Raul Ibanez was somewhat of a fan favorite during his tenure with the Seattle Mariners. When he fled to the Philadelphia Phillies, Mariners fans were disappointed, but who could blame him? He wanted a World Series ring, and the Mariners weren't going to give him that opportunity.
It's no secret that Ibanez's skills have deteriorated in the last three or four years. He's 39 years old, and has maybe a season or two left before he has to call it quits.
Seattle is in a unique position where they don't really have a veteran power hitting guy on the roster to carry the designated hitter tag.
As of right now, it'd more than likely be Jesus Montero. While you want to give Montero as much as game reps as possible, you would prefer it being at the catcher position, even if he isn't quite there yet defensively.
Typically, you would like to give that designated hitter spot to a left power hitting guy who can give you 25 to 30 home runs and a decent batting average.
Raul Ibanez isn't a reliable outfielder anymore. If he is going to play, it would be in a strict designated hitter role.
Ibanez would slide perfectly into the middle of the lineup as a designated hitter.
Not only would he be a perfect fit, but he would also attract some buzz from the northwest.
Let's face it, The 2012 Seattle Mariners aren't exactly oozing with charisma and star power. With the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim becoming AL powerhouses, fans need SOME reason to come out to the ballpark.
If Raul Ibanez came back, it would be a similar situation to Ken Griffey Jr.'s return, although maybe not QUITE as hyped up. And I'm sure Ibanez could offer a lot more production that Griffey.
Not only would he cause a stir in the Emerald City, he would also bring some veteran leadership to the locker room.
Ichiro is a veteran, but he's also one of the quietest guys in the locker room. Hernandez is considered a veteran, but he's still a kid at heart at 25 years old. Miguel Olivo is a veteran, but he works mainly with the catchers anyways.
Raul Ibanez could help out some of the younger outfielders who don't really have a guy they can learn from that's been there and done that.
To me, signing Ibanez to a low-risk high-reward type of contract would be perfect. The pros outweigh the cons in my book.
Is this a reunion you would like to see?