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Posts Tagged ‘Raul Ibañez’

Phillies sign Raul Ibañez, Mets don’t really care

Posted by jmkraft on December 12, 2008

Sure, the Mets had been linked to Raul Ibañez for some time, and sure, it would have been an nice story for the native New Yorker to come home and open up Citi Field in left field. 

But while the Mets are hardly starved for cash, Ibañez would have been an expensive solution to a problem that can be solved very easily. In fact, it might not even be a problem at all. While many are wary of leaving left field to a combination of Fernando Tatis/Daniel Murphy/Nick Evans, keep in mind that the Mets were getting excellent production out of this position last year.

Even if Omar Minaya desires an upgrade at the position, there are plenty of other more than adequate outfielders on the free agent market. I’m a big fan of signing Juan Rivera, who could be this year’s best free agent bargain. Rivera has been hidden on the Angels bench for much of the past few seasons, and he provides the right-handed power that the Mets have been looking for. In 2006, with the Angels, he hit .310 with 23 HR and 85 RBIs in 124 games. 

Then, there is Ibañez’s fielding. I didn’t realize what a bad fielder he really is, but Matthew Artus of Always Amazin’ does a great job of summing it up:

Yes, Ibanez can hit. He put up a .293/.358/.479 in 2008 with 23 HRs and a BB/K ratio of 0.58 in 707 PAs. And both Bill James (.278/.343/.448 with 22 HRs and a 0.57 BB/K ratio) and Marcel (.277/.342/.461 with 21 HRs and a 0.51 BB/K ratio in 617 PAs) project numbers in that neighborhood for Ibanez’s 2009 season. So he’s consistent. Then why not sign him? 

Because he’s dead weight in left field. That’s a big statement, considering most teams hide their worst defender in left field as its the least busy position on the field. But Ibanez is at the bottom.

Of players with over 500 PAs this season, Ibanez put up a -17.1, ranking last among left fielders in average BIS and STATS rating (as provided by Justin’s Stats). For perspective, Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun led left fielders with 500 ABs, posting a 9.1 rating while Fernando Tatis (-3.1 in 306 PAs) and Daniel Murphy (-1.3 in 151 PAs) kept their defense in more respectable areas than Ibanez.

So the only reason to be upset about the Phillies signing Ibañez is the fact that he’s on the Phillies, which means that he will take Pat Burrell‘s place as Met Killer.

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My [remaining] Mets Hot Stove Wish-List

Posted by jmkraft on December 11, 2008

At the beginning of this year’s Hot Stove season (aka the offseason), I wrote a post  indicating my wish list for Omar Minaya and the Mets’ brass. Here’s an update:

1) A set-up man with closer experience. This could be filled soon if the JJ Putz trade goes forward. If not, I’m looking for either Huston Street or Chad Cordero to fill the gap.

2) At least one starting pitcher. At this point, I think we’re out of the running for Derek Lowe, which is probably a good thing, because the market is way too inflated for a pitcher of his age. Jon Garland or Jason Marquis would be expensive options to compete with Jon Niese for the fifth starter spot, as would Pedro Martinez. Even more expensive would be Oliver Perez, whom I think the Mets will ultimately resign. There really is no great option here, so I’d rather see Omar get creative here, if possible.

3) At least one veteran outfielder. Raul Ibañez probably won’t happen, but I’d be just as happy with Juan Rivera, who could prove to be this year’s most significant bargain. 

4) As many bullpen arms as possible. Seriously, bring in as many guys as is fiscally possible and let them battle it out in Spring Training. Relievers are inconsistent by their very nature, so this is not a bad strategy.

5) Some kind of miracle which would purge Luis Castillo from Flushing and replace him with Orlando Hudson. Sadly, this is just not going to happen. Sigh.

6) A solid utility infielder, and preferably one not named Felipe Lopez. I don’t know why I have a bad feeling that Lopez could find his way to Citi Field. Maybe it’s because the Mets are the place where former Nationals go to continue their mediocrity. Should Castillo find himself starting at second in 2009, he’ll certainly need a backup who is capable of starting if and when he goes down.

7) An end to the “evvvvvvvverybody clap your hands” chant. And to the wave. And to the excessive playing of Sandstorm. Can we enjoy a game in peace for once?

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