Tag:Raul Ibanez
Posted on: January 5, 2009 7:12 pm

Rays land Burrell; did Phillies blow it?

As wallets creaked shut and the dollars didn't flow nearly as freely as certain free agents hoped this winter, Pat Burrell wound up moving from one World Series team to another.

An "American League player" for, oh, roughly most of his career, Burrell now really is an AL player, having signed with Tampa Bay for two years and $16 million.

It's a noticeable cut from the $14 million he earned for the world champion Philadelphia Phillies last year.

What's also noticeable is that the Phillies long ago replaced Burrell with an older, more expensive left fielder.

Maybe Tampa Bay's gain will be Philadelphia's loss.

Burrell, his lifetime .083 batting average in Tropicana Field notwithstanding (he's 1-for-12 there with one homer and two RBI), is a significant upgrade for the Rays, a left-handed heavy team in need of a righty bat and designated hitter.

Over the past four seasons, he's averaged 31 homers, 99 RBI, 103 walks and 77 runs scored, and he is one of only six major-leaguers to hit 20 or more homers in each of the past eight seasons. Carlos Delgado, Chipper Jones, Vladimir Guerrero, Manny Ramirez and Alex Rodriguez are the other five.

Not bad for $8 million a season.

Meantime, the Phillies gave Raul Ibanez three years and $30 million.

Ibanez, over the past four seasons, has averaged 24 homers, 105 RBI, 63 walks and 90 runs scored. His lifetime OBP is .346.

Burrell is 32 (he won't turn 33 until next Oct. 10). Ibanez will turn 37 on June 2.

While Burrell routinely was removed for defensive purposes, Ibanez is a competent left fielder but is in no danger of winning a Gold Glove award anytime soon himself, either.

Burrell well could surpass the 536 at-bats he reached last summer in Philly because, in the AL, presumably spending most of his time as a DH, he will not be removed in the late innings.

There are never any guarantees in the winter, and if Burrell's weak Tropicana Field numbers continue, then the Phillies could look like geniuses for cutting bait and going with Ibanez.

But that's a really small sample, of course, and odds are that Burrell, in time, will rake at the Trop. And at five years younger than Ibanez and with a price tag that dropped below Ibanez, you have to wonder whether the Phillies, in the end, out-smarted themselves.

Posted on: December 12, 2008 7:27 pm

Phillies bag Raul Ibanez

Moving to fill big holes in the middle of their lineup and left field, the world champion Philadelphia Phillies have reached an agreement with free agent Raul Ibanez on a three-year, $31 million deal, according to sources.

The deal is pending a physical examination.

The Phillies had targeted the now former Seattle Mariner since parting ways with slugger Pat Burrell. Ibanez, whose long list of suitors included the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Angels, New York Mets and Atlanta Braves, among others, hit .293 in 2008 with a .358 on-base percentage, .472 slugging percentage, 23 homers and 110 RBI.

Though he's 36, he plays younger than his years.

"He's everything you want as far as professionalism, he hits 20 homers consistently, 80-to-100 RBIs," one major-league scout said. "Five years ago, people thought that maybe he should stop playing the outfield. But he's continued to work at it to where he makes most of the routine plays.

"Plus, he's a great guy. Just a super human being. He can hit anywhere in the lineup, three, four or five, and he's a tough out."

The Phillies are hoping that perhaps Ibanez brings another benefit, too. He's good friends with pitcher Jamie Moyer dating back to their days as teammates in Seattle. The Phillies still haven't signed Moyer because of a disagreement over salary. Now that they've got a left fielder and have a firm grasp of how much is left in their budget, and given the presence of Ibanez, they're hoping they can reach an agreement with the lefty.


Posted on: December 9, 2008 2:06 pm
Edited on: December 9, 2008 2:08 pm

Agent pitches Randy Johnson to Cubs

LAS VEGAS -- Alan Nero, representative for free agent pitcher Randy Johnson, is shopping his client to the Chicago Cubs.

The Cubs currently have other priorities right now, starting with finding a left-handed hitter that will diversify a right-handed heavy lineup and attempting to complete a trade to acquire Jake Peavy, but Johnson could represent a slight upgrade to their rotation under the right circumstances.

Among the left-handed hitters the Cubs are seriously looking at are free agents Milton Bradley (switch-hitter) and Raul Ibanez. They've also discussed the possibility of working a trade for Kansas City's David DeJesus.

Johnson, 45, also has been discussed by the San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics. He was 11-10 with a 3.91 ERA for Arizona last season and, more importantly, made 30 starts and worked 184 innings.

His age and his back always will be an issue, but in, say, somebody's No. 5 rotation slot, Johnson could help. Just five career victories short of milestone No. 300 -- he's 295-160 over his career -- he also could be a short-term help at the gate.

Johnson likely wouldn't be of much interest to the Cubs unless they fail to acquire Peavy and fail to trade Jason Marquis, who is owed more than $9 million in 2009.

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