King: Yankees continue to talk to Raul Ibanez

It's official: Ichiro's back for two more years
Fitting Ichiro & Youkilis into the lineup

Via George King: Brian Cashman confirmed that the team is still speaking to Raul Ibanez and his agent about a possible return next season. “We are talking to Raul Ibanez and his agent.,” said the GM, in case you didn’t believe me.

Last month we heard the Yankees had “significant interest” in bringing Ibanez back as the left-handed half of a DH platoon only. Of course, they said the same exact thing last offseason, but plans have a way of changing. Given the offensive hit they’re expected to take in right field and behind the plate, I really want the team to pursue a bigger bat for the DH spot. Raul’s a great guy and he hit some amazingly clutch homers, but that 102 wRC+ just isn’t doing it for me.

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It's official: Ichiro's back for two more years
Fitting Ichiro & Youkilis into the lineup
  • Jersey Joe

    I. DO. NOT. WANT. RAUL.

    Ya. I said it.

  • Guest

    as much as i do no want no part of ibanez he fits the yankees well. hes gonna be just for 1 year and he’s old as dirt.

  • MB923

    I like Raul, but I think (actually I don’t think, I Know) this team needs Hairston much more. Of course having both would be a good thing to.

    Makes me wonder what the Yankees do against LHP though if they had both players. I assume Ibanez would be benched, Hairston would be in the OF for Ichiro or Gardner, and maybe Nunez in the lineup somewhere, like DH or possibly once in a while at 3B with Youk being the DH?

  • http://RAB YankinCO

    They continue to “bring out the dead.” Why?

  • Craigory

    Whether or not he’s the starting DH the Yankees need to bring the guy back. He proved invaluable coming in cold off the bench and that’s about the rarest commodity out there. I say sign him to DH every now and then and pinch hit.

  • Brian S.

    This is dumb as fuck. Sign Bourn for three years so I can have fun watching him steal bases.

    • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula

      And then when you can’t afford Cano next year what do you suggest?

      • Brian S.

        We can afford him. Just replace Granderson, Pettitte, and Rivera with farm homies.

    • FIPster Doofus

      Pass. You can watch Gardner and Ichiro steal bases.

      • Brian S.

        Why not all three? And Nunez makes four. Get it done Cash.

        • FIPster Doofus

          No thanks.

        • Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle AKA True Yankee(TM)

          Ask Seattle how well speed/defense based teams do in modern baseball.

          • Need Pitching & Hitting

            Not really a fair comparison. Add Cano, Granderson, Tex, ARod/Youk to that speed/defense, and you could probably do fine. I’d take Bourn over Ibanez any day, especially if his market dries up and they could get him on a reasonable 3 year deal.

            • Ted Nelson

              I’d take Bourn all else equal (defense), but for the Yankees I would take Ibanez probably. Gardner’s production on both sides of the ball is very similar to Bourn’s. Defensively Ichiro is still pretty good, and Granderson should be ok in LF. Ibanez is as good or better an offensive producer as Bourn–2011 is the only time he’s been worse–and should cost a small fraction the price. I don’t think the defensive upgrade of moving Granderson to DH and Bourn to LF is worth the money, personally. If just DH Ibanez with a RH platoon guy to complement him.

              • Cris Pengiucci

                I agree with you, Ted. Ibanez should be fine as a LH DH, playing aginst RH pitching. He likely slowed down las season due to the amount of time he spent playing LF. At the right price, I’d take the chance on him again in ’13. If there’s someone that is likely to produce better numbers in that role at a similar price, OK, go after them. But I don’t think bringing Ibanez back as the LH DH is too bad of an idea. (They do need to compliment him with a RH DH that hits lefties well and best scenario is someone that can actually play an OF position adequately.)

                • Ted Nelson

                  Yeah. While I’m not dying to have him back, I think Ibanez is adequate. I also wouldn’t be that excited to add Bourn at FA $ when the Yankees already have him at arb $ in Gardner with two other starting OFs signed up. Guess it depends what they can get for Granderson (or Gardner) in a trade.

                  Early in the season I think that Jeter and a 4th OF could complement him at DH, then A-Rod/Youk would probably become the primary DH with Ibanez complementing them.

                  I might take Berlman over Ibanez, though I don’t know what he’ll cost.

      • Ted Nelson

        Yeah, I would argue Gardner is as good as or better than Bourn.

        • Cris Pengiucci

          But Bourn has a longer track record and has been out due to injuries less frequently. Don’t think that’s worth the cost difference, however.

          • Ted Nelson

            Gardner’s done it for three seasons (09-11) and didn’t miss much time before 2012 I don’t think (150+ games in 2010/11 and was a part-time player in 2009). Once you’ve done the same thing 3 years in a row for your only three MLB seasons I don’t know how much a longer track record adds to the data. And Bourn’s only been around 2 years longer, with two down offensive years to his credit… So I don’t know that the track record is even longer.

            Bourn has a little more pop, which I guess one could argue would improve in YS, and he’s actually played CF consistently while we just assume Gardner could. Still, for the money difference I’d take Gardner.

    • forensic

      Eh, he’s alright, but he’s going to be vastly overpaid, at least it would seem.

  • Rich in NJ

    Yup, pass on Ibanez.

  • forensic

    Not the end of the world, but I’m also in the group that would prefer to skip the second year of him.

  • Yankeefan

    we need some right handed pop we have enough lefties in this lineup i hope seattle trades montero back to the yankees.

  • dan gen

    189,189,189,189, r u sick of it…

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa
      • radnom

        If that were actually enforced, all the regular commenters would be banned for their constant repetition of (unfunny) memes.

        • forensic

          While I can agree with you on the proliferation of annoying memes all the time, at least it’s not the same damn thing in every single one of their comments. ‘dan gen’ has gone above and beyond…

        • Jim Is Bored

          That’s completely different and you know it.

          Repeating a meme can be relevant in different scenarios and as a response to different comments. They help provide continuity and a sense of community once you’re in on the joke. Whether they’re more of a positive or negative is a real debate, but they absolutely do not violate #10.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            This site was built on memes that were funny to some and not as much to others. If anything, combing through a thread from three years ago as an outsider would have left you even more dumbfounded. Oaktag, boversimplified, burrito.

            • I am not the droids you’re looking for…

              There were also those 69 sessions about opening beers.

            • MannyGeee

              BURRITOZ!!!!!

            • Jim Is Bored

              Oh I know, I was here, lurking or posting occasionally under various names. It’s intimidating to outsiders, which is why I posited it could be harmful, but it’s a completely different conversation.

              I still find myself calling things a boversimplification.

          • MannyGeee

            #EddardWorld

            (please don’t ban me)

  • Pistol Pete

    We need a catcher, AJ is still out there and I wonder if he’d take a high salary one year deal. He hit 278 last year and slugged over 500 with 27 hr’s, huge numbers for a catcher. He’d love to hit everyday in NY and fits the veteran one year deals the Yanks are seeking to be competitive in 2012. A line up of Ichiro Jeter Cano Tex Grandy Youkalis Pierzyniski Nunez and Gardy gives good left right balance and serious speed from eight thru two.

    • forensic

      Eh, I don’t think the upgrade over the current options would be that huge to be worth a high salary deal.

      I’d almost rather keep some of that money available should a mid-season upgrade be necessary at another (or that) position and there’s a better option available.

    • dkidd

      i don’t trust aj’s 2012 numbers. i’m not saying he cheated but… he cheated

    • Ted Nelson

      Too bad the 2012 season is over.

  • Laz

    Honestly think it might be smart to give Jeter few days a week at dh early on in the season, then once arod comes back you are completely set at dh.

    I’d rather at least see if you can pay Berkman big money to come DH for us, and he can still play a bit of rf. Wouldn’t hold up everyday, but if you only put him out there vs tough lhp while ichiro sits that works.

    • forensic

      Berkman’s been worse every single year of his career against lefties than righties, with most of those years having a huge split and being downright bad against them.

  • endlessjose

    Is every news we get has to be about someone in there near 40’s?

    • MannyGeee

      First Obama, then this! So much older guys!!!!

  • fat jeter

    This offseason feels like a big rowboat race and we only have one paddle.

    • Ted Nelson

      Thing is that the Yankees had a huge headstart in the race. They’ve won something like 15 and 22 more gamesthan the BJs the last two seasons. The Rays can’t afford a boat and are just treading water, having lost Shields, Upton, and Keppinger. Keppinger’s production should be bested by Longoria, but it will take a little bit of luck for (presumably) Matt Moore and Wil Myers to step up to heights they have never come close to before to adequately replace the production of Shields and Upton. Orioles haven’t upgraded and their luck patching holes with bubble gum should run out (Machado and/or Bundy might step up, but these guys outperformed their pythagorean by 11 wins). Like the BJs the Sox started a mile back of the Yankees.

      • fat jeter

        I like your optimism, Ted. I just don’t share it. I am not a big believer in projecting last year’s performance into next year’s reality and I am talking league-wide here, not division-wide. I don’t care about winning the division. I hold the organization to its word, especially when it says nonsense like world series or nothing every year. Despite all the league leading accolades last year, we were terrible in the second-half and abysmal in the playoffs. We’ve done nothing to get better. I keep reading stupid shit like “good thing the season doesn’t start tomorrow”. Let’s pretend it does. We are not a better team. Far from it. We are much, much worse. It’s all meaningless if we somehow win the division and a team like Detroit hands us our ass in 4 again. I thought the point of the off-season was to get better, not keep pace.

        • I am not the droids you’re looking for…

          I think the issue is that part of the point of the offseason is to finish the offseason. Your opinion would be much easier to both form and assess at that time,, though I get the frustration.

        • Ted Nelson

          Not sure what I expected from a guy who took his handle from tabloid pictures…

          I don’t think it’s optimism. I just think it’s reality. The Yankees were a better team than the rest of their division coming into the off-season. It’s not about who did the most to get better over the off-season, it’s about who has the best roster. Just ignoring the starting point of each team makes absolutely no sense.

          They won 56% of their games in the second half. A 90.5 win pace. If that’s what you consider terrible, I don’t know what to tell you.

          I don’t think your view meshes much with reality. The season doesn’t start tomorrow. That’s not bullshit at all, just the truth. At this time last year the Yankees had done virtually nothing… no Kuroda, no Pineda, no Ibanez… there’s a lot of off-season left. How is their team that much worse than last year? Martin accounted for 2 wins by fWAR. Swisher 4. They’ll be adding Gardner (5 wins), Youkilis, hopefully more than 12 starts of Pettitte (who wasn’t out with an arm problem), Mo (who is much better than Soriano), Joba…

          You’re not going to safe-guard against playoff sweeps. It happens. That exact same Detroit team got their asses handed to them by SF in 4, too. And SF does not have a particularly good offensive team. They just got hot at the right time. The Yankees won a playoff series, so it’s not that they fell apart.

          You don’t just take last year’s results and project them forward. However, past performance (not just last season) is a pretty good predictor of future success in baseball, and you can use some basic statistical analysis (the science of statistics, not just baseball stats) to get a decently accurate projection.

    • MannyGeee

      Some teams are throwing huge paddles on a sheet of plywood and calling it a rowboat.

  • fat jeter

    This offseason feels like a big rowboat race and we only have one paddle.

  • Monterowasnotdinero

    The 2013 Downsiders. A good chance to brush up on injuries that occur to aging athletes during a long season.

    Tweaks, twinges, inflammations, pulls, sprains, tears, breaks

    It will be a good year for MRI revenue….

    • LarryM., Fl.

      Most of the team is on Medicare. So cost factor on the MRI should be reduced.

    • Cris Pengiucci

      Injuries seem to happen to all teams. Granted, it’s a bit more likely with older players, but the Yankees still have more depth than most teams and baring something catastophic to 2 or more players, they should be OK. Oh, wait, that happened last season (Gardner & Pettitte, one old, one not, neither due to age) and they won the division. Not saying they’d do as well this season in the same scenario, but let’s not pretend these injuries will happen and will cause them to fall apart. We just don’t know yet. Play the games.

      • Ted Nelson

        As long as the two aren’t Cano and CC. A-Rod’s hand/wrist didn’t seem to be age related (though hip probably was), and Mo’s injury may or may not have been.

    • MannyGeee

      Toronto had a very very young team last season that got blown completely out of the water due to injuries.

      Also, our youngest position player didn’t see action all summer due to injury, and our youngest projected starter didn’t make it out of the spring.

      But nah, old guys…

  • Rivera Venue Blues

    Has Hideki Matsui written all over him. Was super clutch for us last year but seems more prudent to quit him a year early than a year too late especially with the Yankee’s limited budget of late.

  • Chas131

    Did heyman say the yanks are going with romine? Wouldn’t Bubba Crosby be a better choice?

  • http://www.twitter.com/vinnyscafuto Vinny S.

    He had the majority of his plate appearances as an outfielder, so SSS warning as usual, but his numbers as a DH/PH are significantly better.

  • mitch

    Please no ibanez. He had a great couple weeks to end the season, but let’s not forgot he looked like candidate to get left off the postseason roster heading into the last few weeks of the season.

    The DH/emergency fielder roster spot is the best opportunity to add punch to a declining offense without spending a lot.

  • http://RAB YankinCO

    STOP FISHING ON THE BOTTOM!!

    • Got Heeeeeeem

      DEEP SEA FISHIN’ YEAHH.