I would’ve told the Angels not to do it, but when has Jerry Dipoto and company ever listened to me. Right. Never. In the spirit of not listening to me, the Angels inked Raul Ibanez to a one-year, $2.75M deal. The contract comes with incentives that can push the deal up to $5M.
A week ago, reports were that the Angels were closing on an possible deal with Ibanez. At the time, I expressed my concerns here. And I maintain my stance.
If Ibanez does not face a lefty this season, I will like the deal. The problem is, the Angels don’t have a platoon partner for Ibanez to take those at bats away from him. There have been rumblings that the Angels are interested in Mark Reynolds, but he comes with his own warts as well.
In the classic sense, this is not a bad move by the Angels. They picked up a left-handed masher who, over the last three seasons, has an OPS of .741 against righties and an ISO last year of .244. He is getting paid to do one thing; hit the ball very very hard. And he is getting paid to do in a place where left-handed hitters aren’t punished like right-handed hitters are.
In reality, he is still 42 years old and heading into his age-43 season, he can’t play defense…ever, and he is bound to fall off of a cliff at any time now. He absolutely needs a platoon partner, and right now, no such person exists on the Angels 25-man roster.
I sincerely hope that I am wrong, and will gladly eat crow at the end of the season if Ibanez maintains his abilities. But I fear that I am not.