Time for Ibanez to go in Philly?
Posted on: June 7, 2010 1:52 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:21 am
Raul Ibanez arrived in Philadelphia with a bang last season, rejuvenating his career and becoming a popular figure on a team that reached the World Series. But it looks like the dew is off the rose, at least for some fans.
The blog philliesnation.com is calling for the Phillies, who have lost 10 of their past 14, to release the outfielder. And author Corey Seidman makes a compelling argument.
Since his huge first two months of 2009, when Ibanez batted .332 and locked up his first All-Star start, he has batted .234, including a .229 average and three homers in 2010. At age 38 with bad knees, he's also a poor defensive outfielder.
Meanwhile, the Phillies' top prospect, who happens to be an outfielder, is looking increasingly ready for the majors. Domonic Brown is batting .313 at Double-A Reading and leading the Eastern League with a .969 OPS.
It's tough to see the Phillies eating Ibanez's contract -- he's in the second year of a three-year, $31.5 million deal on which he is still owed roughly $17.5 million. And he has a full no-trade clause. As Seidman points out, however, there is precedent for Phillies GM Ruben Amaro cutting loose big contracts. The Phillies ate more than $17 million last season in releasing Geoff Jenkins and Adam Eaton.
Ibanez is the prototype "veteran clubhouse leader" and a popular figure in Philadelphia after the team's 2009 ride. But if the Phillies continue to underperform, they are going to face a difficult decision.
-- Evan Brunell