Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Ra's al Ul Might Not End Up In Pinstripes After All

"But if you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself to an ideal, and if they can't stop you, then you become something else entirely."

"Which is?"

"A legend, Mr. Ibanez."

And apparently that's exactly what Raul Ibanez did this past season.  A year after the Yankees had to fight off nobody to sign him before Spring Training, Ibanez now finds himself being courted by the Texas Rangers in addition to the Yankees for his services as a lefty power platoon bat with the biggest grapefruits this side of Vince McMahon.

Props to Brien Jackson and the crew at IIATMS for being the only site in the blogosphere that I saw that covered this today, and yeah, I totally copycatted my idea to write about this from them.  Deal with it.  But as far as Ibanez and the Yanks go, there hasn't been a whole lot of talk since the initial "interest" phase earlier in the offseason.  The Yankees could use another right-handed bat more than a left one, but it would be fun to have Ibanez back on the bench in 2013.  If it turns out that last October was the final time we got to see Ra's al Ul in a Yankee uniform, we'll always have the memories...

Moving A-Rod To DH Full Time And How To Make It Happen

(Thinking about the good old days, perhaps.  Courtesy of US Presswire)

When going through my L/R batting order exercise for next season yesterday, you may have noticed that I had both Alex Rodriguez and Kevin Youkilis listed as "3B/DH."  I'm sure most people weren't surprised by that, as both players have struggled mightily with injuries as they've moved into their mid-30s, and more and more the DH spot is becoming a safe haven for them to lessen the wear and tear on their bodies and keep themselves healthy and on the field as much as possible.  Youkilis is going to get the lion's share of ABs at the hot corner to start the season with A-Rod on the DL, but when Rodriguez comes back Joe is going to have to work out a system to give each of them a day or days at DH and possibly a full day off per week to keep them healthy and allow them to produce as much as their remaining skill sets will allow them to.

As far as Youkilis is concerned, whatever the Yankees do with him will only be for this next year.  He's on a 1-year contract and with the type of money he'll command in free agency after next season there's no chance the Yankees bring him back again with the payroll goal being the first priority.  A-Rod is a different story, however, as he'll still have 4 more years left on his contract, 4 years that could be very long and painful for everyone to watch if he continues down the path he's already on.  While they have time to plan out a strategy, it would behoove the Yankees to investigate a way to move A-Rod to DH full time.