Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Yankees Are Speaking With Ibanez

I'm probably not the only Yankee fan that has reacted like this often this offseason.

Day by day I grow more frustrated this offseason. It started off just fine, with the Yankees picking up the options on Cano, Granderson, and Aardsma. Then things moved right along the way I'd expected and hoped, as the team brought back Kuroda, Pettitte, and Rivera on one year deals. However, at this point things went south.

The team found out that Alex Rodriguez was going to miss a large chunk of the season, so they were left scrambling to find somebody to fill in. ARod may not be the MVP-caliber player he was years back, but his loss still stings quite a bit, so it was important to make a move. Kevin Youkilis is not the most ideal fill-in, but I don't really have a problem with the signing. $12 million is a bit much, though, especially when I see that Fangraphs had him worth less than half of that ($5.7 million). It is only a one year deal, so it doesn't bother me much at all.

Looking at Kevin's face, I don't think Jorge whispered sweet nothings into his ear.

One move that does bother me is the signing of Ichiro Suzuki. Ichiro turned 39 this past October, and the last 418 games he played for Seattle were far from impressive (his OPS+ during those 2+ years was below 90). The .322/.340/.454 he put up for the Yankees after the trade was great, and Suzuki can still play pretty good defense, but you'd have to be a fool to believe he could hit like that all season long. I suppose it wouldn't bother me if Ichiro was looked at as the 4th outfielder, but as of right now he's penciled into the starting lineup.

And what do I hear now? The Yankees may want to bring back Raul Ibanez, who will turn 41 next June. The same man that hit .248/.319/.492 vs. right-handed pitchers, and only .197/.246/.246 against lefties. Hardly numbers one should be drooling over going into 2013. On top of that the Yankees already have a bit of an issue with all three current outfield starters batting from the left side, so adding another left-handed bat seems dumb. Lastly, although Raul played quite a bit of left field in 2012, with some right field thrown in there, he's a below average fielder.

The team does need a designated hitter, so Raul must be looked at as a DH against RHP. But why? Chris Dickerson is not only a much better defender, but outside of Raul having a bit more power, Dickerson's career line vs. RHP of .269/.354/.424 is more attractive. Add on the fact that outside of a loss of power, Chris hits just as well versus same-sided pitching (.253/.344/.316). Finally, that doesn't take into account that Ibanez would likely make twice as much money as Dickerson would.

"Mr. Ibanez and I may look alike, but I could probably hit better than him."

It's not surprising that the Yankees would want to bring back another aging player who's well past his prime, but frankly I'm getting tired of it. I still believe Cashman has a trick or two up his sleeve, but already being an impatient man doesn't help one bit.

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