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The word underrated and Raul Ibanez seem to go hand in hand nowadays. The current home run and RBI leader for the Mariners is having a great season and proving his worth to the other 29 MLB teams who didn't offer him a contract last offseason.
Ibanez had a stellar postseason in 2012 for the New York Yankees, batting .318 with three homers and five RBI in eight games. The Yankees, however, decided not to retain Ibanez and he wound up signing a one-year, $2.75 million contract with the Mariners this past offseason.
Mariners manager Eric Wedge told Greg Johns of MLB.com that Ibanez has really made himself an indispensable part of the team.
"...He's the one guy who has been playing every day and not just DHing, but playing," Wedge told MLB.com. "He's an animal, this guy, really. His body, you look at his shape and discipline. People might get on me for playing him against left-handers, but he does damage. I don't care what his average is, he does damage against left-handers.”
Even though Ibanez has made himself quite indispensable in Seattle, there is a good chance that he could fill a role on a contender.