New York Yankees: Bombers Close to Deal for Raul Ibanez

Doug RushSenior Analyst IFebruary 19, 2012

PHILADELPHIA - JULY 10: Left fielder Raul Ibanez #29 of the Philadelphia Phillies jogs around the bases after hitting a three-run home run during a game against the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park on July 10, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies won 14-1. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
Hunter Martin/Getty Images

Ever since the Yankees traded Jesus Montero last month, the Yankees have been searching for a designated hitter for 2012.

They're on the verge of getting their man.

According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Yankees and Raul Ibanez have the framework of a deal: a one-year deal worth $1 million, plus incentives.

 

Framework for #Yankees deal with Ibanez - about $1M plus incentives - has been in place for weeks. But Yanks had to be sure didn't (cont)

— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) February 19, 2012

 

According to Sherman, the deal had been set for a few weeks now, but with the Yankees trying to trade A.J. Burnett, the team had to make sure they weren't adding a DH first, like Garrett Jones, Travis Hafner or Bobby Abreu.

 

have to take on a DH type such as Garrett Jones, Hafner or Abreu b4 finalizing. No roadblocks now.

— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) February 19, 2012

 

NEW YORK - JUNE 15:  Raul Ibanez #29 of the Philadelphia Phillies follows through on a fourth inning RBI single against the New York Yankees on June 15, 2010 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

With Burnett on his way to Pittsburgh and $13 million off the books in 2012, the Yankees do not have any more roadblocks to sign Ibanez.

Ibanez will be the main DH for the Yankees against right-handed pitching, while it's expected that Andruw Jones will be the DH against left-handed pitchers, pending they don't bench Brett Gardner in that spot.

The 39-year-old Ibanez had three productive seasons with the Phillies and will now head back to the American League, where he spent most of his career playing with the Mariners and Royals.

The Yankees had been linked to having interest in Ibanez, along with former Yankees Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui, plus former Angels MVP Vladimir Guerrero.

Ultimately, it came down to Ibanez and Damon, with the team liking Ibanez more because he can still play the outfield and has better numbers against right-handed pitching.

The Yankees had to wait for Burnett's physical to pass and for the league to approve the deal, which took place on Sunday, so now you should see Ibanez locked up early this week as spring training begins for the Yankees.