Yankees Sign Raul Ibanez
The New York Yankees have agreed to a one-year deal with Raul Ibanez worth $1.1 million plus incentives, baseball sources told ESPN The Magazine’s Buster Olney on Monday morning.
Ibanez can make up to $4 million total with the incentives, the sources said.
The Yankees plan to use Ibanez as a left-handed designated hitter, a source told ESPNNewYork.com’s Andrew Marchand last week.
The Yankees, in part, favored Ibanez over other free agents, like Johnny Damon, because they think he can play defense. With Ibanez’ numbers similar against right-handed pitching as other free agents the added element gave Ibanez the tie-breaker. The Yankees feel Ibanez gives them a little more depth.
The Yankees had paused their DH search as they finished up a trade that sent right-hander A.J. Burnett to the Pittsburgh Pirates for two marginal prospects.
The Yankees were to receive $5 million in salary relief from Pittsburgh this year that they could use in part to sign Ibanez.
Ibanez, 39, hit .256 with 16 homers and 60 RBIs against righties in 2011 for the Phillies. Ibanez will play against righties, but will sit a lot against lefties because Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter, among others, will take half-days as DH.
The Yankees are also interested in keeping Eric Chavez on board as well.