Jayson Stark of ESPN reports the Phillies are in ‘hot pursuit’ of free agent leftfielder Raul Ibanez. Readers go in ‘hot pursuit’ of a Tylenol.
If the prospect of signing 36-year-old Raul Ibanez stinks of the type of old cootism reminiscent of failed regimes, you and your Philadelphia-weened nose for this sort of signing are not alone. Reports say it’s a three-year deal worth in excess of $11 million per season, and one report says Raul is already bragging to friends about it. A sampling of the Beerleaguer peanut gallery braces for the worst, while some express guarded optimism:
Con: “I'd rather spend $32M for 2 years of Pat Burrell than $33M for 3 years of Ibanez. The team would have absolutely nothing from the right side beyond Werth.” – Clout
Con: “One of the mistakes in signing Ibanez is that we already have guys who can hit righties and play an adequate LF, but need to be sat against tough lefties: Dobbs, Jenkins, Stairs. In fact, we have too many of them. What we needed was a guy who can play against those tough lefties.” - Jack
Pro: “I agree for all the reasons stated that the Ibanez signing doesn't make a ton of sense, but one interesting thing about Ibanez is that, over his entire career and certainly over the past several seasons, he's a dramatically better hitter with men on base and RISP. In fact, if you wanted to make a statistical argument that clutch hitting really exists, Ibanez would be one of the few examples you could use. For his career he's a .272/.328/.456/.784 hitter with bases empty and a .305/.380./.493/.873 hitter with RISP. In recent years these splits have been a lot bigger - in '06 he hit .337 with a 1.050 OPS with RISP, as opposed to a pedestrian .825 OPS with bases empty, in '07 .980 OPS with RISP, just .725 with bases empty, and in '08 .877 OPS with RISP, .907 with men on, just .764 with bases empty.” - Tray
Raul Ibanez career stats: [Link]