The Rangers are interested in Ibanez

Raul Ibanez delivered a disproportionate amount of the Yankees’ biggest home runs in 2012, and now a team that could have used a few of those shots themselves is apparently showing interest in acquiring the 40 year old “outfielder.” Via The Dallas Morning News, the Rangers are apparently interested in Ibanez’s services for the coming season, presumably as a platoon DH/reserve outfielder. The Rangers have a lineup that’s heavily tilted to the right, and obviously lost their best left-handed hitter in Josh Hamilton, so Ibanez would be a reasonably good fit if they can find a place to play him.

In addition to the clutchitude, Ibanez hit .248/.319/.492 against right-handed pitchers, and even filled in surprisingly well in the outfield as a bridge between Brett Gardner and Ichiro Suzuki. The Yankees still need a DH, particularly one who can handle right handed pitchers, so a reunion with Ibanez certainly makes sense if all parties are amicable, though I would be surprised if Ibanez didn’t have his fair share of suitors after remaining productive this past year.…

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Oh dear, Vernon Wells?

Because things can always get worse, apparently the Yankees have seriously considered a trade to acquire The First National Bank of Vernon Wells from the Angels. That comes via Ken Rosenthal, who reports that the two teams discussed Wells at the Winter Meetings, though nothing is close. Both Rosenthal and Jon Heyman report, however, that any trade would be contingent upon the Angels eating the vast majority of the $42 million remaining on Wells’ albatross of a contract.

All things considered, I suppose there are worse ways to go about getting a right-handed hitter to play the outfield. For as terrible as Wells has been in his two season with the Angels, he’s been okay against left-handed pitchers, though there’s some huge variance to those numbers. He whacked opposite hand pitcher to the tune of a .280/.320/.531 line with a 134 wRC= back in 2011, but then hit just .227/.298/.373 (88 wRC+) last season, albeit in just 84 plate appearances.

I guess the theory here is that he could come super cheap and that a move out of Anaheim and into a hitter friendly stadium could improve his numbers a bit, but I wouldn’t really count on it, and I’d be pretty loathe to commit myself to having him on the bench for two seasons even if the Angels are paying most of the tab.…

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Yankees “quietly interested” in Michael Bourn?

Ah, the language of the offseason rumor mill. What does it mean to be “quietly interested” in someone, and how does that differ than just being interested in them? I’m not sure, really, other than that I guess it’s different than making sure everyone knows that a certain player is someone you really want to acquire in the way that the Dodgers did with Greinke or that the Yankees did with C.C. Sabathia back in 2008.

Anyway, yesterday Nick Cafardo reported that “some believe” the Yankees are “quietly interested” in Michael Bourn, and could move in to sign him if the market for him continues to not really develop as a lot of people thought it would. That is, if they feel like they’re getting a bargain. I can understand that, but frankly I don’t really see where Bourn fits into the roster at the moment. He’s an okay average hitter with no power and good plate discipline who adds a lot of value with his superb defense and base running skills.…

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Ichiro: The Return

It looks like Ichiro Suzuki will be a Yankee once again in 2013 and possibly 2014, if the rumors that are spreading around Twitter are true.

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports tweeted:

ichiro, yankees deal will be for between $12-13M, still working on structure.

It’s unclear if the deal is for one year or two years.

More from Heyman:

ichiro had 2 outside offers for more $, but he told the #yankees he wants to be a yankee. so he agreed to stay a nyy.

Mark Feinsand of the NY Daily News added:

Source: Ichiro not only has 2 yr/$14M offer from Phillies, but 2 yr/$15M offer from team believed to be the Giants. Will take less from NY

So all of that stuff about Ichiro being impatient and not wanting to wait for New York was a bunch of hooey since according to the reports, he’s taking less money to remain in Pinstripes.

Now, let’s hope he’s the Ichiro of August – October 2012 and not the Ichiro of 2010 – the first half of 2012.…

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The Yankees aren’t going to sign Josh Hamilton

I don’t why I even feel like this is worthy of passing along, but in his BP post this morning John Perrotto, while otherwise noting how much of the Josh Hamilton sweepstakes is a mystery, passes along one very definitive remark:

Where it winds up going is anyone’s guess, but the continued talk that the Yankees are going to jump into the bidding is way off the mark. Few people to seem to believe it, but the Yankees are dead set against committing big dollars to any free agents beyond next season because they plan to get under the $189-million luxury tax threshold in 2014.

I’m not really sure where the chatter about the Yankees swooping in and snatching Hamilton got its start, but it’s never really struck me as anything more than an attempt by reporters to inject some excitement into an otherwise dull hot stove season in which the Yankees are pledging, basically, to do next to nothing that’s going to light up the back pages.…

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Yankees set to re-sign Ichiro

With their pitching targets in hand and Kevin Youkilis on hold, the Yankees have turned their attention to addressing their hole in right-field, and that means getting serious with Ichiro Suzuki. The Yankees have been pursuing Ichiro fiercely for the past few days, and now pretty much all the usual sources are reporting that a deal between the two sides is imminent. No word on the contours being discussed, but it’s safe to assume the 39 year old Ichiro will only be in line for a one year deal, with a pretty steep decline in his salary to boot.

After kicking this around last night, I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it. My first inclination is to be okay with it, but I do worry that I’m letting Ichiro’s surprisingly strong finish to last season cloud my estimation of what we can reasonably expect him to do in 2013. Is .322/.340/.454 over a full season a reasonable expectation for a 39 year old who hit .272/.310/.335 back in 2011?…

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Rosenthal: Yankees making a push for Ichiro

So Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports is reporting that the Yankees are “all over” Ichiro Suzuki.

 “They are all over him,” one source says. “That (a deal with Ichiro) will happen.”

That quote made me laugh just because of the imagery.

Ichiro came over to the Yankees in July after a trade with Seattle. He batted .261 with a .642 OPS in his 95 games with the Mariners. Then turned things around once he got to New York and batted .322 with a .794 OPS in 67 games with the Yankees.

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Report: Indians close to signing Mark Reynolds

According to Jon Heyman, the Indians are close to signing Mark Reynolds:

Mark Reynolds close to signing with #indians

Reynolds was moved from third base to first and hit .221/.335/.429 with 23 homers and 69 RBI for the Orioles in 2012.

So how does this news affect the Yankees? Well, if the Indians sign Reynolds it could mean that Kevin Youkilis may end up in New York. The Indians, along with the Yankees were waiting on a decision from Youkilis – both teams offered him contracts – but with the Reynolds move, it looks like they may have gotten tired of waiting.

 

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Rodriguez to have surgery in mid-January

According to an AP report, Alex Rodriguez‘s hip surgery is scheduled for mid-January.

Rodriguez was at a breakfast this morning for the 150 students who are competing in his annual Miami basketball tournament. He spoke to the players about growing up in South Florida and then asked if they had any questions for him. He only got one and it was about his surgery. Really? There were no questions about who he’s dating? Or why it took so long for the hip injury to be diagnosed? Or better yet, no questions about why he doesn’t know his left from his right? I guess no members of the New York media were attending the luncheon.

I kid, I kid.

It was announced earlier this week that Rodriguez was going to need surgery on his left hip to repair a torn labrum and bone impingement. Rodriguez is waiting until mid-January so he can strengthen the area around his hip and recovery could be anywhere from four to six months.…

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