Report: Yankees in serious talks with Raul Ibanez


Via Ken Rosenthal, the Yankees are in serious talks with Raul Ibanez after showing interest in him last month. He’s willing to take less money to wear pinstripes. Joe looked at him as a DH option a few weeks ago, and his analysis still stands. Buster Olney says the Yankees could have a new left-handed DH within a week, whether it be Ibanez or someone like Johnny Damon or Hideki Matsui.

Categories : Asides, Hot Stove League


  1. Thomas Cassidy says:


    He sucks! Damon, please.

    • Jimmy Page says:

      I am all in on Ibanez. Damon will be a pain in the ass since he will not be a full time player.Ibanez can play Left field part time, Dh part time, and he has left handed power too.

      • Thomas Cassidy says:

        Ibanez is done, Damon is not. Damon is still a better fielder, a better hitter, and has more power.

        • Needed Pitching says:

          “a better hitter, and has more power”

          the role would be mostly to hit vs. RHP as DH, fielding really doesn’t matter. Neither would see much if any time in the OF.
          And Ibanez has outhit and out powered Damon vs. RHP in each of the last 2 years.

          2010-2011 vs. RHP:
          Ibanez – 267/337/448, .337 wOBA, 108 wRC+
          Damon – 262/333/405, .325, 103

          Neither one is a particularly strong option, but considering the role is mostly LH DH, Ibanez might actually be a slightly better choice.

      • Needed Pitching says:

        no reason for Ibanez to ever set foot in the OF

    • CJ says:

      He does suck. So does Damon. Let’s hope it’s a
      Minor league deal and another move is coming.

  2. Rookie says:

    Huh?!? Hopefully, they’re in serious talks about something other than him playing for the Yankees.

    The over-the-hill slugger spot is being handled ably by ARod with Jeter serving as very able backup.

  3. Leg-End says:

    Oh boy.

  4. Robinson Tilapia says:

    Watch the furor over a bench piece and part-time DH begin.

    • Jerkface says:

      The DH vs RHP is going to get 400 PAs, so its probably pretty important they get someone that can hit for the position. Ibanez is 40 and likely not going to bounce back from the slow bat speed he showed last year. This is going to be a Randy Winn type situation.

      • CJ says:

        Randy Winn is a good call. There’s way too much love for Andruw Jones here too. After 200 AB you’re pushing you’re luck with Jones. They need a 550 AB hitter at DH + position.

    • mustang says:

      LMAO…. so true.

    • Needed Pitching says:

      not really a bench piece. He would conceivably be the primary starting DH.

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        He will be the primary DH when:

        1) Alex Rodriguez doesn’t need a half-day off
        2) Mark Teixeira doesn’t need a half-day off
        3) Derek Jeter doesn’t need a half-day off
        4) Robinson Cano doesn’t need a half-day off
        5) Curtis Granderson doesn’t need a half-day off
        6) Nick Swisher doesn’t need a half-day off

        We’ll skip Gardner and, probably, Russell.

        7) You want the left-handed bat in there.

        • Needed Pitching says:

          the role is the same as Posada’s role evolved into last year when all of your conditions also applied, and Posada still got a ton of playing time. A solid LH DH could easily start 100 games or so and still accomplish all of the above conditions ( I’m not sure Ibanez still qualifies as a solid LH DH though)

          • Robinson Tilapia says:

            …..and, if we read the Cashman tea-leaves correctly (which I’m not saying any of us really, truly can), the team sought even greater DH flexibility than what was available to them last year.

            I say whoever they sign doesn’t start 100 games and that, even if that were to be the role, I’m not quite sure who is out there that meets the “part time DH” description that will be that much better than the likes of Ibanez, Damon, etc.

            • Needed Pitching says:

              I agree the free agents being talked about (Damon, Matsui, Ibanez) may not have enough left to warrant 100+ games, but if they could find somebody that raked RHP, 40-50 games is plenty of flexibility to keep guys rested with half days

            • CJ says:

              How about the tea leaves when Giardi said we need another bat the AL is gonna be really tough this year. Girardi never says shit publicly. Ibanez/Damon the type of bat needed to win a tough AL?

              • jsbrendog says:

                it is the gms job to assemble the team and it is the coach’s job to shut the fuck up and manage it to the msot wins possible.

            • CJ says:

              What about the cashman tea leaves when he said I’d like to trade excess pitching for a bat?

              • Sweet Dick Willie says:

                So because he hasn’t made a trade within a week of making the statement, you’re castigating him?

                And I know you won’t believe this, but the DH they start the season with isn’t necessarily the DH they go into the playoffs with.

                Shocking, I know.

                • Needed Pitching says:

                  don’t think that’s what he meant

                  I think he’s saying there is as much indication that the Yankees want to add a bat as there is that they want to keep the DH spot mostly open for flexiblity

                  I could be wrong though

                • CJ says:

                  I’m not “castigating” him at all. Just stating he may still may make a trade for a bat better than Ibanez since he said it publicly.

              • RetroRob says:

                And he may still trade excess pitching for a bat. He may not be happy with the prices being asked right now.

  5. Steve (different one) says:

    Damn, I want Damon, but it sounds like Damon is holding out for his $5M. I could see someone giving him $3M, but he probably isn’t getting $5M anywhere and Vlad certainly isn’t getting $5M.

    Ibanez will be cheap, but they’ll probably be looking to upgrade mid season.

    I wonder if these talks are as “serious” as the Bill Hall talks.

    • CJ says:

      Screw Damon, minor league deal for him too. He’s worth $2 million but he waited too long. Minor league deal $1 m to make the team and $1 m/100 PA

  6. JobaTheHeat62 says:

    well bye bye chris dickerson

  7. RetroRob says:

    Posada hit righthanders last year better than Ibanez. I’m hoping this is a tactic to get Damon to lower his price, because after the Yankees, I’m really not sure where Damon can go and get as much playing time.

  8. Cy Pineda says:

    Maybe they’re trying to light a fire under Damon’s butt.

    • mustang says:

      Hopefully. What’s with Damon anyway you would think by now he would have made enough money to just play somewhere he likes and by all accounts he loved his time in NY.

      • Billion$Bullpen says:

        You recall the guy Stanton who had a ponzi scheme? Supposedly both Damon and Manny had TONS of $ tied up with that guy. I know Damon has at least one ex wife and a trophy wife. Not hard to blow through tens of millions when you are about as smart as a guy who works the Nacho machine at 7-11 and have sharks and hookers types at every turn.

    • CJ says:

      Fuck him. Here’s how to light a fire under his butt “you don’t have a job asshole. You couldn’t play the OF 3 years ago so that’s half all the teams you can’t play for. Every other team has a DH and most are better than you.” see, I’m not sure Damon really understands any of that. He truly is an idiot.

  9. Regis says:


  10. Ed in SF says:

    Classic Cashman head fake. He’s turning the screws on Damon.

  11. tony says:

    I agree with ED. Damon knows the Yankees are really the only option for him. Lets sign him and get it done with

  12. Bryan V says:

    Ibanez > Damon

    Stop looking at things through pinstriped glasses and see the truth. If Damon never played for the Yankees nobody would be interested in the guy. He can’t play the field, and he actually had a reverse split vs. RHPs last season… making the fact he’s left-handed mean little. If you think he’s the same Johnny Damon from 2009 you’re kidding yourself.

    • Steve (different one) says:

      For the 100th time, what does it matter if he can’t play the field? It just isn’t important.

      • Bryan V says:

        100 times? I think you need to think a bit more before saying it again. The team will have 3-4 bench spots throughout the year (they’ve carried 13 pitchers in the past during certain stretches), why have a guy that can’t play the field? Girardi may want to pinch hit for…say… Gardner late in the game, and use Damon. If the team doesn’t score, or extends the game, Damon would have to be taken out since he can’t play the field, Gardner will be out, thus the offense and defense is weaker, and the bench is smaller for the rest of the game. I don’t think that’s something to wave off.

        • Needed Pitching says:

          you realize Ibanez is an even worse defender that Damon, right??

        • Steve (different one) says:

          And yet, American League teams have persevered with non-fielding DH’es for several decades now.

          Also, Damon “can’t play the field” as in “he’s not a starting caliber OFer”.

          But he is certainly physically capable of manning the position for a few innings in the rare situation you describe. He’s not David Ortiz. He absolutely COULD play the OF in a pinch.

    • G says:

      110 OPS+ in 2011 vs. 91… Guess who’s who.

      Citizen’s Bank is a hitter’s park (11th in park factor) while the Trop is an extreme pitcher’s park at 29th in park factor. That explains differences in splits.

      Damon played 17 games in the field last year. There’s no reason we’d need either him or Ibañez to play more than that. Damon can’t play the field as much, but he’s still a better fielder than Raul.

      I don’t see a case for Raul over Johnny. The only advantage he has is more power and that’s not something we need to add. Johnny gets on base more and that’s what would benefit us more.

    • RetroRob says:

      You’d also be kidding yourself if you think he’s the same Ibanez from 2009. He’s down near 200 OPS+ points in two years, and nearly 100 in one year, hitting.245/.289/.419/.707. Away from Citizens, he hit all of .210/.261/.317/.577.

      I have no problem if the Yankees sign him to a minor-league contract. Perhaps he can reverse the decline and have a productive season at 40 playing in the tougher AL and AL East. Seems unlikely, though, so I’d rather they bring him with little commitment and continue the search for something stronger.

  13. Avi says:

    I’d rather have Posada than Ibanez, but the truth is I’d rather have neither.

  14. James A says:

    Maybe the Yankees are giving Rosenthal fake scoops to put the pressure on Damon and Chavez, because the serious negotiations with Bill Hall have been going on for a week now. If Johnny can land $5 million somewhere god bless him, but he seems like the kind of guy who would want to come back to New York if he was deciding between lesser offers.

  15. Avi says:

    Isn’t a .289 OBP below replacement level? If so why is their even a discussion of this guy getting an MLB deal anywhere?

    • Bryan V says:

      That OBP is just a bit off from his career OBP, or what he did the past 3 seasons. He may not finish in the top 20 in MVP voting like he did in 2008, but there’s plenty of reason to expect a rebound.

      • Avi says:

        You think the dipping OBP just might have to do with his age? I’d imagine the average OBP from players’ age 40 seasons is substantially lower than their career OBP.

        • Bryan V says:

          The drop in numbers was drastic, and came in one season, which tells me a rebound (slight or not) is certainly possible.

          He’s getting worse every year? Yeah, but he hasn’t been falling anywhere near where he did from 2010 to 2011. Hell, right here on RAB (linked in this article), Raul is talked about as a fine alternative.

      • Thomas Cassidy says:

        No, there isn’t. He is getting worse every year, and he’s 40 years old. He’s entering a tougher league and division.

        He’s done.

      • Mark B. says:

        You cannot be anywhere near the age of 40 and say that comment…

  16. 28 this year says:

    It’s weird. I feel like Ibanez is not the guy we are going after. Usually Cash handles even the small things out of nowhere. Every time we hear a rumor, it is cause Cash has moved past it.

  17. CJ says:

    I hope it’s a minor league deal and he still makes a trade for a bat.

  18. Mark B. says:

    You get what you pay for when trying to buy cheap on an old has-been like Raul Ibanez. If you can’t get Johnny D below his $5 million price, then give the spot to an even cheaper Jorge Vazquez, then see how he does until the trading deadline. You can’t tell me he doesn’t have as much, if not more, upside than a washed up Ibanez!

    • Thomas Cassidy says:

      He has a lower upside. He’s a quad A player, just like Shelly Duncan and Cody Ransom.

      • Mark B. says:

        Unlike the other two, Jorge hasn’t been given the chance to prove himself. Personally I’d rather see them sign Chavy and him split time with A Rod in the DH spot, but that’s just me…

        • Thomas Cassidy says:

          He has to earn a chance to prove himself, and he hasn’t. He’s Mark Trumbo in AAA.

          I’d pass on Chavez. I like him, but he can’t hit for shit.

        • IVoted4Kodos says:

          He hasn’t been given a chance in the Majors, but he’s been given plenty of AAA plate appearances and has responded with a comically high K rate and comically low walk rate.

    • CJ says:

      This strategy leads to Carlos Quentin for Betances in July.

    • CP says:

      I think Vazquez could absolutely be the DH this season…. if he were a left handed hitter.

  19. Monterowasdinero says:

    Hope this is just a tactic to get Damon to come down on his demand$. Sad that we have to pinch pennies for a valuable 400 ab bat. Oh the massive ARod/Jeter/Tex contracts……

  20. AC says:

    Damon is probably looking for more $$. Damon wants at-bats at this point. He’s what 200+ hits from 3000. Ibanez wants more 1 shot with a winner and not going to say the Pirates for 4 mill.

  21. bonestock94 says:

    Hard to see him being anything more than average vs RHP. I guess that’s ok for a platooning #8 or 9 batter.

  22. AC says:

    Like I read in an earlier post maybe this is a ploy to get Damon to come down on price just a bit if Cash rather have him all along over Ibanez. We don’t need FT DH. Like I said b4 Damon wants at-bats. If he can get them and be on a winner with shot at postseason he will take it. Let’s see how this shakes out.

  23. ThatstheMelkyMesaWaysa says:

    When did we start believing anything Rosenthal says?

  24. pistol pete says:

    Damon is better than Ibanez. He runs better, can play the of better than Ibanez in a pinch, hits leftys significantly better, has proven he can play in NY and I think it’s important that Damon was better last year and years matter when you hit 40. Damon’s a little younger. I’d take Damon, Ibanez might be done.

  25. Tomm says:

    He is the second coming of Randy Winn.

    • CP says:

      Maybe. Or maybe he’d be the left handed version of Marcus Thames.

      If it’s a minor league deal then there’s really no downside to bringing him in.

  26. Plank says:

    SG at RLYW thinks it’s not a bad idea.


    I’d still rather have Russell Branyan.

  27. Rich in NJ says:


  28. Bronx Byte says:

    Damon has made good money throughout his career. He could easily tell Scott Boras that he’ll take less money to play where he knows he’ll be happy and is familiar with the AL East.
    Squeeze one more decent year out of Damon and bid farewell. He makes a pitcher work and is still a factor on the basepaths.

    • Plank says:

      That could have been said during any of his prior free agency periods. He has shown nothing other than wanting the most money possible, which is fine.

      His proximity to 3000 hits is also a strike against him signing to be a platoon player, too.

    • TheMissile says:

      In brief without all the stats, I agree. He also has proven to play well in NY.

  29. Boomer's Boy says:

    Simple solution here. Trade Hughes to Pittsburgh for Garrett Jones.

    • Plank says:

      What would that be the solution to? You want him to DH?

      • Boomer's Boy says:

        No I want him to pitch. Ofcourse he will DH. Strong Left handed bat, no pressure in the Yankees line-up and will have some protection. 30 Years old, career 254 BA/323 OBP/450 SLG/772 OPS/108OPS+
        Numbers will improve in the better line-up and he makes nothing.

        • Plank says:

          I’ve never heard that a player would hit better with the Yankees instead of the Pirates. Where do you get that from? As a DH, he wouldn’t be an improvement over what they can expect from the position already.

          And he does cost something: 2 years of Phil Hughes.

          • Boomer's Boy says:

            How do you never hear of a batter, especially a power bat doing better in a line-up where he has other hitters around him?As a LH DH in Yankee stadium he would be an upgrade. Phil Hughes, was a flash in the pan. I hate to say it as a Yankee fan, but nothing seems to battle that point. He had a great 1st half in 2010 and has been mediocre since. Injuries included, he can certainly be traded for a bat.

  30. Jonathan says:

    I’d rather have Jorge back. As just a left handed hitter he was plenty good last year. Oh well. Poor timing and it’d be tough to get him to take $1MM after earning $13MM the past few.

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