There’s more talk and reports that the Yankees are in serious talks with Raul Ibanez, who is said to be amenable to accepting less money to come to the Yankees.
With only 18 days left until position players report, something should get done soon, if not Ibanez, then Damon or Matsui. Girardi prefers a lefty bat, which he can then platoon with Andruw Jones. Frankly, I’d also like the Yanks to wrap up Chavez at the same time (no word on that).
Vladimir Guerrero and Derrek Lee are still out there, as is Fukodome, but they are longshots. Vlad and Lee because of being righthanded hitters, Fukodome for the lack of power that Ibanez/Damon/Matsui could possibly provide.
The problem with Ibanez, Damon or Matsui goes beyond the price. Damon supposedly wants $5MM and the Yanks supposedly have only $2MM to offer. The problem beyond the price is that Ibanez will be 40 in June, Damon is 38 and Matsui will be 38. AGE. There already are reports that the Yanks may sign one of the three with an eye towards a midseason deal if that individual that they DO sign doesn’t work out. Ibanez hit .245-20-84 for the Phils in 2011. CBP is a bandbox as much as Yankee Stadium is. Ibanez hit .278 with 15 homers at home in 2011, .210 with 5 HR away. He hit .256 with 16 HR vs. RHP, .211 with 4 HR vs. lefties. Which means what, exactly? That he’d only be good at home in Yankee Stadium vs. a righty??
So let’s see, if the Yanks sign Chavez and one of the I/D/M trio (Ibanez, Damon or Matsui), the makeup of 13 positional players could be this:
C-Martin (1) and Cervelli (2).
3B-A-Rod (6) remember Jeter will be 38, A-Rod 37
1B/3B Chavez (7)
UT: 2B/SS/3B/ even some OF Nunez (8)
backup 1B-Swisher/Chavez/Ibanez or Damon could play here too.
DH-I/D/M (9) all can play some corner OF, but no CF. Ibanez’ range factor in 2011 was awful, Damon has no arm, Matsui bad knees.
Jones (10), who’d be 35 and who could play corner OF.
LF-Gardner (11) who’d play CF when Granderson needs a day off.
RF-Swisher (13) who could play 1B.
So there would be 13, leaving 12 pitchers. You could go with
Starter: CC/Pineda/Kuroda (37 y.o.)/Nova/Garcia (35 y.o.)
Bullpen. AJ (most expensive middle reliever ever?) (35 y.o.), Hughes, Wade, Logan, Soriano, D-Rob and Mo (42 y.o.). There’s 12. Once Joba is ready, you make a move. We don’t know how things could/would shake out (you can’t predict injuries) but just a guess.
Now for some signings. But at what cost? The Yanks say they don’t have much.
These next two weeks could get interesting.