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.
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?
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 Slartibartfast — February 20, 2012 @ 5:37 pm
At least Stevie will bump into a street sign every now and then.
Comment by CircleChange11 — February 20, 2012 @ 6:19 pm
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 Jair Jarrkjens — February 20, 2012 @ 9:39 pm
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.
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.
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 Clark Addison — February 21, 2012 @ 2:50 pm
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
Wow, looks like the Yankees added a monument in left field too.
Comment by Hurtlockertwo — February 21, 2012 @ 3:12 pm