Discussion: Raul Ibanez

Raul Ibanez is in the second season of a three-year, $31.5MM deal with the Phillies, and so far 2010 isn't treating him as well as the first half of 2009 did. Last season, Ibanez got off to a torrid start, hitting 340/.399/.716 with 19 homers in his first 50 games. This year, the 37-year-old has yet to find his stroke, posting a slash line of just .221/.341/.338.

Ibanez is a notoriously streaky hitter, and it's possible another hot stretch like last year's is right around the corner. It's only May 1st and there are plenty of reasons to believe he'll right the ship, such as his .341 OBP, which is right in line with his career rate (.346) and his 2009 rate (.347). If Ibanez's struggles continue, however, it's a cause of concern for the two-time defending National League champs. In addition to this year's slow start, the outfielder finished 2009 by hitting 228/.313/.446 after those aforementioned first 50 games. Ibanez will turn 38 this month, and one has to wonder if his age is starting to catch up to him.

As a piece on ESPN.com's MLB Rumors page notes, Ibanez's leash will be long. The Phillies owe him $11.5MM in each of the next two seasons, and won't want to pay him that money to sit on the bench. Plus, their alternatives aren't overly appealing — in limited playing time, Ben Francisco has also struggled this year, and prospect Domonic Brown is probably not quite major league ready.

So what are the Phillies' options if Ibanez's numbers don't improve? Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer suggested that the club's best bet of retaining Jayson Werth beyond this year involved moving Ibanez to help clear salary space, but in addition to the $23MM he's owed, Ibanez's no-trade protection is problematic. Can you see the Phillies attempting to make any roster moves, or will this end up being a non-issue for the team?

20 Responses to Discussion: Raul Ibanez Leave a Reply

  1. Ferrariman 5 years ago

    zero chance. why would he leave? he’s getting his playing time..playing for a contender..on the downside to his career and has yet to win a WS ring…probably wants to stay in the field so he can keep value and not be a DH. i don’t see why he would waive his NTC

  2. ugen64 5 years ago

    Non-issue IMO. The Phillies have so much offense throughout their lineup that they can afford to play Ibanez everyday even if he’s struggling, hoping he’ll eventually come good, like they did with Rollins. Even if they decide to get rid of him, who would they acquire to replace him? It’s not like they have a ton of salary space (and if Ibanez is still struggling at the deadline, the Phils would have to eat a lot of his contract, while if he’s doing well, why would you trade him?).

    • Yankees10 5 years ago

      I agree their lineup is so strong around him he doesnt cause a huge problem.

      • TytheSportsGuy 5 years ago

        What about Ibanez for Javy Vazquez?

        • Yankees10 5 years ago

          No thanks

          • jwsox 5 years ago

            why is your name yankees10 if you dont want to get rid of javi? as a whitesox fan i agree with ozzie javi is not a big game pitcher…ie his bad bad bad start..he is the only guy who can strike out 10 per 9 innings and still give up 10 earned runs per 9 also

          • Yankees10 5 years ago

            Because I have no interest in another 37 turning 38 year old outfielder.

  3. aap212 5 years ago

    The OBP isn’t necessarily a sign he’ll right the ship. It could just mean his late career patience has remained intact while his bat speed has gone downhill. They call them old player skills for a reason.

  4. TytheSportsGuy 5 years ago

    Void his contract for poor performance…KIDDING

  5. I think there is minimal concern for this year, slightly more for next, but in all nothing to be too scared about. The Phillies will hit, and hit well, for most of the season. He isn’t the most cost effective person in the line-up, but then again, the Phils paid Adam Eaton and Geoff Jenkins close to $16 mil to sit last year out, and another $1.5 mil in buyouts this year.

    Talk radio in Philly is blaming Ibanez’s contract on the reason Werth doesn’t have an extension/the possibility that the Phillies will not offer him one, but I really don’t think that’s the case. Werth is a big part of their identity as a team right now and I think they’ll get creative with a backloaded contract.

    Also, did anyone see the game today? Ibanez’s bat speed looked like it was there and he had several productive at-bats. Lately, he’s been putting a hurt on the ball, but it’s just been going right at people. I think he’ll hit .260 with 20-25 HRs this year and he’ll be fine. Not worth the $11 mil or so dollar amount we’re paying him based on “market value”, but fine none the less.

  6. Yankees420 5 years ago

    I think the Howard extension has a pretty big role in whether or not they can retain Werth, the Phillies are a big enough team to absorb the last year of Ibanez’s contract if it means keeping their only righty power bat in the lineup for years to come. But now that they know how much Howard’s salary will be for most of when Werth’s new contract is going to be, I don’t think they’ll be able to pay both of them at the price Werth is likely to command (4/60MM at a minimun). I see Werth possibly going to the Tigers, LAA, SFF LAD(but there are problems there, and I know they’d probably need to be sold first), Red Sox, White Sox, or the Yankees if they aren’t able to get Crawford or if Crawford isn’t their first choice.

    • 4/$60 is only a $6 mil raise from his current salary and I definitely think that’s doable for the Phillies, especially considering you can’t go into Philly or any of its suburbs right now without seeing Phillies merch everywhere and the fact that they’ve now been over capacity in CBP for 55 games in a row.

      If anything, the Howard extension gave them cost certainty to effectively budget and game plan for an extension for Werth.

      • Yankees420 5 years ago

        Werth signed a 2/10MM deal in the 08-09 offseason, and is getting paid 7MM this year, at 15 per that would be an 8MM dollar annual increase and more than double what he’s making now, but that 4/60MM that I threw out there was if he REALLY wanted to stay in Philly and that price would be a steal, I could see Werth getting 4/70MM or if 5/80MM if someone actually offers a 5 year deal (maybe in the form of a vesting option) and with Howard getting 25MM per starting in 2 years, I don’t think the Phillies will be able to retain Werth at more than ~13MM per, so that why I don’t think they can resign him.

        • jwsox 5 years ago

          im pretty sure the only competition with the yankees for crawford is the whitesox..he has killed the sox in the past, and kennys williams think if you kill the sox then you should be on our team ie teahan…but i think the only reason kenny didnt go hard after figgens this year is because he is going to open the vault to crawford

  7. rockiesmagicnumber 5 years ago

    We have this Brad Hawpe available

    • melonis_rex 5 years ago

      There’s at least 3 AL teams right now that REALLY need to be calling O’Dowd about Hawpe.

  8. the phils are big market team right now. their deal with comcast is up after this season which will allow them to talk to provider to get the most out whoever. i think that if he continues to struggle they will bring up brown and see what he has. i mean i think they would be able to eat a year and half of Raul if Brown gets the job done. after 2011 season lidge and raul will be off the books so will madson. if they want to bump payroll to 150 area than you can sign werth which is an absolute must at this point

  9. Agree with .260-20-85. He’s coming around.

  10. Dylan 5 years ago

    Sign Werth to a 4 year $60 million backloaded contract. 12/15/15/18 million, but the only problem is Howard will be getting his 25 when Werth is getting 18. That could be trouble

  11. redsandyanksfan 5 years ago

    The reds make alot of sense if he is willing to play left field we need a power bat bad and we need a player for that postion and we have alot of money coming off the books and from Brandon Webbs comments he would like to play in GABP because he said he would like to play close to his hometown or where he lived and cinnci is the closest Ballpark its a hitter park also for Werth

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