Ibanez won't help Phillies all that much
December, 12, 2008
What are they saying in Seattle about officially losing their longtime left fielder?
The Phillies gave Raul Ibanez a 3 year, $30 million deal to replace Pat Burrell today. It was pretty much a lock that the team that signed Ibanez was going to be an old-school type, but honestly, I'm a bit surprised that Philly was dumb enough to make this move. With guys like Jayson Werth, Shane Victorino, Geoff Jenkins, and Pedro Feliz, it was clear that they knew a good defensive player when they saw one. I guess they just feel that it's totally fine to have a lumbering oaf running around left field. They'll regret this contract by July, though.
I'm in total agreement with the majority of posters that said this deal makes very little logical sense. To borrow what's been written on FanGraphs.com, "it makes no sense to sign someone with similar skills that is less productive, older, and almost as, if not equally, costly." Perhaps more costly, when you consider the lost draft picks, tallying three when you consider the forfeitted pick to Seattle and the two lost picks that would come from offering Burrell arbitration a week ago.
The fact that the Phils get together with Ibanez, a very good player but no superstar, and decide to set the bar this way in a saturated market for corner outfield is a thing of Phillies beauty. There was little to seperate Ibanez, who isn't an exact fit for their needs being another lefty bat and will push 40 by the end of this contract, from Burrell or many of the other options, including lesser players who could have served a platoon role. I think Amaro and his men are basing this decision on clutch hitting and a high batting average -- areas of typical fluctuation -- while ignoring many of the negative aspects of Ibanez's game, areas like defense that more and more clubs deem crucial. Above all, I can't get past his age, adding years -- five over Burrell -- to a team that's starting to have a few too many. Thumbs down.