In reading over MLBTR's list of the top-50 free agents and where they might end up, it jumped out at me that Dierkes listed Ben Sheets and Raul Ibanez as guys who he thinks will end up signing with the Braves. Sheets I'm okay with, injuries and all, but Ibanez. Really?
To me he seems like trade-slash-free-agent option 4c. Then I read this from Peter Gammons today:
Raul Ibanez. His 338 RBIs the past three years are more than Ramirez (311), Teixeira (336) or Vladimir Guerrero; he is a leader, a tremendous person and a legitimate middle-of-the-order bat. It's nice that such a good person will get paid.
Legitimate middle-of-the-order bat? Really? I would have thought that a legitimate middle-of-the-order guy would have hit 30 homeruns more than once in his career. And don't think for a minute that Seattle's home park -- often considered a pitcher's park -- has anything to do with his lack of power. He has 90 career homeruns at home and 92 on the road; and an identical career batting average of .286 both at home and away.
It's pretty safe to say that Ibanez is a solid .280, 25 homerun, 105 RBI, 105 strikeout guy. In looking over the rest of his splits, they're so damn even across the board that Ibanez might be the most even keeled (read boring) hitter in baseball.
Still, he just doesn't seem like that "impact" bat we need. For some reason I'm fixated on the Braves acquiring Magglio Ordonez. And really he's probably not that much of a better hitter, but for me he's a guy who would make our lineup a bit more feared by opposing pitchers.
Ken Rosenthal says that the Mets tried to acquire Ibanez last July and maintin a strong interest in the outfielder. Raul Ibanez was born in New York City... that seems like a better fit.
And all of the above is just looking at his hitting... his fielding on the other hand... oof!