Yankees Sign Raul Ibanez

The Yankees have found their new designated hitter, officially announcing an agreement with Raul Ibanez that was first tweeted by ESPN's Buster Olney yesterday.  The framework for a deal was done weeks ago with the ACES client, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post, who pegs the value at $1.1MM.  Plate appearance incentives can bring the total to $4MM, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

Ibanez

Never known for his defense, Ibanez has spent most of his career as a left fielder.  He dabbled at DH with the Mariners and Royals before signing with the Phillies after the '08 season, notably appearing 69 times in that role for the 2001-02 Royals.  Only eight other free agents hit more home runs in 2011 than Ibanez's 20, but he batted just .245/.289/.419 overall in 575 plate appearances.  The Yankees hope the 39-year-old can take advantage of their short right field porch.  Ibanez has a .304 OBP against lefties over the last three seasons, so he could be complemented by Andruw Jones, a right-handed hitter. 

In a February 18th poll, about 32% of MLBTR readers felt Ibanez was the best DH option for the Yankees, which edged out other free agent choices such as Johnny Damon, Vladimir Guerrero, and Hideki Matsui.  Ibanez was linked to the Yankees as early as January, but they preferred to dump some of A.J. Burnett's contract on the Pirates before finishing a DH deal.  That move opened a 40-man roster spot for the Yankees.  The Phillies offered Ibanez arbitration in November, which almost certainly involved a handshake agreement he'd decline.  In June, the Phillies will receive a supplemental draft pick for their loss.

Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.


82 Responses to Yankees Sign Raul Ibanez Leave a Reply

  1. NickEdge 3 years ago

    Welcome aboard. He should have a good year in Yankee Stadium.

  2. MB923 3 years ago

    Mehh

    • diesel2410 3 years ago

      Meh? Sure he’s old and not known for his defense, but he can still pop HRs. That’s all you need to do as a DH in Yankee Stadium.

      • MB923 3 years ago

        Technically you’re right but I think Damon is still better to get. But if Damon still want $5+ mil a year, then I think the Yankees went with the right choice.

      • Houston_Astros 3 years ago

        Assuming he gets enough at bats to stay in shape. 
        I don’t really know what the problem was with him last season.  His walks were way down, which tells me that he needs to see regular at bats to start seeing the ball again.  I don’t like the platoon DH idea, I don’t like Ibanez being a part of that, and I think there are other moves that could be made, but he’s cheap, and has a shot to improve.  Why not, I guess.

  3. gkstkddn93 3 years ago

    Philly got a draft pick. Thanks Raul :)

    • tomymogo 3 years ago

      no way they offered arb risking 13 million salary for him

      • nm344 3 years ago

        check again, they did it as a handshake deal.

      • MB923 3 years ago

        As nm344 said, they did the handshake deal. Just like the Yankees did last year with Javier Vazquez.

        • 89 Pinstripes 3 years ago

          Hey Javier Vasquez turned out pretty good so

    • captainjeter 3 years ago

      another draft pick lost. Rats

      • MB923 3 years ago

        Yankees didn’t lose a draft pick. The Phillies get a supplemental pick which is just an extra pick.

    • Philley11 3 years ago

      Thanks to Raul indeed, even though it is a sandwich pick at least it is a first rounder. Still can’t believe RAJ couldn’t wait like a week to sign Paps and thus keeping our original first rounder. Pretty inexcusable to me.

      • Phillibuster 3 years ago

        Because Ruben obviously knew exactly what was going to be done with the new CBA?

        • Philley11 3 years ago

          Uh, everyone else waited for the details from the new CBA to be announced before signing any type-a/b free agent. And it wasn’t a coincidence either. There were talks for awhile about doing away with the old free agent comp system. RAJ jumped the gun and/or didn’t do his due diligence. Again, pretty inexcusable to me.

  4. DirtyPujols 3 years ago

    Good luck Raul, we enjoyed you in Philly. Hope you get your chance at a ring! ( not really :> )

  5. nm344 3 years ago

    Raul is pure class.  If only he could muster up another 2 feet on his long fly in the NLDS…

  6. illrhyme 3 years ago

    Rauuuuuuuul

  7. UltimateYankeeFan 3 years ago

    Not a big deal one way or another. But for $1MM I like it compared to what some of the other Free Agent DH’ers were asking.
    Just one more signing for Cashman to take care of.  Be it Chavez or someone else to spell A-Rod occasionally at 3rd base and then they are done. Let the games and the fun begin.

    • Has seemed like an unusually long off-season, to be sure. I think between Nunez and Chavez (whom I expect us to sign, too), we’re in pretty good shape for infield relief. The Verducci effect is in full force with Pineda, but even if he gives back some ground this season we’ve got a solid rotation plus an extra guy. The bullpen looks as good as ever. My only concern is whether the aging heart-of-the-lineup guys will look the way they did in August against Oakland, or the way they did in October against Detroit. If the team BA stays where it should be and Girardi doesn’t totally brain-fart our way out of a five-game set with homefield, again, I think we’re going to be very pleased with how things turn out.

      • UltimateYankeeFan 3 years ago

        I think and I hope you are correct.

      • Justanotherfantoo 3 years ago

        I suspect the Yankees are going to have a great regular season and possibly have more wins than any other team and then get knocked out in the ALDS or ALCS because Swisher and Teixera will continue to fail to show up in the post season and ARod and Jeter will hit like the 37 and 38-year old players they are.  I even wonder whether we’ll see Good CC — since keeping his weight “down” around 290 doesn’t exactly sound like a sure fire way to avoid a third knee issue/operation.

        But again, with a good, deep starting staff, great bullpen, and a starting lineup that is able to come through at all times — except Late and Close and in the post season when it counts most — the regular season, at least, should be a lot of fun (except for innings 7 through 9, of course).  (Did I mention that before they continued their post season futility that the Yankees batted just .221 last year Late and Close — worse than all but three teams in the American League (Seattle, Oakland, and Minnesota)?

        • Justanotherfantoo 3 years ago

          Of course, I hope I’m wrong — about the post season especially.  And my best hope there is that the Yankees trade Swisher for a player who doesn’t disappear in the post season, that the experimental medical procedure is like a fountain of youth for ARod, that Jeter is able to overcome his age and plays like he did for most of the second half last year, and that Sabathia is somehow able to overcome his addiction to Captain Crunch and his knees are miraculously able to hold up — at least for another year or two.  (If not, can you imagine the Yankees paying $50+ million a year to ARod and CC and do the $189 million Payroll Watusi while those two rock away in their rocking chairs or play with canes?  It wouldn’t be pretty.)

      • Justanotherfantoo 3 years ago

        I suspect the Yankees are going to have a great regular season and possibly have more wins than any other team and then get knocked out in the ALDS or ALCS because Swisher and Teixera will continue to fail to show up in the post season and ARod and Jeter will hit like the 37 and 38-year old players they are.  I even wonder whether we’ll see Good CC — since keeping his weight “down” around 290 doesn’t exactly sound like a sure fire way to avoid a third knee issue/operation.

        But again, with a good, deep starting staff, great bullpen, and a starting lineup that is able to come through at all times — except Late and Close and in the post season when it counts most — the regular season, at least, should be a lot of fun (except for innings 7 through 9, of course).  (Did I mention that before they continued their post season futility that the Yankees batted just .221 last year Late and Close — worse than all but three teams in the American League (Seattle, Oakland, and Minnesota)?

  8. Chris Barrows 3 years ago

    As a compliment to Jones for 1 million – it’s worth it. 

  9. tomymogo 3 years ago

    It’s a good move for the Yankees, he can still hit long popouts to RF which are HR in Yankee stadium. Granderson, Matsui, and Damon have taken advantage of that during their time with the Yankees

    • jjs91 3 years ago

      4 extra hrs wouldnt make ibanez a good player

      • Maybe not, but what it *would* make him is (a) way better than the other options the Yanks had in his price-range, and (b) all they need to snag another couple of wins above replacement.

  10. I’ll miss the Rauuuuuuuul chants at the Bank, but good luck to Raul in NY.

  11. gurumystic 3 years ago

    Now Chavez; Arod is GOING TO get hurt and he will be very good to have while Arod does his DL time-inevitable now each year till he is retired. If Arond is spelled right he will still be a very player till his last day IMO with occasional DL stints. Money: yup a problem-It is what it is. Chavez types will be needed each year he still plays the field, and till he eventually moves to full time to DH.

    • NYCTrancefan 3 years ago

       I was shocked as a Yankee fan to realize Arod played in 99 games during the regular season last year and still the Yankees had 97 win.

      Its like Arod was not really a factor at all. Guys like Cano and Granderson were much more significant while Arod was missing games.

  12. LUWahooNatFan 3 years ago

    I didn’t know Ibanez was still playing.. Yankees play in practically a tee ball park, should do him well.

    • NYCTrancefan 3 years ago

       To right field maybe, which is why a lefty like Ibanez makes some sense. Not as easy to other parts of the stadium though, not to mention HR’s have stabilized at Yankee Stadium since the first season in 2009.

      Matter of fact through the first season the HR totals started dropping off as the season progressed.

      It’s just it got off to a crazy pace that eventually cooled off big time as pitchers probably didn’t come inside as much to lefties knowing that short right field is looming. Not as easy to hit one out to left and center.

      • jjs91 3 years ago

        Texas, cincy, and colorodo were the only better hr parks there were several better hitters parks however and two of those parks are in the east.

        • He never said it wasn’t a bandbox. He said that HR totals dropped off. And they did. Once they knocked down the old Stadium the jet stream changed. Right field is only easy to hit home runs because that’s where the short porch is. The ball gets out quickly. But to the other parts of the field it’s pretty neutral. There is a dead zone in left center where balls just get eaten up, as much as they can in Yankee Stadium. And the opposing team can take advantage of the short porch just as the Yankees do. It’s like they put up a net when the away team digs in. 

          • jjs91 3 years ago

             I understand that i was really against it when people like gammons said it was too easy to hit hrs. That first few series had some awful weather. I actually hate when people comment on how big a hitters park it is and pretend like it’s the worse in baseball. I’m alos not sure why people are so hateful towards hitter’s park but dont care when parks like petco are being built i’m sure yankee stadium is closer to being neutral than that park and no one seems to care.

  13. hrbomber1113 3 years ago

    Where exactly does Damon think he’s getting DH AB’s and $5MM? The A’s are full of DH types and are going to sign Manny. It’s basically part time with the O’s and maybe the Jays but the Angels/A’s/Mariners/Rangers/White Sox/Indians/Royals/Tigers/Twins/Rays/Yankees/Red Sox are all completely set at DH and the O’s/Rays aren’t exactly in need of his services. At least Vlad realized this.

    • MB923 3 years ago

      Boras will find a way for Damon to get it.

      • hrbomber1113 3 years ago

         I’d guess the Tigers if they’re really dumb enough to use Miggy at 3rd.

    • Chris Barrows 3 years ago

      Damon is running out of time either way – his demands will have to go down unless Boras has something up his sleeve (which he often does obviously)

  14. Dylan 3 years ago

    Good Luck in NY Raul, you will always have special place in the hearts of Phillies fans.

    If the Phillies dont win it all this year, I hope you get your ring.

  15. cano24 3 years ago

    Up to 4 mil?  I would have preferred Damon.  I hope Raul is better than last year.

  16. Really wanted Damon, didn’t happen.  Either way I hear that Ibanez is a very classy, professional guy who gives off good vibes in the clubhouse.  I’m sure he will be a nice addition and mesh with the rest of the guys.  Wear the pinstripes with pride Raul!

    • I’m in the same camp—although Ibanez is a good tradeoff, and he has handled the tough Philly market in the past.

    • nepp 3 years ago

      Raul is a great clubhouse guy and one of the best guys in the game right now.  However, he’s lost a ton of bat speed and he’s a pure guess hitter who might give you 15 HR but it’ll come with a .280 OBP.

      Best of luck to him.

  17. One thing I don’t understand is why they seem to keep getting older. They keep adding players who are pretty old, like Jones, Kuroda, Ibanez, and they are looking at Chavez and Damon, who are both past their prime. 
    Another thing I think that cut Damon and Yanks talks was the suspicion that Damon has altered his plate approach to reach 3,000 hits. As a Ray fan that got to watch him last year, I’d say that would make sense. He didn’t seem very patient at the plate. He swung at a lot of pitches that he usually doesn’t swing at. 

    • *facepalm* all three of those guys you mentioned are 1 year deals. Jones proved last year he’s still got some pop and is good enough in the field to be the 4th OF-er. Kuroda pitched really well last year. And Ibanez also proved that he could still hit. You’re completely forgetting about the core of young guys they have. Gardner, Cano, Romine, Pineda, Nova, Betances, Banuelos, and Sanchez, and far off we have:  Campos, and Bachette Jr.

  18. HHHDMS 3 years ago

    I like this signing, for one thing Raul is good in the clubhouse and a professional hitter and person, not some media cancer magnet like Manny or Hanley Ramirez. If Granderson & Cano have big years again, plus if AROD is healthy , throw in Raul , and if Tex has a comeback year + we still have Jeter who can still hit there is no reason to think that the Yanks wont be in the playoffs – even if the pitching still is shaky, which on paper seems to have improved 
    I think that Cashman used the winter meetings to observer who went where. This in turn helped him in his decisions for whatever roster moves he made. The Yanks are making their “splash* now 
    I am a Damon fan, I hope he does find a team to take him. He and Vlad are running out of time (& teams)

  19. pojack 3 years ago

    Its not like Philly has a real deep porch, dont expect the homers to go up much folks

    • Phillibuster 3 years ago

      Down the foul lines CBP is actually deeper than most people give it credit for. 

      That said, it doesn’t sound like Raul will be getting 580+ ABs this year.

  20. Just start a new expansion team with all these left-over DH’s. Manny, Vlad, Damon, Matsui – we can do a four person outfield. If we used Burnett to pitch, everything would be hit to the outfield anyway ;). 

    Jokes aside, I wanted Damon but am more than happy with Raul. Always seemed like a classy guy and I wish him the best of luck this year. 

  21. InvalidUserID 3 years ago

    I have a hard time believing that the Yankees were so hard pressed to come up with ONE MILLION DOLLARS. I get that they had a logjam at the #5 spot and had to get rid of at least one pitcher but to think that they HAD to dump one to make a signing is crazy.

  22. bad move keeping matsui is the key he bats lefties and righties and raul is too old for that role thanks yanks you did it again had to make a F up deal . the last time the yanks lost a mvp it was reggie and know matsui  i have been a fan for 45 yrs whats up.
      

  23. I read through the article twice, doesn’t have enough Jeremy Lin.

  24. PWNdroia 3 years ago

    Glad to see the Yankees sign a washed up DH in Ibanez.  Without a doubt, Vlad or Derek Lee were the more pure hitters.  Glad the Yanks passed them up instead.

    • nyjose 3 years ago

      those 2 guys cant field no more at least i know vlad cant field but i think he can still hit but he is not  left hander  and for derek he is right hander as well one thing you have to remember the competition in the AL east is the toughest in baseball  i think what the yankees like about raul is that he was left hander and that he can still play the outfield a little  the guys you mention they probably hit more than raul but they one dimentional and raul can play the outfield and 1B

      • ellisburks 3 years ago

        Punctuation is cool! Pass it along to your friends. Also Ibanez can’t field either. Or at least shouldn’t. He is bad in the field.

        • Phillibuster 3 years ago

          Raul isn’t good in the field, but he’s better than a lot of people give him credit for – due, no doubt, to the fact that he keeps himself in ridiculously good shape.

          • ellisburks 3 years ago

            Damon keeps himself in great shape too. Never misses a game. Doesn’t mean he is any good in the field. His dWar has been negative every season since 2003. That isn’t good.

          • Phillibuster 3 years ago

            I did say he wasn’t good, right? 

          • ellisburks 3 years ago

            Yup you sure did. No problem with that. I was more commenting on the fact that being in shape has no correlation with being a good or bad fielder. And he gets pretty much the right amount of credit for how poorly he plays in the outfield.
            He isn’t a butcher but he isn’t major league average either.

          • Phillibuster 3 years ago

            His dWAR isn’t good, obviously, and the fact that he had the lowest RF of any (qualifying) LF in MLB demonstrates as much.

            That said, he also played in a field that doesn’t have a ton of left field to be in, so balls with enough height to carry deep into outfield are more likely to end up in the stands (note his low TC).  Couple that with his FLDG% (2nd-best in baseball), and his defensive impact isn’t as bad as many people think.

            That said, his arm is not great (not bad, since he can sometimes throw out runners at home, but not great), and his judgment vis-a-vis cut-off man or catcher isn’t always spectacular either.  As a DH, and temporary fill-in guy at LF, however, his defensive prowess is likely more of a boon than Damon’s.

          • ellisburks 3 years ago

            I agree as a DH/part time LF he is a better candidate than Damon. Especially at the price. It is quite a steal. And as long as everything goes right, he won’t play the field long enough to really show his deficiencies. For the role he is playing he is pretty near perfect.

          • ellisburks 3 years ago

            Yup you sure did. No problem with that. I was more commenting on the fact that being in shape has no correlation with being a good or bad fielder. And he gets pretty much the right amount of credit for how poorly he plays in the outfield.
            He isn’t a butcher but he isn’t major league average either.

          • Phillibuster 3 years ago

            I did say he wasn’t good, right? 

      • PWNdroia 3 years ago

         Johnny Damon > Raul Ibanez

  25. nyjose 3 years ago

    i think it was a good sign if he dont hit by the trade date line the yankees will trade for a bat a roster can always be inprove during the season i think the yankees roster was a lot worse last year. this year who know you cant always tell look at what boston did last year they went out and got all those player and on paper they looked better than the yankees. the game still have to be play on the field lol

  26. hgr900 3 years ago

    The yankees- where old players that were good go to finish their decline/careers

    • Chris Barrows 3 years ago

      At one year, 1.1 million with his splits and a short porch – it’s not a bad deal. It’s not like the Yankees signed him to some 3 year, 5 million a year deal. 

    • slider32 3 years ago

      Best record in the AL last year, only look to be better this year.

  27. Muggi 3 years ago

    Good luck to Raul, nothing but good things to say about the guy as a Phils fan. Class act that always played hard.

  28. His HRs will go up, therefor his Slugging, OBP, WAR, and BABIP will go up. But his average will remain down. Guys like him aren’t for-average hitters.

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