his 60s.

        • steve (different one)

          And wanted Matsui released in April.

    • CJ

      I don’t believe in waiting for the trade deadline. As an example, I would bet Carlos Quentin will be worth more in July than he cost San Diego. It doesn’t make sense but July is a sellers market teams will be desperate for a bat for playoff run or replacement for injury. Padres got him for peanuts.

  • tony

    I agree damon would be a great fit. He was built for Yankee Stadium. I want him now!

  • thenamestsam

    Unusable on defense seems a little harsh. Yeah he had a horrible UZR for last year, but we all know about 1 year UZR samples and nothing else jumps out in the same way. His total zone rating was fine as was his FRAA, and the fans scouting report seems more in line with those reports than his UZR number. He is bad, no doubt about it, but I think he’s still playable in a pinch.

    I think it might make sense to give a guy like him a minor league contract as a fall back in case you can’t land someone better through a trade or free agency, with the added bonus that signing him might drive down Damon’s price even further.

  • CJ

    if Ibanez produced exactly like last year and
    Played dh against rhp only it may be okay but he’s at the age where that could end any day now

  • Jerkface

    He is 40, isn’t it likely that last years production is a sign of things to come rather than the expectant bounce back to his season before it?

    • Jerkface

      If its a minor league deal sure, but I have a feeling if Ibanez signs its with the 2 million dollars they have allocated for the position

  • CJ

    I also read the meta were interested in ibanez and Damon as LH hitting OF. Insert Mets joke here. But wonder if that means Duda is on the move.

    • Craig Maduro

      I wondered the same thing, but it seems kind of foolish considering he was one of their few bright spots last season and could figure into their future plans. Of course it would all depend on the return.

  • Robert

    He is 39 , a pure DH only, add the fact PHI gets a comp pick if is signed no way.

    • steve (different one)

      They wouldn’t get the Yankees’ pick, so who cares?

    • Ted Nelson

      I don’t believe a pick is awarded if it’s a minor league deal.

  • RetroRob

    So we’re replacing Posada’s LH’d ABs with a lesser bat?

    Me no like.

    Overall, though, I don’t put much into these rumors. We will not know the true ninja move until it is announced, and this is not it.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Exactly. They’re going to be connected to every older guy out there looking for a job who looks like they could play the role of taking up a couple of hundred DH at-bats. Every single one. That’s how rumors work.

      You add to that the fact that the writers, and some fans, are dying to connect the Yankees to anyone of any sort of name value here, that you’re going to here about guys like Ibanez.

      Find a guy (still prefer the Damon reunion) who can take the at-bats that are needed when no one needs a half-day off and Andruw’s not playing, and do that well. That’s not asking for a whole lot.

      • RetroRob

        Right, in fact since we’re hearing about it makes me immediately question its validity!

        I wouldn’t be shocked if Ibanez were signed to a low-cost minor league contract if he was open to that, but even if he was, Cashman would keep working the market for a better option. He brought back Garcia and then kept working to the point where Garcia now may not even have a job.

  • steve (different one)

    Remember in 2010 when the Tigers were out of it, and the Red Sox were desperate because of all the injuries, and the Sox inquired if Damon would come back to Boston in a trade? And he said no? Well, that was awesome.

  • Monterowasdinero

    Damon can run, put the bat on the ball, hit for power at YS and hit in the clutch. He is the best option. He has been durable as well-certainly as a DH.

  • Dick

    Jason Giambi would make some sense if the cost of acquiring him is not high. He could probably DH well against RH pitchers and give the Yankees some decent power and OPS.

  • Grover

    Perhaps this is the year Girardi stops talking about it and actually puts Arod, Tex, Cano, Granderson, Swisher and even Jeter in the dh hole for a few games. I’m not in the least concerned about the lefty bat and would not mind seeing Dickerson, Nunez and Jones cover the first half of the season.

    • DM

      Oh c’mon — Girardi never talks about rotating his regulars in the DH hole!
      Just ask Ted; he’ll tell you!

      On a serious note, Cashman said he’s looking for “a bat”. He never said he’s looking to acquire a full-time DH. Now that one-way types like Montero and Posada are gone, I suspect that the bat they acquire will likely be left-handed, and DH only part-time like the others — not a clog in that spot. I’m sure all the starters you mention will see more time at DH this year than last; and of that group, A-Rod and Jeter getting the most.

  • Tom Zig

    No thanks.

  • Fin

    All of these guys would pretty much do nothing to affect the Yankees chances of winning the AL east next year or moving on in the playoffs. I really have no opinion on the matter. One old close to washed up player, is as good as the other. Seems Damon is least washed up.

  • Favrest

    Ibanez is a risk worth taking. He’s got that short in rf, and that would be his most important job. RF has revitalized dead bats before.