The Phils have found their man for left field.
Raul Ibanez, late of the Mariners, has been signed to a three-year, $30M deal. Ibanez turns 37 in June, making him about four years older than incumbent Pat Burrell. The difference though, it seems, was cost.
For now, the Phillies seem to be saving $2-4M per year over when Pat Burrell had been demanding. He will not be reutrning.
Ibanez is another lefty bat. How Charlie Manuel will be aligning his lineup – once Chase Utley returns and is healthy – with three top bats being lefties will be interesting to see.
The major knock on Ibanez is his fielding. He is a notoriously bad fielder. As in, worse than Pat Burrell. He will also draw fewer walks, and seeing as his forte is doubles – given that he played in a leviathan home ballpark – his production may not come all that close to equaling Pat’s.
In short, the move looks bad right now. Forfeiting a first-round draft pick for a bad fielding lefty who turns 37 in June and signing him for three years in the process just reeks of disaster.
I’ll say it: I’d have rather signed Manny Ramirez.