Sep 24, 2011; Flushing, NY, USA; Philadelphia Phillies left fielder Raul Ibanez (29) singles to right center field during the ninth inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field. Mets beat the Phillies, 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

Yankees Rumors: New York “Negotiating Exclusively” with Raul Ibanez

Friday, the New York Yankees and Pittsburgh Pirates reached an agreement in a trade involving starting pitcher A.J. Burnett.  After today’s physical, the deal should be made official and the Yankees are expected to enter phase two of operation salary space.  New York is reportedly hoping to add a pair of free agent bats with the money saved in the Burnett deal, and Ken Davidoff of Newsday tweeted that the Yankees are “negotiating exclusively” with Raul Ibanez.

Ibanez has appeared to be New York’s primary free agent target for some time now.  Following the Jesus Montero trade it seemed as if the Yankees would be on the prowl for a new designated hitter.  Several names were floated, including Carlos Pena, Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon, but New York reportedly likes what the left-handed Ibanez has to offer.

Beyond Ibanez, the Yankees were said to be eyeing free agent Eric Chavez.  New York would reportedly like to bring back the veteran to fill a reserve role.  Most assumed Chavez and Ibanez would sign deals with New York soon after the Burnett trade was made official.

However, Joel Sherman of the New York Post has heard that the Yankees may not have the room in their budget, even after a Burnett trade, to acquire both Ibanez and Chavez.  For the time being, Sherman believes it will be an either or decision for the Yankees.  While this could be the case, Sherman noted that Yankees executives are expected to meet and discuss if additional salary room can be made that would allow the club to sign both free agents.

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Tags: A.J. Burnett Carlos Pena Hideki Matsui Jesus Montero Johnny Damon New York Yankees Raul Ibanez

  • MikeSmith2

    Why do the Yankees want this has-been??? He has struck out more than 100 times each of the last four seasons, he no longer bats his weight, and his OBP is down to .289. What exactly does he bring to the line-up other than a flat tire in the DH spot?

  • ChazSchmitz

    what about ryan braun? if this guy is a bust it will suck

  • bblontz

    @MikeSmith2 That OBP is pretty ugly. Would you rather they target Damon, Guerrero or Matsui or go in-house to fill the DH role?

  • MikeSmith2

    @bblontz @MikeSmith2

    Definitely Matsui. His OBP was .321 last season with 72 ribbies. back in NYC I bet he’d have a huge bounce-back season. He can be signed for $4 million this season, well within the Burnett salary dump. Plus his “intangibles” are fantastic — New York fans practically build shrines to the guy, he was a total clubhouse asset, 100% a team player, plus about 50 million Japanese fans watched his every move and the Yankees basically paid his salary from Matsui team jersey sales to Japan.

  • Rickinator555

    @blaineblontz I would ibanez to platoon with andruw jones but still make the position flexible to give jeter, alex, cano, tex some days

  • MichaelSolimine

    @MikeSmith2 could you have a DH with an OBP lower than .300 it should be at leat .350 for consideration.

  • MichaelSolimine

    To bad they didn’t get Bobby Abreu.

  • bblontz

    @MichaelSolimine It would have been interesting to see Abreu back in pinstripes. He’s a lefty which they’re looking for and he still gets on base at an above average clip. Too bad Burnett nixed the deal, I guess he had to get in one more parting shot before leaving the Bronx.

  • MikeSmith2

    @bblontz @MichaelSolimine

    Abreu is a classy guy and would have been a good fit too. But AJ was always only ever about AJ. He could have had some class and helped his team far more in leaving it than he ever did on it by OKing the trade to California, but he was 100% selfish to the end. Good riddance to bad rubbish

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