The Ibanez … Raul Ibanez … talk is upon us.
Ken Davidoff in Newsday reported a Phillies interest in Ibanez, the left-handed hitting outfielder. Ibanez, 36, hit .293 with 23 HR and 110 RBI for the Mariners last season.
My initial take is “he’s left-handed.” But I’ll put aside my balance bias, and note that Ibanez hit .307 / .368 / .497 against left-handers in 2008, and is a career .268 hitter against lefties. Thank you to Todd Zolecki for helping me see the light there.
The one thing you’ll find with Ibanez is downright consistency, even moreso than with Pat Burrell. Taking out 2004 because of injuries, Ibanez drove in 89 or more the last six seasons, hitting around .290 every season. He’ll get on base 35 percent of the time. His OPS+ for the past eight seasons has been above 100 (average), with most hovering in the 115-120 range.
In reality, Ibanez isn’t a bad alternative from Burrell. Though he’s going to be 37 in 2009, a three-year deal isn’t out of the question. I would venture he’s an $8M per year player, but that’s before Manny Ramirez sets the market. Overall, not a bad fit.