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  1. Not sure why they signed Ibanez when they have branyan on a minor league deal. I figure he has a better shot to rebound than Ibanez

    Comment by Jon — February 20, 2012 @ 4:08 pm

  2. Agree. At the very least the Yankees could have inked Ibanez to a minor league deal to compete with Branyan. Although Ibanez may have had other major league options out there.

    Either way, I think we might be over-estimating Branyan’s ability to rebound from what was a truly awful campaign in 2011. Maybe it was a down year, but more likely at 35, it was the continuation of a decline phase.

    Comment by Oliver — February 20, 2012 @ 4:16 pm

  3. You mean the Russel Branyan who put up a .197/.295/.370 line last year? And who hasn’t played a single game in the outfield in four years? How would that help them fill their fifth outfielder / platoon DH spot, exactly?

    Comment by JimNYC — February 20, 2012 @ 4:19 pm

  4. On the ESPN story- “The Yankees, in part, favored Ibanez over other free agents, like Johnny Damon, because they think he can play defense.”

    Comment by byosti — February 20, 2012 @ 4:45 pm

  5. @JimNYC

    Russ Branyan last 600 PA RC+ 111, Raul Ibanez last 600 PA RC+ 106. Branyan is also 3.5 years younger. Neither of them should ever play the outfield again and both are probably done. They are basically the same player yet your post makes it sound as if Ibanez is clearly superior and will be playing OF on a semi-regular basis. This is simply not true. The only area in which Ibanez trumps Branyan is health, however if Branyan is healthy I think he could repeat his 2010 numbers which were better than either of Ibanez’s last two seasons.

    Still I dont see how Ibanez’s contract really guarantees him a better shot at the job than Branyan since the Yanks signed Ibanez to chump change that they can easily swallow if they decide Raul is not going to cut it. Personally I doubt either player will see many PAs.

    Comment by Ronin — February 20, 2012 @ 4:46 pm

  6. As a Phillies fan, I highly appreciate the supplemental draft pick they just gave to us (not from them but due to his Type B status.)

    Raul is done. Raul can play defense…about as good as Stevie Wonder can read a street sign.

    Comment by NEPP — February 20, 2012 @ 4:52 pm

  7. Agreed. I thought Raul would retire and that the Phils would not benefit from him allowing the team to offer arbitration.

    Comment by hk — February 20, 2012 @ 5:34 pm

  8. Oh dear.

    Comment by Slartibartfast — February 20, 2012 @ 5:37 pm

  9. At least Stevie will bump into a street sign every now and then.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — February 20, 2012 @ 6:19 pm

  10. I don’t think that they think he can play GOOD defense. Or even average defense. But they think he can play out there occasionally without hurting himself. That is more than can be said for Branyan, Damon and Matsui. It seems like a reasonable assumption. I don’t think that the Yankee FO’s opinion of Ibanez is any higher than yours or mine. They just don’t think much of Damon and Matsui, and they want a safeguard against Branyan being toast.

    Comment by dan — February 20, 2012 @ 8:40 pm

  11. Hahaha, that GIF is classic.

    Comment by Jair Jarrkjens — February 20, 2012 @ 9:39 pm

  12. I think they want somebody who can play 15 or so games in the outfield — Gardner and Granderson don’t need defensive replacements, and Jones is the fourth outfielder. They just need somebody who can play RF against RH pitching every now and then when Tex takes a DH day and Swisher moves to 1B. Ibanez gives more value in that role than Damon or Matsui, at this point.

    Comment by JimNYC — February 20, 2012 @ 10:01 pm

  13. I think they’re looking at 100 PA’s, tops, from this player, maybe 150.

    Comment by JimNYC — February 20, 2012 @ 10:03 pm

  14. I hate this deal with a passion. I would have much rather had Damon than Ibanez. I don’t think Damon has ever even been injured (other than little things that all players get throughout the course of a season) and see no reason as to why they think he would get hurt.

    Damon had the ideal stroke for Yankee Stadium, can still run, and obviously knows and gets along with the majority of the guys in the clubhouse.

    Comment by Bleacher Creature — February 20, 2012 @ 10:09 pm

  15. As a Phillies fan, wishing Raul the best. Class act all the way.

    Comment by schmenkman — February 20, 2012 @ 10:14 pm

  16. Damon wants $5 million. In other words he wasn’t available.

    Comment by noseeum — February 21, 2012 @ 12:44 am

  17. I don’t get why Damon “can’t” play defense. He still has range, just no arm. Hide him in LF once in a while.

    Comment by AA — February 21, 2012 @ 2:31 am

  18. We’re the New York Yankees and we just freed up $13M, don’t tell me that $5M is out of our price range.

    Comment by Bleacher Creature — February 21, 2012 @ 6:53 am

  19. Tampa thought so highly of Damon that they preferred Luke Scott over him this year.

    Comment by Kevin — February 21, 2012 @ 7:38 am

  20. And the New York Yankees are currently run by Brian Cashman, who doesn’t pay $5 mill for one half of a DH platoon.

    Comment by noseeum — February 21, 2012 @ 7:54 am

  21. Of the $13 million saved, $5 million of that was for this year and $8 million next year. So you’d be asking the Yankees to spend all of their savings this year on a guy who might not be a better option than the one they just signed. They are also likely going to sign Chavez for roughly $1 million. That would be $2.2 for two players instead of 1 for $5 million. I think Cashman got this right.

    Comment by TKP — February 21, 2012 @ 9:47 am

  22. @AA, Kevin is exactly right. Also, like Ibanez, it’s not like he can’t he just can’t do it well. Ibanez has played more games in the OF the past couple of years than Damon also.

    Comment by TKP — February 21, 2012 @ 9:48 am

  23. At $1.1M with incentives up to $4M, I’m not sure if they’re looking at him as a bench player. He’s a lock for DHing against righties.

    Comment by Josh — February 21, 2012 @ 9:56 am

  24. Only if he can still hit them. He’s also a lock to be released if it looks like he’s done. He won’t get a long lease. That’s the other benefit of the small contract, they can just eat it and move on.

    Comment by test — February 21, 2012 @ 10:20 am

  25. Is Damon worse the Ibanez in the field now?

    Comment by Clark Addison — February 21, 2012 @ 2:50 pm

  26. TB NonTendered Damon because he won’t give a discount. He lost most of his Red Sox and Yankees money in the Madoff scam. The question is who still looking for an aging leadoff hitter with no arm at 5 mil?

    Comment by Clark Addison — February 21, 2012 @ 2:56 pm

  27. Wow, looks like the Yankees added a monument in left field too.

    Comment by Hurtlockertwo — February 21, 2012 @ 3:12 pm

  28. Yes. As is Matsui.

    Comment by Joe — February 21, 2012 @ 5:49 pm

  29. Very good point.

    Comment by NEPP — February 21, 2012 @ 9:39 pm

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