Raul Ibanez will decline arbitration today, according to Larry LaRue of the Tacoma News Tribune blog. Says LaRue,
"The Phillies, Cubs, Mets, Rays, Yankees and a half-dozen other teams are pursuing Ibanez, who last year made $5.5 million. He wants a multi-year contract, and the Mariners weren’t in position to offer him one."
LaRue praises Ibanez for his work ethic and propensity to challenge, in a positive way, both young and veteran players in the clubhouse.
This was expected since at least ten other teams have interest in Ibanez who will certainly receive a number of multi-year offers. As a Type A free agent, the Mariners will gain 2 draft picks for him.