Oh and Ibanez is gone
Declined arb, says the PI, Times, and everyone else.
We knew he would, and if he didn’t, he’d be a nice enough fit at DH next year (though they’d have to work out the playing time issues) etc.
Still, Ibanez was one of the best pickups Gillick made. At the time, we carped about signing him ahead of the arbitration deadline, giving up a pick when the Royals had no intention of offering it (but then, Gillick didn’t like his high picks and wanted to punt them, soooooo…). Gillick & Company said he had a swing tailor-made for Safeco Field, that he was going to hit great, and I was skeptical. I thought they were wrong, more properly. It’s turned out the M’s were absolutely right and I got to admit I was wrong over and over and over (and I couldn’t have been happier about that).
What the team does to replace his production will be one of the most interesting tests of the new leadership. Given their work on patching first base, though, you have to be optimistic right now.