Rumor: Yankees have had preliminary talks with Raul Ibanez

The Yankees might have missed out on Torii Hunter, but they have begun preliminary talks with Raul Ibanez about bringing him back in a platoon role next season, according to Dan Martin of the NY Post.

The Yankees signed Ibanez last offseason to be the left handed part of their DH platoon. Because of the injury to Brett Gardner they were forced to use him in a more everyday role. They would likely be bringing him back in that initial role of the left handed part of their DH platoon next year with Alex Rodriguez likely serving as the right handed end of that platoon.

Ibanez, 40, hit .240/.308/.453 last season. That’s a poor average and on base percentage, but his powerful bat made him a decent option which paid off with a few big home runs in the playoffs. Those numbers were even better against righties as he hit .248/.319/.492 so if the Yankees were able to keep him in the strict DH platoon role he could potentially contribute even more.

The interesting thing will be how much they are willing to pay Ibanez. He earned $1.1 million in base salary and ended up making $3.15 million after incentives. If the Yankees give him more than that this time around it could be a message that they plan on using him a lot next year, possibly in an outfield platoon, which would be a disaster. If they insist on keeping his salary down though it could be a sign that he’s more of a backup option in a similar situation to Freddy Garcia last year where he was insurance more than anything.

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4 Responses to Rumor: Yankees have had preliminary talks with Raul Ibanez

  1. Mike Sommer says:

    I would like to turn the page. As much as I appreciate what he did (esp. in the playoffs) he will be 41 next June. This team NEEDS to get younger.

  2. Guest says:

    This is not good news. As good as Ibanez was in the post season and the run up to it, it is very unlikely we'll see a repeat performance. And we shouldn't forget that long dry spell in the second half.

    This idea of a platoon combo in RF – which should have a starter level player means, in effect, they're regularly giving up a spot in the line up to a bench-level player. Sounds to me like they've given up any pretense of trying to make the playoffs in 2013.

    • map2history says:

      I'm afraid I agree with you. Perhaps its too early to panic but It seems that they wil be vying with Boston for 4th place in the AL East.

  3. Tanned Tom says:

    Too old, and those #'s are very so-so. Shoot maybe they want to bring back David Justice! This was a bad signing last time around, another year is just asking for even more trouble.
    How about re-signing Suzuki for RF, Dickerson as 4th OF, and filling the DH with resting the vets? A-Roid will need 80 games at DH, Jeter probably 40, and Granderson (if not traded) should get the rest (as he is not a good fielder). We should be way more concerned about finding replacements for Chavez and Nix then re-signing this fossil.