New York Yankees Sign Raul Ibanez to Be DH, Right Move for the Team

Doug Rush@Doug_RushSenior Analyst IFebruary 20, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 07:  Raul Ibanez #29 of the Philadelphia Phillies bats against the St. Louis Cardinals during Game Five of the National League Divisional Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 7, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

The Yankees finally have landed their DH for the 2012 season.

According to Buster Olney of ESPN, the Yankees have reached an agreement with former Phillies outfielder Raul Ibanez.

Yankees have an agreement with Raul Ibanez, pending a physical.

— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) February 20, 2012

 

The framework of the deal was done weeks ago, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, and was started at roughly around $1.1 million.

With the deal, Ibanez can earn as much as up to $4 million with incentives, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

The 39-year old Ibanez hit .245 with 20 home runs and 84 RBI with the Phillies in 2011, but with Philadelphia bringing in Hunter Pence and developing Domonic Brown, Ibanez's services in Philly weren't needed.

The Phillies offered Ibanez arbitration back in November, but Ibanez declined it, so the Phillies will receive a supplemental draft pick from the Yankees in June's MLB Draft.

The Yankees were also looking at Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui and Vladimir Guerrero as potential DH's, but the Yankees preferred Ibanez in the long run because of his left-handed bat and his ability to play the field.

Ibanez will play primarily against right-handed pitching, while Andruw Jones will likely start against lefties.

Ibanez could also start in left field if the Yankees if the team wants to sit Brett Gardner for a game as well.

Signing Ibanez was the right move for the Yankees to make. Ibanez brings versatility to the team, as he can play more than one position, aside from just being the DH.

A lot of fans wanted to see the Yankees and Damon reunite, but Damon's playing days in the outfield are long gone, and would strictly be a hitter.

Despite only hitting .245 in Philly, Ibanez could see his power numbers go up playing in Yankee Stadium with the short-porch in right field.

With the starting lineup now set, the Yankees can really focus on getting ready for the 2012 season with spring training just getting under way.

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