After a “renaissance” season at the age of 41, it appears as if free agent outfielder/designated hitter Raul Ibanez has found a new home, and once again, it is in the AL West.
— MLB (@MLB) December 18, 2013
Multiple outlets are reporting that Ibanez has agreed to a 1-year deal with the Los Angeles Angels, and at least one report (initially from Jeff Fletcher of the OC Register) has the contract being worth $2.75 million. On the surface, this is an interesting move for LA, as they are basically “set” in the outfield, and Ibanez looks to be a full-time DH at this point, with the tenor of his defensive struggles at his age.
In 2013, Ibanez blasted 29 home runs (his most since 2009) in just 496 at-bats with the Mariners, but that was pretty much the only redeeming factor in his stat line. His .306 on-base percentage leaves a lot to be desired and when you couple that with his porous defense, it isn’t surprise that he was only “worth” 0.0 WAR according to FanGraphs last season. Still, there were several teams (including the Yankees) reportedly interested in his services, and if you don’t ask him to field (at all), he could be a useful power bat.
$2.75 million over 1 year is a drop in the bucket for the Angels, and I like the gamble if he’s deployed correctly.