Yankees rumors: New York in discussions with Raul Ibanez

Gregory Shamus

The Yankees may be looking to bring yet another veteran back into the fold for next season.

The New York Yankees are looking to add another outfield bat and some help at the designated hitter spot, and so are in discussions to bring veteran Raul Ibanez back to the Bronx for a second season, GM Brian Cashman told George A. King III of the New York Post:

"I’m open to whatever, whether talking to [free agents] or other clubs,’’ Cashman said when asked if one position took priority over the other. "Whether it’s now or June, at some point we’ll have it.’’

Cashman also said, "We are talking to Raul Ibanez and his agent...’’

The 40-year-old left-handed hitter would strictly be a DH if he returned to the Yankees, whose projected starting outfield will be all left-handed hitters in Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson and Ichiro.

This is not the first time that reports have emerged about the Yankees showing interest in bringing Ibanez back to New York, but it is somewhat surprising considering the club already re-signed another aging lefty hitter, Ichiro Suzuki, to a two-year deal. The Mariners, Rangers, and Phillies have also expressed interest in Ibanez, according to King.

Ibanez hit .240/.308/.453 with 19 home runs in 130 games for the Yankees this past season, and clobbered three season-saving home runs in the playoffs. The lefty slugger can no longer hit southpaws to save his life, so he will likely be used in a platoon role at DH if he does return.

If the Yankees do end up re-signing Ibanez, he will join Ichirio, Hiroki Kuroda, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and Kevin Youkilis as free-agent signings over the age of 34.

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