Times: M’s sign Ibanez to two-year, $11m extentsion

DMZ · February 24, 2006 at 1:29 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Just when you thought the fun had stopped in this merry-go-round offseason. Finnigan, reports The Mariners now get to enjoy the services of Ibanez through 2008. From the Seattle Times today:

Befitting his status as successor to Alvin Davis and Edgar Martinez as the soul of the Seattle team, the Mariners have given Raul Ibanez a contract extension.

A source said Thursday the club has signed the outfielder, who is in the final season of a three-year deal, for another two years at $11 million.

Good thing they locked him up for those prime age 35 and 36 years, before we find out this year if his legs and body will hold up at all, much less allow him to hit while plodding around in left field, doubles dropping around him.

Two problems:
– if you thought he was tough to trade now, and were hoping some contending team might pick him up to patch a DH/LF hole as they head to the playoffs… nope
– combined with Everett’s easily vesting 2007 option, this makes it real hard to bring Adam Jones up that year, or any other super-talented left-field option, if you know who I’m talking about and I think you do.


74 Responses to “Times: M’s sign Ibanez to two-year, $11m extentsion”

  1. stripesjr on February 24th, 2006 1:03 pm

    This gives me a tummy ache.

  2. stripesjr on February 24th, 2006 1:09 pm

    I’m from Oregon and since I follow the NL more I would consider myself a casual fan of the M’s. I do not think of Raul Ibanez ever. A lot of the Mariners fan base is not in the Seattle area and couldn’t care less if Ibanez is a nice guy. I’m not going to travel 220 miles to watch team that sucks. We used ride up on the train every year to watch them when they actually put some talent on the field. I think moves like this, especially if they backfire will hurt PR a lot more than help.

  3. eponymous coward on February 24th, 2006 1:11 pm

    First of all, I think Ibanez had his best years with the Royals.(surprise,surprise).

    Uh…not so much. Remember, Kansas City is a MUCH better park to hit in than Safeco. Objectively, he’s hitting better here than there, though it’s pretty close. Plus he now is hitting lefties that he was useless against in KC.

    Also, according to Jeff at Lookout Landing, Ibannez actually has decent PECOTA projections through the length of his contract. He IS a late-maturing ballplayer, so I’d say it’s possible he could maintain his usefulness at DH.

    The big problem I have is he effectively clogs up a position (DH or LF) where you could put a really OUTSTANDING hitter, especially when combined with Everett possibly being back in 2007, as DMZ pointed out. I also suspect it will lead to other Bad Things happening- like extensions to guys like Guardado (who Bavasi raves about), and Bloomquist being favored over Lopez (got to hear Bill Kreuger on KJR this morning saying how Bloomquist would be a great 2 hitter since he’s a candidate to develop the sort of OBP you need there, p[lus he’s a great baserunner, gritty, blah blah blah).

    The more I see this management team, the more it convinces me that Bill Bavasi isn’t the right GM for a team that wants to win pennants. The farm system might crank out some players, which is the most fundamental level for success you need, but the problem is the roster decisions on the major league level sabotage that. Combined with a manager who clearly manages to the level of his roster talent (Hargrove)…it’s a recipe for a lot of 70-85 win seasons while the rest of the division blows by us.

  4. plivengood on February 24th, 2006 1:18 pm

    Dave wrote:

    This is not a baseball move. This is a P.R. move.

    If so, I hope the salary is counted as part of the marketing budget, and not the player payroll budget….

  5. gwangung on February 24th, 2006 2:04 pm

    Dave, feel free to school me when I’m ignorant (which is often, apparently). However, I quite honestly thought Mattox’s title was director of player personnel, which means different things to me than player development.

    But….how is this more of a PR move than, say, an overoptimistic assessment of capability combined with risk aversive behavior?

  6. Paul B on February 24th, 2006 2:09 pm

    Gee, the M’s haven’t done a signing like this since, …

    Danny Wilson’s last contract? That would seem very similar to me, overpaying and locking in an aging player.

  7. DMZ on February 24th, 2006 2:14 pm

    w/r/t Pecota projections: Ibanez’s projections for those years are decent, sure, but they’re not good, and they’re certainly nowhere near worth what he’ll be making.

  8. msb on February 24th, 2006 2:31 pm

    the AP say they are ‘working on it’: “The Seattle Mariners and outfielder Raul Ibanez on Friday said they have not agreed on a two-year contract extension for $11 million — yet. “We have not signed him and there’s no announcement pending,” team spokesman Tim Hevly told The Associated Press. After Friday’s team workout, Ibanez, 33, also said there’s been no agreement reached by his agent, Ron Shapiro, in negotiations with the Mariners, but he hinted one could be worked out soon. “I would say that things are going well and I’m optimistic,” he said.

  9. leetinsleyfanclub on February 24th, 2006 3:20 pm


    It’s so ironic that you brought up Branch Rickey’s famous “better to trade a player a year early than a year late” line. I recently saw an interview with Bavasi in which he made reference to this quote by Rickey, saying that his dad had always drilled into him how important timing was in signing and trading players. Looks like the juggernaut that is the M’s marketing department cannot only win over mindless casual fans but can also drive a seemingly intelligent man into a state of amnesia.

  10. Smegmalicious on February 24th, 2006 3:42 pm

    Wait, there’s a seemingly intelligent man in the Mariners front office?

  11. Nintendo Marios on February 24th, 2006 3:45 pm

    #22 – A M E N.

    Now, how do we keep attention focused on Howie Lincoln through this forthcoming disaster of baseball farce?

    The inevitible firing of Bavasi will be no less a PR move than this gift to Raul. Howie Lincoln is the consistent problem. He’s the one ensuring our franchise is an entertainment business instead of a baseball club. It is Howard’s head we have to get before there will be any meaningful change to this organization.

  12. Grizz on February 24th, 2006 3:50 pm

    AD only went to the All-Star game once- the year he won Rookie of the Year, and he deserved it that year.

    I did not mean to suggest his All-Star selection was in the same category as Mike Sharperson or Scott Cooper, only to acknowledge that he was a good but not great player. Davis certainly had a very good year in 1984 (although to be fair, without the one player per team rule, Kent Hrbek probably takes his roster spot). The main point was that even though Alvin Davis was not a Murray or Clark, he was special – to the M’s. Invoking Alvin and Edgar to justify a bad contract is a bit distasteful, kind of like last year’s endless waving of the bloody “1995 Season 10th Anniversary” shirt.

  13. eponymous coward on February 24th, 2006 3:56 pm

    Ibanez’s projections for those years are decent, sure, but they’re not good, and they’re certainly nowhere near worth what he’ll be making.

    I don’t disagree, even if the market inflates some, and it’s going to create a position logjam, plus you’d really like to put a thumper in LF/DH if you can instead of a .350 OBP/.450 SLG guy if you can.

    It becomes even MORE of a problem with a lineup with Everett/Bloomquist/Betancourt being out-tastic with a combined OBP not much over .300, which is something I fear, a lot. Add Beltre who thinks it’s 2002, 2003 or 2005 in that mix and…ugh. That’s the one thing that worries me about this offense is that it’s pretty short on anyone with plate discipline- Ibañez and Sexson and Reed are OK but not great (and I’m not completely sold on Ibañez holding up for an entire season in the field or for the length of the contract being discussed).

    Looks like the juggernaut that is the M’s marketing department cannot only win over mindless casual fans but can also drive a seemingly intelligent man into a state of amnesia.

    I don’t think it’s the “marketing” so much as the “intangibles”- which brings me back to back to back 90 loss seasons. For all Ibañez’s “intangibles”, he’s hasn’t been a regular on a team above .500. So… if Carl Everett gets points for being on a World Series champion and 6 out of 8 above .500 clubs…


    “Carl Everett is a winning player and a leader,” said general manager Bill Bavasi, who signed Everett to $3.4 million contract with a club option for 2007. “We needed winning players on the field and in the clubhouse.”

    Indeed, while Everett has bounced around, he has landed with winners. Since leaving the New York Mets after the 1997 season and going to Houston, which he calls his favorite place to play, he has been on winning teams in six of the past eight seasons.

    …doesn’t Ibañez LOSE points? Or is this one of those subjective factors you can ignore when it’s convenient for your argument?

  14. pcfarnes on February 24th, 2006 4:40 pm

    From seattlemariners.com

    Mariners log: Friday morning’s editions of The Seattle Times reported that a source said the Mariners had signed outfielder Ibanez to a two-year, $11 million contract extension, but there was no official announcement. A team spokesman said nothing had been finalized yet. …

    Yet….Maybe there is still hope that this is nothing but a rumor

  15. little joey on February 24th, 2006 5:08 pm

    The Mariners signed C Jose Yepez, who played last year in the Northern League (independent) and before that in the Blue Jays system. Too bad he’s not an alternative to Ibanez.

    Actually, his minor league stats are ugly, and he didn’t do much in the independent league either. Must be a helluva catcher. I remember being really excited by the big wave of indy guys- Madritsch, Randy Williams, Greg Jacobs. The only one who still has a chance to do anything is Sherrill, who is pretty cool.

  16. Dave in Palo Alto on February 24th, 2006 5:15 pm

    Not crazy about the deal, but not sure I subscribe fully to the pipeline clog theory. It assumes Krazy Karl remains a lineup fixture, and I don’t make that assumption. I can easily see Karl going Aurelia on us and leave before his contract expires. Even the M’s wouldn’t block talent to keep him in the lineup (would they?). So far nobody’s accused Everett of being the heart and soul of the team.

    Maybe the spleen.

  17. Mr. Egaas on February 24th, 2006 7:04 pm

    You can live without a spleen!

  18. sankthetank on February 24th, 2006 7:41 pm

    Something to make you giggle: Finnigan writes in this article, “Although Ibanez tripled in the winning run in the Mariners’ playoff-clinching win in Anaheim at the end of the 2000 season, he was let go to free agency after that season.” This is factually incorrect, as David Bell’s HR in the 7th put the M’s up 3-2, and the Ibanez triple put the M’s up 5-2, which was the final score. Way to fact-check, Finn-dogg!

  19. Jake Brake on February 24th, 2006 8:41 pm

    Re: #68
    That’s the level of excellence we’ve come to expect from good ol’ Pocket Lint. Not only was his assertion factually incorrect, it’s logically irrelevant. Holy cow! Ibanez had a (semi-)clutch hit in a playoff-clinching win! How did we let this guy get away? Did I mention Willie tore it up for a couple of months his first season in the bigs? He’s indispensible! etc. etc.

    Eponymous Coward: you can build nicely constructed arguments against it all you want (and you do a beautiful job of it, by the way), but how many examples do you need to see? I didn’t claim that Lincoln’s strategy of business 1, winning 2 was being successfully executed, only that it is the operating ethos. The management hires (Bavasi, Hargrove, Melvin) have been brought in because they won’t make waves, not because they have a demonstrated history of success. Is anyone really surprised that Bavasi’s (or Hargrove’s, or Melvin’s) performance has been mediocre at best, and right in line with his past performance?

  20. peterrabbit on February 24th, 2006 10:21 pm

    So maybe just maybe an explanation for some of these bizarre contracts is under the table kickbacks. I won’t mention possible names. There are lots of possibilities and combinations. The Mariners do have some absentee ownership right? Who could be vulnerable to ????

  21. ChrisK on February 24th, 2006 10:25 pm

    Ibanez is a 5-tool player in the eyes of the FO:

    Tool #1: Nice guy
    Tool #2: Family guy (had his kid in his arms at press conf)
    Tool #3: Former Mariner (prodigal son returns)
    Tool #4: Good in commercials
    Tool #5: Media friendly (accessible, won’t complain if team sucks)

    Can’t wait for those Raul & Willie commercials!

  22. BelaXadux on February 24th, 2006 11:47 pm

    I don’t doubt that the Ibanez offer/signing is 90% a PR move; that’s written all over it, with phrases hand-fed to their ‘outside’ PR guy, Finnegan, such as ‘successor to Edgar’ only confirming the play. After two, ugly, 90-loss seasons, this offseason was, to be extremely kind, a wash, which in the circumstances where significant talent inflows are needed, makes it a failure. Some few may know that possible breakouts by YuBet, J-Lo, and a couple of others offer something to look forward to. The Ms are and should be worried about a serious attendance decline on the part of the ‘me-too’ fan—so a big media push of real or invented fan favorites is their tried and true solution. Enter Raul the Leader, stage right (ignore those FO handlers ill-concealed behind the curtain elbowing him toward the TV camera to sell, sell, sell, baby) . . .

    Ughh. Raul, of course, wants to play, and would be a fool to turn down ten very large guaranteed. I don’t blame him for any of this, but.

  23. BelaXadux on February 24th, 2006 11:55 pm

    And yes, Bill B. has a well-documented record of doing what his boss wants, even where that’s half-crazy. Go back to the Mo Vaughn signing in Anaheim, which he stated was dictated to him by his owner at the time. Several of the moves made in Bavasi’s first few months on the job were handed to him by the previous regime, too; he only did what he was told. I’ll take back a little of my screed against Bavasi accordingly in that I doubt that this was wholly of his doing. Bill has not, however, done enough with the acquisitions he’s free to make to make up for those handed down by the Ms brain(dead)trust. The shrewd, small moves, like the first acquisition of Villone, or picking up Bazardo, or the trade for Carvajal, speak well of the talent assessment team he has put in place. But the bigger deals he’s made just don’t aggregate enough talent.

  24. msb on February 25th, 2006 8:08 am

    #68– I think it’s been pretty well established this last week or so that if Finny has a fact-checker, he/she/it didn’t make the trek to Peoria.

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