Sherman: Framework for Ibanez deal in place for weeks


Via Joel Sherman, the framework for a contract between the Yankees and Raul Ibanez is in place, and has been for weeks. The team had to make sure they didn’t take on a left-handed DH-type in an A.J. Burnett trade before moving forward with the deal, however. Ibanez will earn a $1M base salary with incentives, but the contract has not been agreed upon yet and is nowhere close to official. The Yankees do have an open 40-man roster spot after the Burnett trade, but I sure hope they don’t give any potential DH a big league deal. At least fake a competition with Russell Branyan before committing to someone.

Meanwhile, Sherman also says the Yankees and Eric Chavez are also talking about a one-year deal worth $1M with incentives, but that won’t happen until Ibanez is signed at the very least. These two deals seem inevitable, though I don’t love either. Then again, it’s not like any of the other DH-types really stand out from pack.

Categories : Asides, Hot Stove League


  1. bonestock94 says:

    Seems like a lot of agonizing over some low cost, minor signings. Then again it’s the details that matter at this point I guess.

  2. Granderslam says:

    Better than $5 million for Damon. As much as I would love a pinstriped reunion.

  3. Monterowasdinero says:

    We go from a slow 13M, 40 year old DH to a slow 1M, 40 year old DH.

    Fi$cally $ound.

    • CJ says:

      Surprised you left out the slow 22 year old for league minimum.

    • Rookie says:

      It’s only fiscally sound if Ibanez manages an OPS north of .800. Otherwise, it’s being pennywise and pound foolish.

      And Ibanez’s performance away from Philadelphia the past couple of years doesn’t give me great confidence there. But perhaps the friendly right field fence will make his home performance so good that he can suck on the road and still be a smart addition. I figure Cashman and his analysts are far more likely to make the right decision there than I would be.

      • Needed Pitching says:

        none of the current DH candidates are likely to OPS over .800 – about league average is about the best they can hope for vs. RHP

        Ibanez only needs to be not brutal vs. RHP until they can get a legit righty masher at the deadline

  4. AC says:

    Surprised to hear that the signing of Ibanez is on minor league deal. Maybe Ibanez camp holding out for guaranteed deal? Or haggling over incentives most likely. Being this late in offseason its minor league deals at this point except if your Damon … No way Boras lets him sign minor league lets hope you make the team deal…

  5. GardnergoesYardner says:

    Ibanez is going to screw the Yanks. Roster spot should go to someone more deserving. This guy hasn’t played well in years, save for that 2009 first half in Philly, and he’s atrocious in the field. I would much rather have Damon, if only for the fact that he could play the field.

    Also, why don’t they have the money for Damon now that Burnett’s gone? Weren’t they going to use the $8 million or so on a DH anyway? Why are they saying they can’t even sign Ibanez and Chavez?

    • Ed says:

      They went over their intended budget when they signed Kuroda. Getting rid of Burnett just gets them back around where they originally wanted to be.

    • CJ says:

      Ibanez could be a useful player, professional hitter as good or slightly better than Posada 2011. I still think they need something more.

    • Rookie says:

      I heard someone tonight on the radio (maybe John Heyman?) say that maybe one reason why the Yankees prefer Ibanez over Damon is that he won’t get upset if he only gets 200 or 250 ABs, whereas 200-250 at bats might frustrate Damon in his quest for 3,000 hits before he hangs up his cleats.

      That makes sense to me — although, as others have pointed out, Damon still seems to value getting his price over where he plays. I guess that’s one of the reasons why Boras is his agent.

      That said, as I keep saying, based on his putrid performance away from his hitter Phriendly home park the past two years, Ibanez’s OPS has been putrid.

      • Monterowasdinero says:

        I disagree with this. Damon should play everyday as he did with Tampa and get 500 abs. He can sit when ARod/Jeter need a DH day. Have Andruw play left against lefties and Gardy can come in late in those games for offense (pinch run) or defense. This will give him and his legs a rest over the long season. Johnny’s quest for 3K is a GOOD thing not bad.

  6. Robert says:

    Disappointed that they are not giving a chance to Jorge Vaz. or Maxwell.

  7. AC says:

    Tgey are set on adding a lefty DH / OF type. Vazquez is killing AAA and wouldn’t be surprised to see him have a strong spring again. There had to be something why he’s not being given a stronger look.

    • Joe says:

      @AC the reason Vazquez will never play a ML game with the Yankees is he can’t hit a breaking ball! Everyone look at his minor league K Rate and tell me how much you would love to see him in the Yankees lineup it would be awful to watch. He is your AAAA player

    • brent says:

      its really just three things.

      A) he’s a terrible defender
      B) he has an insane AAA k% and since K% often scales up pretty reliably you are literally looking at a guy who may strike out in 40% of his ABs.
      C) he absolutely refuses to take a BB.

      These three things add up to a 30 year old guy who seems likely to end up with a 215/288/420 type line with no defensive value. Not to weird in my opinion.

  8. Robinson Tilapia says:

    Not the most exciting signing on earth, but I agree with Axisa that agonizing over that aging vet was going to pick up the DH slop at-bats is a bit silly. He comes cheap.

  9. jsbrendog says:

    i want to yell because eric chavez fucking sucks at baseball

  10. Granderslam says:

    I want to know why the Phillies three-team trade (Abreu to Yankees) fell through/never manifested.

  11. Dan in Atlanta says:

    Money. The Phils and the Angels are at max payroll. The swap would have had all the original teams paying the same salaries (Phils 8.5 for Blanton, Angles 9 for Abreu and Yanks 16 for Burnett, along with the Phils needing the Yanks to eat almost all of his 2013 salary, lest the Yanks have the financial advantage in the Hamels sweepstakes).

  12. Brian S. says:

    Remember the “bats are so much easier to find than pitching!” narrative that was espoused after the Montero trade? Well we now have decrepit Raul Ibanez as our DH.

    • Needed Pitching says:

      and how many quality starters costing 1M are available now? … none
      hitters are easier to find, but waiting this late in the offseason and only being willing to spend 1M makes it much more difficult

    • Ed says:

      When you’ve got a budget of $1m on February 19th, you’re getting a crappy player regardless of the position you’re trying to fill.

      If we were trying to fill a rotation spot now, we’d be looking at guys like Doug Davis, Sergio Mitre, Scott Kazmir, and Brandon Webb. I’d rather have Ibanez or Damon than any of those guys.

    • Jesse says:

      Thing is, “Bats are so much easier to find than pitching” is actually true.

  13. CJ says:

    ‘Help Wanted: DH’ sign still hangs.

  14. DM says:

    “but I sure hope they don’t give any potential DH a big league deal.”

    If they were willing to sign minor league deals, there would be no reason to wait for Burnett’s money to come off. They could’ve been signed as easily as Branyan if that were the case. These guys are signing big league deals. And despite everyone’s distaste for Ibanez, he’s not in the Branyan category. Ibanez is probably haggling over incentive details and a potential bigger money ceiling if he winds playing more than they anticipate. He’s taking a huge pay cut as it is.

  15. brent says:

    honestly seems to me the best move is pocket the $$. Play Branyan and Dicekrson and wait for the inevitable Warren for Hafner mid june salary dump.

    This lineup looks real good and the DIFFERENCE in offensiive value over the course of 175-200 ABs between Russel Branyan/Dickerson and Ibanezs cannot POSSIBLY be more than .25 wins at best. Why bother? Save the money.

    I am however absolutely on the Chavez bandwagon. He at least has a bit of upside to me and offers true defensive value.

    But Ibanez?: I mean it won’t bother me but I’m just as cool with rolling with Branyan and seeing what shakes loose in June.

    • Rookie says:

      You would definitely think that an attractive DH candidate would become available by the trade deadline. Maybe Cashman is thinking that Ibanez is a band aid to get by until the trade deadline and an emergency solution if nothing good materializes at that point.

  16. DSFC says:

    Ugh…..Ibanez is horrible. Waste of a roster spot.

  17. pistol pete says:

    Ibanez will be the 2012 version of Randy Winn. He’s in a serious downturn in his career. His numbers lately are horrific especially away from Philly. The Yanks will share the DH between Jones and whoever Nunez is subbing for,ie Jeter Arod or even Cano. At the trade deadline someone will become available. As for Chavez I just don’t get it. Nunez can sub for all three infield spots except 1b and Tex rarely misses a game. In a pinch Swisher can play 1b pretty well. I wouldn’t waste a spot on Chavez but no worry he’ll be on the DL most of the time.

  18. Bryan V says:

    More Damon crap… unreal. Not a single “expert” has given any reason as to why Damon would be better. Besides the silly “we know he can handle NY” thing, which carries zero water with me.

    Anyway, Yankees.com isn’t a great source for anything, but they do keep the rosters up to date really well. And according to them there are only 39 players on the 40-man roster. So there is room for one more without making a move. Which seems pretty simple to figure out after the Burnett trade, as AJ was on the 40-man while the two guys the Yankees got in return are not.

    • pistol pete says:

      Damon’s not great anymore but better than Ibanez. Plus he can still run, still hit leftys if called upon to do so and believe it or not is a better fielder than Ibanez. Cashman has it in for Damon. Anrruw Jones might be better than both of those guys. His knee is better, he’s in better shape and really had a good 2nd half last year.

    • Jesse says:

      Let’s look at the numbers, shall we?

      Johnny Damon vs Raul Ibanez 2011…

      Damon: 647 PAs, 16 HRs, 19 SBs, .261/.326/.418, .328 wOBA, 109 wRC+, 1.5 WAR
      Ibanez: 575 PAs, 20 HRs, 2 SBs, .245/.289/.419, .306 wOBA, 90 wRC+, -1.3 WAR

      vs RHP 2011…

      Damon: 457 PAs, 10 HRs, .255/.314/.401, .313 wOBA, 99 wRC+
      Ibanez: 437 PAs, 16 HRs, .256/ .307/.440, .322 wOBA, 101 wRC+

      As you can see, Damon is the better overall player if you look at the overall numbers. But since we’d only need one of these guys as a DH for RHP, you may have to put more merit into the numbers vs RHP, which Ibanez has the edge in.

      The reason why the Yankees like Ibanez more is because he’s cheaper and can play the field (although he had a -21.6 UZR/150, -16 DRS, and -0.4 dWAR last season in 1196.2 innings). Damon, however, is asking for $5M (I believe), and has only played 352.1 innings in the field the last two seasons combined.

  19. pistol pete says:

    After I posted I went over and read the Philly blogs. The concensus is Ibanez is a real good guy who has kept himself in the best possible shape but as a group they feel he’s done. Can’t catch up to fastballs anymore, can’t run, and can’t field. Great sign ash.

  20. IBelieveInAJ says:

    “At least fake a competition with Russell Branyan before committing to someone.”

    Russell Branyan. The only man every to hit the upper deck at the new stadium and they’re giving him not one shot to be the left-handed DH. I don’t get it.

  21. IBelieveInAJ says:

    Mhmm yes he did I forgot about that! Wasn’t that the game that they came all the way back from behind only to lose with the winning run on base in the 9th?

  22. Mike E says:

    So the Yankees freed up at least $5m this year to sign Ibanez or Chavez to $1m based deals. Something isn’t adding up.

    • Jesse says:

      They could be keeping some money stashed away so they can pick someone up at the trade deadline if need be.

    • Needed Pitching says:

      Signing Kuroda put them over budget. Trading AJ put them back on budget.

      Or they are saving money for a deadline deal, since none of the current free agent options serve their needs well.

      • Mike E says:

        I don’t buy the budget thing.
        The team is set at around $200m right now, while they had $7 million extra in 2011 and $13m extra in 2010. Even in 2005 they spent $208 million.

        • Needed Pitching says:

          if they sign both Ibanez and Chavez for combined 2-3M, they’ll be about 208M (using Cot’s numbers) which is about where they usually end up
          Their regular payroll will likely end up slightly higher than last year, and their luxury tax bill will definitely be higher this year

  23. James says:

    I like Chavez, but it doesn’t feel right. Just a few months ago he was ready to call it quits and, if some of the people above are right, now he’s insisting on a major league contract? This is a guy who hasn’t been healthy enough to get 200 plate appearances in four years but he’s making demands? Far be it from me to know what really motivates a player, but I gotta wonder if his heart is really in it. It’s almost like he doesn’t want to compete—just wants the job for the team he wants handed to him. I’m sorry, but third basemen who hit .263/.320/.356 in under 200 plate appearances HAVE to compete. He was exactly replacement level last year.

    I understand that he’s a good guy who left a positive impression on the team and can still pick it at third, but I’m pretty sure we could’ve found a better caddy for A-Rod at third, one who’s more durable and possibly more interested in continuing a career. Casey Blake comes to mind.

    Then again, agonizing over a third baseman is indeed a little silly. Especially if Nunez can figure out third.

  24. Tom says:

    It’s worth noting that league minimum is 480K these days (so somebody will get paid at least that much)

    So for all those folks claiming “save the money”, if Ibanez gets a 1mil base salary you are talking about saving 520K… I hear that buys a lot at the trade deadline and will likely be a key factor in whether or not the Yankees go after someone.

    The only way they waste 1 mil is if he doesn’t make the team at all, they DFA him (and eventually release him) and he basically retires. If someone picks him up they would be on the hook for league min and the Yankees would pick up the difference (again, back to “wasting” 520K)

    I understand the arguments from a performance perspective, but the money argument is more or less a non-starter.

  25. Rich in NJ says:

    Neither Chavez nor Ibanez will finish the season on the ML roster, imo.

    • Monterowasdinero says:

      But Damon would. Negotiate, Cash!

      • Needed Pitching says:

        not sure that would be a good thing. The Yankees could really use another big bat vs. RHP. None of the current free agents even remotely fit that description. It probably makes more sense to use a cheap placeholder now and then look bigger near the deadline.

  26. Countryclub says:

    Buster tweeted the deal is done pending a physical.

  27. The Manchine says:

    Anyone else rather grab Blake DeWitt instead of Chavez?

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