Raul Ibanez for DH?

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.

8 thoughts on “Raul Ibanez for DH?

  1. suzanne&johns love child

    at the very least he may be able to hold down the lefty side of a DH platoon with Jeter and Arod holding the right side until the July 31st trade deadline…that is when i can see the DH situation being properly addressed by cashman… any word at all on derrick lee? he seems like a better fit than alot of the other players mentioned, but I havent heard his name once connected to NY

  2. You said “anything is better than a platoon DH” but isn’t that exactly what Ibanez would be part of?

    • Mistyped; I meant to say “rotating.” It’s fixed now! Thanks, Craig.

  3. RYan

    I wonder if brandon laird could make a strong impression in spring training and grab the 1B/3B or DH spot. I know the yankees will probably sign someone but it would be pretty cool if he put it together, LHB with pop and he’s already on the roster. Maybe K-long can work some magic. He had an off year last year but still hit 16 HR while not striking out much and had a solid AA showing in 2010.

  4. damnyankee23

    I have said on other websites and still say, move Brandon Laird [or another] to 3rd and make Arod dh. It would be better on Arod’s legs and prob solved

  5. Harrill Lovelace

    The Yankees do not need to get a DH. They need to allow Teixeira and ARod time off from the field and keep their bats in the lineup, they can keep Eric Chavez who plays 1st and 3rd and is a good hitter and DH, they have Vasquez in the minors who has HR power, they can bring up other farm hands for a ML tryout at that spot to see how they handle big league pitching, Laird is a possibility to try there, they also have an aging SS who may need a half day off time to time. The starting staff is very good now, the regulars are very good, the bullpen is great-so why mess with a club that is as balanced as it has been in a long while.

  6. Fred V

    Chavez often seemed to be on the verge of regaining serious “pop” with his bat. I think/expect him to become next year’s “Fat Elvis” that could be another Yankee that got away… I say we sign him!

  7. CTDean

    You make good points, especially about low risk medium reward. I’d like to have Chavez back, too, but I hear he’s drawing a lot of interest from other clubs, and I wonder if he’ll cost more than Cashman wants to pay. He’d still be my first choice because I think his numbers could end up being a lot better tham they’ve been. If we can’t get Chavez back, Jeff Keppinger is worth a look. He’s 31, he played 2nd base last year for the Castro’s and Giants but he has played SS and 3rd pretty extensively, and he’s a good bat who’d be a perfect utility infielder to spot ARod and Jeter when they DH in addition to getting PA’s as DH. He made $2.3M last year and would’ve got a raise in arbitration if SF tendered him. Would that fit into the budget? If not, Ibanez would be next on my list.

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