There were many options for DH in the free agency pool and frankly, Raul Ibanez did not look like the best one. Johnny Damon has similar stats and fans would have love to have him back. The same goes for 2009 World Series MVP Hideki Matsui. Vladimir Guerrero, the youngest of the pool of free agents, is only one year removed from his 29 HR and 115 RBI season in Texas.
When the news broke out I was stunned. Normally the Yankees would spare no expense in getting the best player available. I was expecting maybe a $5-7 million one-year deal to one of the options above.
Raul Ibanez seemed to be an underdog to the other DH candidates—with all the other available DH options, they were able to low-ball an offer to Ibanez and it worked. Signed at a dirt cheap $1 million contract plus incentives, Ibanez was a steal.
With Andruw Jones already on the roster as a platoon option, DH looks like the Yankees plan for Ibanez. If you take Ibanez's split vs. right-handed pitchers and Jones' split vs. left-handed pitchers, you get a very solid DH platoon.
Ibanez's 2011 RHP Stats: 403 AB / 103 H / 16 HR / 60 RBI / 0.256 AVG / 0.307 OBP / 0.440 SLG / 0.747 OPS
Jones' 2011 LHP Stats: 126 AB / 36 H / 8 HR / 25 RBI / 0.286 AVG / 0.384 OBP / 0.540 SLG / 0.924 OPS
Combined 2011 Stats: 530 AB / 139 H / 24 HR / 85 RBI / 0.262 AVG / 0.346 OBP / 0.466 SLG / 0.812 OPS
With this DH platoon, the Yankees have a very respectable output from the position for about $5 million cheaper. The Yankees must have thought this situation out for a long time and their patience paid off.
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