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Yankees in Serious Discussions with Raúl Ibañez

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The New York Yankees are in serious discussions with Raúl Ibañez, according to Ken Rosenthal. Just last week we heard the Yankees were looking for another lefty bat, and over the weekend Joe Girardi named off several guys he'd like to have, including Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui, as well as Ibañez.

Rob Neyer notes on Baseball Nation that Ibañez seems a somewhat implausible fit with the Yankees, considering both his current talent level and their resources, but the writers at Pinstripe Alley seem open to the idea -- or are at least trying to talk themselves into it:

  • Twitter / @Ken_Rosenthal - "Sources: #Yankees in serious discussions with Ibanez. He is willing to take less to play for them than he could get elsewhere."

Yankees Reportedly Talking To Raúl Ibañez, Who Reportedly Is Listening - Baseball Nation
Also granted, what really killed Ibañez's numbers last season was his "performance" against left-handed pitchers ... but he wasn't exactly gangbusters against the righties, either: .256/.307/.440.

The freaking New York freaking Yankees can't find a left-handed hitter who can do better than that? I'll be surprised if Ibañez actually signs with the Yankees, and even more surprised if he signs with the Yankees and plays well for them.

Raul Ibanez: Is Yankees' Interest A Good Thing? - Pinstripe Alley
With a return to the American League, a home park in Yankee Stadium that was very hitter friendly in 2011, and notoriously friendly to left handed hitters, maybe Ibanez has a comeback season in him. It doesn't seem impossible. The only two things that concerned me about his 2011 season were his BB% and his BABIP.

A return to a ~9 BB% doesn't seem out of the question in the least bit, and since BABIP is notoriously fickle, it could easily bounce back to his career norms since it has mainly hovered in the .290-.310 range.