Jumat, 27 Januari 2012

Where will Raul Ibanez land?

As Spring Training approaches, some teams are looking for a couple more players that could make a big impact for a team and put them in conention for the playoffs or even the World Series. One player that is still remaining on the market is 39 years old and may only have one year left in his career but he put up more RBIs than new Rockies signing Michael Cuddyer, Red Sox signing Cody Ross, Brewers outfielder Corey Hart, Braves catcher Brian McCann, and Braves 2B Dan Uggla, as he was tied for 20th in the National League for RBIs. This player also had 20 home runs along with the 84 RBIs he had. His home run total was tied 28th in the National League as he had more than Astros power hitter Carlos Lee and Reds 2B Brandon Philips. Even though his defense is no longer good, this player would make a impact as a DH and could play some in the corner outfield occasionally. This sounds like a player who would be signed to a one year deal by now but he is still a free agent. The player that we are talking about is Phillies free agent left fielder Raul Ibanez. Ibanez is still without a home and with Spring Training only a couple of weeks away, Ibanez is looking around to see who might have interest in signing him. So that is the biggest question: Where will Raul Ibanez be playing this season? Well, he should be affordable as I think he will ask for a one year deal worth around 5 million dollars. The most likely destination for Ibanez is the New York Yankees. The Yankees have a hole now at DH after they traded Jesus Montero to the Seattle Mariners to get young ace Michael Pineda who improved their rotation but left them with a hole that can be filled by a free agent. The Yankees have shown some interest in Ibanez and this seems like an excellent match as Ibanez could be a 20 to 25 home run guy next year because of the short porch in right. Ibanez could be a run producer and may have a chip on his shoulder since nobody thinks he has anything left. Ibanez has all the talent to be the perfect fit in New York as he could be the DH and occasionally play some left or right field as they give someone like Jeter or A-Rod a day at DH to get some rest and an outfielder like Nick Swisher a day off. The Yankees will also give Ibanez the chance to win another World Series before he retires which will be hard to turn down. Another possibility for Ibanez could be the New York Mets as they have shown some interest in having him in a platoon role in right field with Lucas Duda and Scott Hariston. However, Ibanez is very unlikely to go to the Mets as he will not to be in a platoon role and the Mets are not in a position to win. Raul Ibanez could still end up in Detroit evven though they signed Prince Fielder recently. With Miguel Cabrera moving to third base and Prince Fielder at first base, there is still a hole at DH as Delmon Young can definitely play in left field. Ibanez would add another bat to that lineup and would be in a similar role in that lineup that Magglio Ordonez has been in the past for Detroit. Ibanez could produce in a linuep like the Tigers as he could play occasionally in left field to allow Fielder, Cabrera, or Young a day off from the field as they could be a DH. The Yankees and Tigers are probably the most realistic destinations for Ibanez as there will be other teams that try to jump in and sign him but I think the Yankees are the most aggressive suitor and I think Brian Cashman will get a deal done to sign Ibanez. However, watch out for the mystery team as they have signed Cliff Lee, Albert Pujols, and Fielder in the past so anything is possible.

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