With the A.J. trade completed last night, the only other remaining roster change should be the addition of a free agent DH to fill the lefty platoon spot in the lineup. The talk for the past week has been that the Yankees were targeting Raul Ibanez for that role, and that talk intensified to an almost near certainty over this past weekend as Johnny Damon pulled out of contention.
I'm not a fan of spending money or a guaranteed roster spot on Ibanez, but in fairness to him his .256/.307/.440 line (.322 wOBA) against right-handed pitching last year was better than Damon's line of .255/.314/.401 (.313 wOBA). Ibanez will also come a bit cheaper, somewhere in the $1-2 million range, although I still can't wrap my head around the thought of him being a better OF option than Damon.
With camp officially open and position players expected to officially report by this Saturday, and the A.J. trade finalized, the Ibanez signing should come soon. Don't think I'm going to be putting up a doomsday clock for this move, though.
** UPDATE- 8:29 AM- Buster Olney is reporting that the the Yanks already have a deal in place with Ibanez, pending his passing a physical. Contract is reportedly worth $1.1 mil. **
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