MLB Free Agency 2013: Raul Ibanez Returns to Mariners on 1-Year, $2.75M Deal

Doug Rush@Doug_RushSenior Analyst IDecember 23, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 13:  Raul Ibanez #27 of the New York Yankees hits a 2-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning againt the Detroit Tigers during Game One of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium on October 13, 2012 in the Bronx borough of New York City, New York.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

The New York Yankees have another vacancy in their lineup to fill for 2013.

Not only is the catcher spot open, but now, their designated hitter spot is as well.

Sweeny Murti of WFAN broke the news that former Yankees designated hitter Raul Ibanez has signed with the Seattle Mariners.

Raul Ibanez has agreed to a 1-year deal with the Mariners.

โ€” Sweeny Murti (@YankeesWFAN) December 23, 2012

Ronald Blum of the Miami Herald confirmed that the deal was for one-year worth $2.75 million.

It's the third time that Ibanez will be playing with the Mariners. Ibanez started his career in Seattle and played from 1996-2000, then returned in 2004 and played there until 2008.

The 40-year-old hit .240 with 19 home runs and 62 RBI in 133 games for the Yankees in 2012.

Ibanez made his mark with the team by hitting three clutch home runs for the Bombers in the postseason, two of which were game-tying shots and one was a game-winner in Game 3 against the Baltimore Orioles in the ALDS.

Ibanez signed with the Yankees last winter on a one-year, $1.1 million deal and the team was reported to have been discussing a potential 2013 return, but never made an official deal.

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Ibanez is one of several moves that the team has made this winter; they signed former Mets outfielder Jason Bay and traded for Angels first basemen Kendrys Morales to spruce up their extremely anemic offense.

With Ibanez now back in Seattle, Yankees GM Brian Cashman has to figure out the DH spot for 2013.

Some people expect Alex Rodriguez to take over the spot once he returns from his hip surgery, but he's not expected to be back until the middle of the summer.

It'll be the second year in a row where the Yankees will look for a replacement to fill in the DH spot.

Last winter, it was Ibanez who took over for Jorge Posada, who had announced his retirement from the team.

And now, it's anyone's guess as to who will take his spot now with the team.

Stay tuned, Yankees Universe.

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