Raul Ibanez Close to a Deal With the Angels?

By Michael Hllywa

Initial knee jerk reaction to this report:

Nope. Nope nope nope. Nope

Reaction after sitting down and looking at the numbers:

Okay. Maybe. But only in a situation where he is strictly platooned. And by “strictly platooned” I mean, he gets zero at bats against any pitcher who throws horsehide from the left side of his body. Over the last three seasons, Raul Ibanez has a .249/.310/.471 slash line against righties. Against lefties he has a slash line of .221/.268/.386. No lefties. Not even once. Not even for science.

Final reaction after sleeping and dreaming about it (don’t judge me):

Nope. Nope nope nope. Nope

I don’t care that his SLG has risen each of the last three seasons and that his ISO was a robust .244 last year in Seattle. His K-rate was a career-high 25.8% last season, and he is going to be 42. If Ibanez has found the fountain of youth, good for him. But I am sure that I am not the only one who wants to be there should his magic potion wear off in the middle of the 2014 season. And I definitely don’t want it happening while he is wearing an Angels uniform.

The Angels did this before with a lefty masher when they signed Hideki Matsui to a one-year deal in 2010. His job was to be the power. His SLG dropped 50 points that season.

You and I both know that Mike Scioscia isn’t going to platoon Ibanez as strictly as he needs to be platooned. He’ll find a reason to let him face left handers. He’ll find a reason to let him play the field every once-in-awhile. And, well…

Yeah. That happened last season.

It seems like a smart move. And damnit, it would be a smart move. But it is only a smart move if you trust that his aging curve is going to maintain as it has over the last three seasons (I don’t) and if you trust Scioscia to platoon him like he should be (I don’t).

The Angels already have a revolving door for the DH spot between Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton. Signing Ibanez makes the team slower and older while taking away at bats from, presumably, Kole Calhoun. There just has to be another way to do this without hoping that Ibanez can continue to defy the sands of time. There just has to be.