The title of this post is something I never thought I’d write. For years, I’ve talked a lot of junk about Raul Ibanez. He’s overrated. He can’t play the field. He looks like an alien. The former two are reasons why I wouldn’t ever want him on the Yankees. But, (semi) desperate times call for (semi) desperate measures. The Yankees are in need of a DH and Ibanez might be a good candidate for that spot? Why? Well, because anything is better than a
platoonrotating DH, even if the dude looks like an alien.
2011 was rough for Ibanez. Of all Major Leaguers, he was the least valuable by fWAR and third least valuable by bWAR. So, why do I think that he’s okay for the job? For one, he appears to be willing to do it. According to this post, Ibanez is not concerned about PAs and money. Second, those overall numbers from 2011 distort Ibanez a bit. No, he’s not necessarily much better than those numbers suggest, but his role on the Yankees would probably be much different than it was on the Phillies for the last three years.
For one, Ibanez wouldn’t play the field. He’d be strictly a DH, unless at least two other players were incapacitated simultaneously. And like he wouldn’t be playing in the field, he wouldn’t be playing every day. If used just against righties, Ibanez could be a slightly above average player. Over the last four years, his wRC+ numbers against them have been as follows: 117; 119; 116; 101. He’s also had solid Iso marks against righties, going no lower than .174 in the last four years. So, at the very least, he can smack a righty around and be average against them. That’s not very much, but then again, the Yankees wouldn’t have to pay a lot for it. Signing Ibanez would be a low-risk, medium-reward move. And if Ibanez really isn’t that concerned about money or playing time, maybe he could be had on a minor league deal; that would completely negate the risk on the Yankees’ part.
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