M’s Opt For Ibanez as Swisher Signs With Cleveland

marc w · December 26, 2012 at 2:18 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

I know, I know, the M’s re-re-acquiring Raul Ibanez isn’t causally linked to Nick Swisher signing a relatively cheap contract in Cleveland. The timing wasn’t great for frustrated M’s fans (or for Jack Zduriencik, I’d assume), but it’s just a coincidence.

It’s easier to make that claim because the M’s never really seemed interested in Swisher. The M’s had a need, and Swisher’s positional flexibility seemed tailor-made for the 2013 ball club, but Zduriencik had his sights elsewhere. That’s not to suggest that the M’s think a 41 year old Ibanez can match Swisher’s production, just that Zduriencik wasn’t interested in a big-dollar free agent offensive upgrade once Josh Hamilton spurned his offer.

So that brings us to Ibanez, the veteran OF/DH who had a power surge last year playing in new Yankee Stadium. The park and positive defensive numbers (???) pushed his WAR over 1, but in more limited time, in Safeco, I’d have a hard time seeing him come all that close to 1 WAR next year.

What’s sort of interesting is that Zduriencik hasn’t suggested that he expects Ibanez to produce much. The public statements about the pick-up all focus on Raul’s leadership, experience and class. I’ve no reason to doubt that Ibanez possesses these qualities, but I have a few to doubt the M’s offensive production in 2013 will rival the late 90s M’s. it’s just one move, and its still December, but it appears Zduriencik is trying to get more out of the talent already on the roster instead of adding talent to the roster.

I’m all for squeezing the most out of the young players on the team. Great coaching can help do that, and competition can often help too, but getting benched so a player-coach hybrid can play probably isn’t a great way to make Eric Thames a better player. Mike Carp faced long odds before, and you’d figure this seals his fate. I can see an argument that Ibanez is a better bet to outhit both next year, but slotting Ibanez in shows very little confidence in the in-house options.# None of the myriad corner OF’s the M’s have acquired in recent years was a Wil-Myers-esque prospect, but the trade of Trayvon Robinson and freezing out Thames suggests the M’s were just as underwhelmed by the pick-ups as Dave Cameron, and if you’ve heard Dave talk about Robinson, that’s saying something.

Essentially, the Ibanez pick-up is great if you agree that the M’s really got zero near-MLB talent for the flurry of minor moves over the past two years, and that patching together a LF/1B/DH job share will somehow have all sorts of leadership externalities that inspire Dustin Ackley to line outside fastballs down the LF line. I like Raul a lot, and think he could be a useful bench bat somewhere, but I don’t like the sense that this front office values leadership over development.*

# I’d seen some comments suggesting that if the M’s replaced Carlos Peguero with Ibanez, it’d all be worth it. Well, the M’s DFA’d DJ Mitchell instead. Mitchell’s an undersized, low-velo righty who’s out pitched his raw stuff in AAA. He’s decent depth in a system that has tons of decent depth, so it’s not a travesty or anything, but it doesn’t help clarify the OF situation

* For all his avuncular charm and experience, Eduardo Perez was unable to help Jeff Clement hit a curveball. The idea that leadership can inspire others is a testable hypothesis that has been tested again and again and again. No, none of these tests is dispositive, but I’d love to see a scrap of evidence from the ‘leadership is magic’ crowd.

Comments

54 Responses to “M’s Opt For Ibanez as Swisher Signs With Cleveland”

  1. kenshabby on December 26th, 2012 2:57 pm
  2. ivan on December 26th, 2012 3:33 pm

    If Ibanez and Bay shove Thames off the 25-man roster, the M’s will have ZERO African-American players. FWIW.

    Thames — and Wells, for that matter — need to hit their way onto the 25-man, and keep hitting to stay there. I’m not as bent out of shape as most of the commenters appear to be about the offseason so far. It has always been a case of “produce or get out.” It applies to Bay and Ibanez just as it does to Wells and Thames. If Wells hits, he’ll be in there.

  3. _Hutch_ on December 26th, 2012 3:42 pm

    That’s worth less than nothing, Ivan. This isn’t Harvard, this is professional baseball.

    And as nice as it is to reassure yourself that Wells could make this whole thing go away by having a good spring, I’m not comfortable leaving the fate of a potentially productive young player up to a handful of literally meaningless spring at-bats and the “veteran player” fetish of the Front Office. I could easily see Bay and Wells put up roughly similar spring lines and have the team jettison Wells because of the need for a veteran presencesblahblahbullshit in the clubhouse.

  4. taylor.mariner on December 26th, 2012 3:54 pm

    That .gif made me laugh for like three minutes straight. I’m so glad I got season tickets for Christmas.

  5. Westside guy on December 26th, 2012 3:58 pm

    We already know Wedge makes significant decisions based on spring training performances, despite the fact that spring training performances have little predictive value. Doesn’t seem to matter that pitchers are often working on specific things and focussing less on getting batters out – and I have little doubt that even Bay can put up impressive spring training numbers against guys who might be throwing 20 change-ups in a row. So, right now, I predict Thames and Wells are gone.

    It really bugs me to hear Jack talking about Hamilton as if he was the only worthwhile free agent out there. Maybe a few months will temper my cynicism… but I’m expecting the team to do worse, and if Z gets canned mid-way I’m not sure I’ll shed many tears. Right now my opinion of him is pretty low. He knows about the farm, but I see no evidence he’s particularly good at evaluating major league talent. Even Bavasi could’ve pulled off the Vargas trade.

  6. ripperlv on December 26th, 2012 4:05 pm

    I’d love to see a scrap of evidence from the ‘leadership is magic’ crowd.

    Here you go “zero, none, nil”. Wasn’t Griffey Jr. brought in for his leadership? Ibanez did insinuate in the Baker interview the reason he signed with the M’s is because he was promised a “fair” number of at bats. I don’t know what that # is, but it sounds to me that the plan for Ibanez is to play alot more that I could possibly hope for. This move is a head scratcher to me.

  7. Westside guy on December 26th, 2012 4:07 pm

    BTW Ibañez’s career regular season OPS is .810, while his post-season OPS is .744 – just thought I’d preempt any “clutch” talk.

  8. wilchiro on December 26th, 2012 4:07 pm

    So, what is this team going to have, a $65 million payroll? That’s ridiculous. Four years ago, we had a payroll over $100 million. This ownership group is cheap, and not interested in building a successful ballclub here in Seattle. I’m all for building the team from scratch and creating a dynasty for years to come, but we’re going on year five here with Zduriencik and we’re simply not seeing results. In all likelihood, this team will not compete this season or next season, so how much longer are we going to have to wait?

    It was my understanding that the M’s were going to raise payroll from last year’s $85 million or so. I honestly don’t care what this team is spending, but I want to see an effort to improve the team via free agency or trade. The chances of all the youngsters panning out is slim.

    I’d love for this team to add a guy like Bourn to add to the top of the lineup to really solidify our outfield. I’d be willing to give up a mid-first round draft pick for an annual 5-WAR player.

  9. TherzAlwaysHope on December 26th, 2012 4:07 pm

    I recall that it was Swisher that showed no interest in living in Seattle. Instead he was a Ohio Buckeye and that this was a homecoming kind of move for him.

  10. wilchiro on December 26th, 2012 4:14 pm

    I can assure you that Swisher would have came here if we had offered more money than Cleveland did, which we should have done. He’s gone on air on MLB Network stating that he loves the city of Seattle and it is his favorite place to play. Plain and simple, this team did not want to surrender it’s first round pick in order to get Swisher.

  11. ripperlv on December 26th, 2012 4:14 pm

    If Ibanez and Bay shove Thames off the 25-man roster, the M’s will have ZERO African-American players. FWIW.

    Thats a good reason as any to go after Bourn. At least it sounds like a better reason than I can think of to go after Ibanez.

  12. roosevelt on December 26th, 2012 4:20 pm

    Wonder if Chone Figgins would come back???? Got to solve that important diversity issue. I say get a few more wins.

  13. stevemotivateir on December 26th, 2012 5:30 pm

    Shannon Drayer had posted an article about Swisher and the possibility of him coming to Seattle. She did this to counter the speculation that he had no interest in coming here.

    Really doesn’t matter now. But if surrendering the draft pick was the issue, you can forget about Bourn as well.

  14. argh on December 26th, 2012 5:48 pm

    Neither the local media nor the Mariners can afford to admit that our rainy, foggy, soggy, cold climate and the worst travel schedule in baseball might deter MLB players from coming here even at premium dollars. How long would already drab ticket sales stay at even mediocre levels if the powers that be (in and out of media) threw up their hands and conceded, “Well, no shit, Sherlock — first rate MLB players in their prime really don’t want to play here.” Sorry, but I take Swisher’s public comments about loving Seattle and Drayer’s reassurances with a tiny little grain of salt. MLB players don’t piddle on the opposition cities if they don’t have screws loose and for the above stated reasons Drayer’s bread is completely buttered by the fiction that MLB players are totally motivated by money — if only Z and the owners would open the purse strings wide enough. I think the evidence shows that if Seattle pays top top dollar it gets the weirdos, the on-the-edge-of-cratering has-beens, the past-their-prime prima donas, the reclamation projects and the *occasional* possibly decent player from the West Coast who doesn’t mind living on airplanes (cf. Chone Figgins). Seattle wasn’t interested in Swisher? Like hell. He wasn’t interested in *us*. I think we need to recognize that dynamic and adjust our expectations accordingly.

  15. PackBob on December 26th, 2012 5:49 pm

    I’m frankly tired of the leadership game where seemingly every year the Mariners unveil their new past-prime (or worse) veteran player to lead the young troops. The Mariners have money to spend, as evidenced by the Hamilton bid, there was and is good available talent on the market, and there has still been no free agent signing.

    Maybe it’s just the timing, and if the M’s sign Bourn or someone else it would change, but Ibanez seems like nothing more than peripheral fluff right now. Anti-excitement.

  16. ivan on December 26th, 2012 5:52 pm

    “And as nice as it is to reassure yourself that Wells could make this whole thing go away by having a good spring, I’m not comfortable leaving the fate of a potentially productive young player up to a handful of literally meaningless spring at-bats and the “veteran player” fetish of the Front Office.”

    I haven’t “reassured myself” of anything. Unlike some people who post here as if they can read Wedge’s mind, or if they “can assure us” what Nick Swisher would have done, I make no such claims. I don’t know jack shit, and I see I have a lot of company.

    I wouldn’t have signed Bay, or Ibanez, and certainly not Delmon Young. I’d have gone young and stayed young. IMO, FWIW, Bourn isn’t what they need either. I look at him and see a left-handed Brian Hunter. He’s a better fielder than Hunter. I’d give Wells a job and tell him to play his way out of it. I have seen worse players, far worse players, given that chance for an entire year.

    I try to keep my expectations in line with reality. I see a decent young core here that any reasonable observer would expect to develop into a contender. I don’t demand that it happen immediately. I don’t read Baker or Steve Kelley, and I don’t listen to those talk show morons.

    There’s no reason to think Seattle can’t reach .500 this season, and progress steadily to contention after that. I look at Baltimore and Oakland, and where they were, and think, why not here?

  17. wilchiro on December 26th, 2012 6:30 pm

    Something I’ve thought of is with the money we’re throwing at Bay and Ibanez, we could have gotten Alfonso Soriano, who wouldn’t really be a “sexy” acquisition, but the Cubs are willing to pay $26 million of the $36 million remaining on his contract and he posted a 4 WAR season last year. He’s regarded as a poor defender but he did post an 11.8 UZR last year. Obviously he’s going on 37-years-old next month, but he posted a 30/100 season last year. Could be a decent alternative if we can’t get a bat.

  18. stevemotivateir on December 26th, 2012 6:46 pm

    @argh

    Great rant. So explain how the Mariners attracted guys like Olerud, Boone (second time around), Beltre, and even Ichiro? What was weird or alarming about those guys?

    Did you happen to look at Swisher’s career numbers at Safeco? Explain what part of those numbers suggest he wouldn’t be interested in playing here.

    How do explain Swisher signing with Cleveland? Do think that’s really a more attractive option than Seattle? Do you think they’re any closer to contention?

    “Neither the local media nor the Mariners can afford to admit that our rainy, foggy, soggy, cold climate and the worst travel schedule in baseball might deter MLB players from coming here even at premium dollars.”

    The local media has addressed that many times, including Drayer and Johns. Everyone is well aware Safeco hasn’t been the most hitter-friendly stadium, but it doesn’t mean money can’t influence a decision. Moving the fences in may help, but having a team closer to contention is probably a considerable factor as well.

    You may not believe Swisher wanted to, or was willing to come here, but there’s nothing to suggest he wouldn’t have if he had been made a substantial offer.

  19. MrZDevotee on December 26th, 2012 6:58 pm

    At the risk of sounding like an Ibanez apologist (and for the record I DIDN’T like the signing) comparing his return to Seattle to that of Ken Griffey Jr is incredibly unfair.

    Pro athletes have incredible work regimes and Ibanez is widely recognized as one of the best at training and preparation, which is why he’s still a viable player. His presence alone won’t make anybody better, granted, but when you have a bunch of 1st thru 3rd year players, it’s nice to bring in successful, hardworking professional ballplayers who can show them what it’s like to put in the time it takes to stay at this level (no one would call Ibanez a “super star” and yet he’s still playing at age 40). It’s not about making them better players, magically, it’s about instilling them with better habits, which will hopefully help make them better players during their tenures in the game.

    And yeah, lots of teams pick up seasoned veterans and hope to get a decent year out of them– um, like the playoff bound, World Series sniffing, New York Yankees last year, with a guy named Raul Ibanez, who started in left field (thanks to an injury), and excelled in the playoffs for them.

    Honestly, I don’t mind taking at bats from young players. You aren’t promised anything in this game. Guys who have already proven their worth can give guys who haven’t a little incentive to work harder and take each moment a little more seriously. I mean, using a favorite name to drop around here, who’s to say Mike Morse didn’t become a better player PRECISELY because he got shipped off with a “you’re not wanted” message attached to his “ex-Mariner” behind? There are a LOT of guys out there that want the job you want, too (talking to Casper Wells, Eric Thames, Mike Carp, Carlos Peguerro, etc.). The game is all about competition, and every moment of competition makes the team better in the end.

    And I really dont’ believe Bay OR Ibanez are promised anything beyond what their performance would suggest. Play better than them if you want time on the field. It’s the right message, and it shouldn’t be that difficult for guys legitimately poised for a major league career. Those type of guys should respond POSITIVELY to the challenge.

    And again, I’d rather we NOT have signed Ibanez. I’m not a fanboy of his. But that doesn’t make it a suck move, in and of itself.

  20. Omerta on December 26th, 2012 7:44 pm

    Just out of curiousity, when and how has the effect of leadership been tested, specifically?

    If we agree that intangibles cannot generally be measured, how can we tell if it was the “leadership” that failed in any given situation?

    Not trying to be difficult, just trying to understand.

  21. djw on December 26th, 2012 8:15 pm

    This is the third most depressing move of the Zduriencik era, behind only the Olivo signing and the Griffey resigning.

  22. bookbook on December 26th, 2012 8:27 pm

    I’d place it after the Brandon Morrow trade, and the full faith in Eric Wedge as well.

  23. MrZDevotee on December 26th, 2012 9:26 pm

    Sheesh. Really? Ken Rosenthal reported “The Yankees, Rangers, and Phillies also had interest in signing him…” So, evidently some of the best clubs in baseball are also into these same horrible decisions that the Mariners make.

    Cool.

    Yes we need difference makers, but attempting to upgrade the supporting cast is not a bad thing too. Especially on cheapo 1 year deals. Especially if we can flip them at the break if we’re not contending, but they’re succeeding. Guys like Ibanez and Bay are guys you can cut bait on, painlessly.

    Z himself is quoted as saying “a lot can change”. The last Seattle Time’s article says “Z Hints At More Moves”.

    Does such a minor move require so much hand wringing?

  24. djw on December 26th, 2012 9:45 pm

    I didn’t like the Morrow trade at all, but I thought I could understand the logic behind it, unlike this ridiculous signing. Still, it could be worse from a WAR/$$ perspective, so point taken.

    The sting of this is certainly made worse by Swisher going for a very reasonable price on the same day, without a doubt.

  25. djw on December 26th, 2012 9:55 pm

    comparing his return to Seattle to that of Ken Griffey Jr is incredibly unfair.

    True enough. At least when Griffey was signed, they had a slot for him at DH.

    In terms of signing 40+ year olds who can’t play defense and used to be good but have negative WAR in the two years, Griffey is probably more defensible. At least a) his name had serious cache, and b) there was a DH slot open for him.

    Seriously, unless the rules have been changed to allow the M’s 3 DH slots, I really, really don’t understand how the current roster makes a lick of sense.

  26. sexymarinersfan on December 26th, 2012 10:09 pm

    I like Raul Ibañez’s .453 slugging percentage last year. The fact that it was just below Jaso’s is saying something. I know he played the majority of his games in Yankee stadium but I like to remain optimistic.

  27. ooter on December 26th, 2012 10:12 pm

    Well….at least we have the Seahawks :)

  28. Westside guy on December 26th, 2012 10:52 pm

    Raul’s slugging % away from Yankee Stadium was only .365. To compare him to Jaso, given Safeco Field, is… not reasonable.

  29. midlandtx on December 26th, 2012 11:55 pm

    First of all, I think he should now be referred to as Ibanez!

    As for Swisher, given the chance to play for one of two teams in the process of rebuilding and improving, would you rather commit 4 years to the team that has to overtake Texas, the Trout-Pujols-Hamilton Angels, and the A’s? Or the team that watched the Tigers and ChiSox try to fumble away the division to each other all season long?

    Not to mention playing for Tito Francona vs. Eric Wedge.

    Just saying I don’t think it’s the park or the climate.

  30. Jay R. on December 27th, 2012 8:34 am

    Remember all the panic and wailing and gnashing of teeth after Hamilton went to the Angels? This kind of garbage move is why. Mariner fans have exactly zero faith in this ownership, and they keep reinforcing those beliefs with every crappy retread they force on us. This team is a joke.

  31. Mariners35 on December 27th, 2012 8:40 am

    Assuming I haven’t been banished to moderation queue torpor forever.. I’d just like to note that in his last stint here Raul was noted as being a quiet leader and not a vocal chest thumper in the clubhouse. If the M’s needed a productive veteran who could lead by example they could have just kept or brought back Ichiro.

    And if they need a productive vocal veteran they already have one.. his name is Felix…

  32. charliebrown on December 27th, 2012 10:32 am

    Jay R. is exactly right.

    The problem wasn’t that they didn’t sign Hamilton, it was that they didn’t do something that could have significantly improved the team. All of the moves so far this offseason have continued that theme.

    Vargas for Morales doesn’t significantly improve the team, but even if you think it does it only does so for 1 year. Ibanez is a joke at this point, and even if you disagree his contract is only 1 year as well.

    Unless something else happens this offseason, it looks to me like the Mariners will be right back in this same position 1 year from now.

  33. diderot on December 27th, 2012 10:57 am

    “So explain how the Mariners attracted guys like Olerud, Boone (second time around), Beltre, and even Ichiro? What was weird or alarming about those guys?”

    Boone: PEDs pioneer
    Olerud: wants to cut down all his neighbors’ trees
    Beltre: no cup
    Ichiro: only viable U.S. yoga destination at the time

  34. MissouriMariner on December 27th, 2012 11:11 am

    The only positive I can see in this team is that they might be bad enough to get Wedge fired….

  35. terryoftacoma on December 27th, 2012 12:02 pm

    None of this surprises me one bit. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ibanez in left for most of the early season, The kids had a chance to step up last year and they didn’t.

    It takes two to sign anyone(actually three if you include the agent)and money doesn’t always win. Playing the if only we had wanted to pay more game doesn’t change a thing. We don’t know if more money would have brought anyone here. Sure we could throw 30M at someone and he might have signed but would you have honestly done that?

    What I see in these comments is the frustration of not signing who we thought we would or should. It’s natural but to say the club isn’t trying is just wrong. There’s no proof that they are not trying to improve the team. Lots of proof that big names don’t want to play here but that even is opinion,mine.

    Do you honestly think in his last year under contract that Z wouldn’t try to improve the team if he could?

    At present, Beaven is our number four starter and maybe Bonderman our number five. Frankly, that scares me more than Ibanez in left for half a season.

  36. r-gordon-7 on December 27th, 2012 12:41 pm

    The only positive I can see in this team is that they might be bad enough to get Wedge fired…
    —-

    However, the sad fact is that as long as his – or for that matter Z’s – replacement is hired by howchuck, it will all unfortunately, merely lead to more of the same…

  37. NorahW on December 27th, 2012 12:48 pm

    Lol @ Diderot’s comment. Seriously though, we were able to get some decent free agents when Lou Pinellas was the manager and the team was winning (and even after 2002, for a few years.) I think that now players doubt that management cares about winning.

    Not saying that weather is totally not a factor, but we can have a lot of nice weather in the summer here, and other cities have weather problems. It can be extremely cold in Cleveland in April, for instance, and it could even snow. Detroit too. Detroit seems to be able to attract free agents now, despite being, well, Detroit. It’s because of the winning.

    Just my opinion, anyway.

  38. stevemotivateir on December 27th, 2012 1:06 pm

    @diderot

    Everything you mentioned just shows they have character;)

  39. wilchiro on December 27th, 2012 2:28 pm

    Looks like Napoli’s deal fell through and another team is interested. I have a feeling the M’s are going to pick up Napoli and trade Smoak.

  40. thedude1987 on December 27th, 2012 2:59 pm

    I personally do not believe the Mariners will trade Smoak. It would be selling too low on him. statistically it doesnt look like he is going to pan out, but with a little fire with Kendrys in the lineup challenging him for a spot may make him pick his game up. carp has no options. I believe Smaok has one more option. Carp is the odd man out.

  41. StorminGorman on December 27th, 2012 3:13 pm

    If Ibanez and Bay shove Thames off the 25-man roster, the M’s will have ZERO African-American players. FWIW.

    That’ll give Geoff Baker something to write about.

    I’d still like to see them add a legit everyday outfielder/bat (Jason Bay doesn’t count).

  42. godtomsatan on December 27th, 2012 4:53 pm

    I realize that we’re a overly cold, bitter, and bitchy fanbase, but the individual moves this team has made this off-season are likely net improvements over what the team had last year.

    Bay/Ibanez > Figgins/Thames/Robinson/whoeever
    Andino > Kawasaki
    Morales > Olivo

    Maybe we need to replace a bunch of SP innings, but I’m not seeing the need for the degree and level of baloney negativity that emanates from folks. Our org is simply not at the maturity level of Texas or LA at the moment.

    I’m looking forward to this team. This group played > .500 ball for the 2nd half, this is a young team with a core of theoretically improving players, and moves being made to augment areas of weakness that can’t be covered as adequately in house.

    I don’t expect any banners in ’13, but I see what they’re doing, and I see that by the time Zunino, Franklin, and the pitchers get up here and established (or their fruits), we might be on to something.

  43. vetted_coach on December 27th, 2012 5:46 pm

    Interest in Ibanez by teams like Texas, the Yankees, and Phillies bears absolutely no significance relative to Seattle’s interest in a player of that sort. For contenders, a Raul Ibanez represents an inriguing complement. For a young team with little talent, he represents just an empty, clueless gesture. Zduriencik is overmatched. Another ineffective hire.

    With Morales the most dynamic addition and Vargas the most definitive loss, the sum progress during the off season has been replacing Muni with Robert Andino, an addition of about 1WAR. Wow. I can’t wait

    And Shannon Drayer is a company shill.

    Between Bay and Ibanez the Mariners have done their best to waste the acquisition of Caspef Wells for Doug Fister. It all remains a sorry mess for a team with a decade-long string of embarrassing, pathetic baseball. Swisher would sign on for this?

    Wedge and Zduriencik are finished.

  44. MrZDevotee on December 27th, 2012 6:14 pm

    (laugh)
    Vetted, your offseason ends Dec. 27th? Weird league you’re into.

  45. terryoftacoma on December 27th, 2012 6:54 pm

    I can always count on you to make me laugh. Thanks, Vetted,

  46. caldog on December 27th, 2012 7:55 pm

    Wow so much negatively on this site.

    I still believe that Z will make more moves this off season, besides the preseason doesn’t even start until late February, so judgment should be reserved until then.

  47. stevemotivateir on December 28th, 2012 5:39 am

    “And Shannon Drayer is a company shill.”

    Because she doesn’t blast management the way you do? Because she tries to point out positives and give some perspective on how/why these moves are made? That’s exactly what she’s suppose to do.

    She doesn’t always like the moves Jack makes. She just has a different way of addressing them than you do. She wouldn’t have a job if she openly blasted management.

  48. auldguy on December 28th, 2012 9:16 am

    “BTW Ibañez’s career regular season OPS is .810, while his post-season OPS is .744 – just thought I’d preempt any “clutch” talk.”

    Not particularly defending the signing, but if you want to post some relevant stats you should compare Ibanez’s post season OPS to his regular season OPS against the same teams. Very poor presentation by padding your argument using results against the pitching staffs from Cleveland, Minnesota, Boston (and maybe Colorado and Houston in inter-league) against results against the top 5 finishers. I post this as a comment only, as I am too lazy to actually look up or calculate the true numbers being misrepresented here. ;>)

  49. Westside guy on December 28th, 2012 10:49 am

    Drayer’s role, it seems to me, is being a clubhouse insider. She’s really good at it. Part of her job is to try to open the door to these intangible bits the team is ostensibly bringing Ibañez on board for.

    I don’t always agree with her, but I find her perspective interesting and unique.

    In this particular context – my impression has been she’s been a bit puzzled by the moves, just like some of us. I think she’s said she expects it to make sense in the end (like some of you party poopers that always want to stay reasonable rather than join in with us gloom and doomers)… but I don’t recall reading anything that would earn her the “shill” label.

  50. Westside guy on December 28th, 2012 11:47 am

    Auldguy – since I was (as stated) giving career numbers, what you propose wouldn’t really work. You list some teams that were bad this year, but were playoff contenders during some/much of Ibañez’s career. Boston, for example, has had tremendous pitching during a good bit of his career. Cleveland had a run when they were good, as did Colorado. Heck, so did the Twins!

    But the rather obvious point was – his numbers have been down in the playoffs just as you’d expect, facing good teams and better pitchers. If he had some sort of magical clutch powers, they should’ve gone up. That’s certainly the line I heard during this past playoff season – Raul “elevates his game”. If that so-called elevation requires intensive analysis to find… It’s hard to argue it could possibly be significant.

  51. MrZDevotee on December 28th, 2012 12:53 pm

    Westy-
    Normally I agree with you, but the Ibanez/post-season thing, maybe it’s the two sides spinning things as they see fit.

    Beyond any “clutch=iness” my only point was to say to the “Ibanez SUCKS” people– “really, ’cause he was one of the best players on the NEW YORK-freakin’ YANKEES during the 2012 playoffs” and also “He stared in LF for the NEW YORK freakin’ YANKEES for 79 games (pretty sure they can find someone else to do that if they wanted to)…”

    [Although I'm sure the point doesn't work on Mariners fans, since Ichiro also started for the NEW YORK-freakin' YANKEES for much of the 2nd half of the season last year... But wasn't good enough to play for the Mariners either. Too selfish.]

    And again, wouldn’t have been my choice of someone to sign (Ibanez)… A head scratcher sure, but he’s not awful. Although, if I’m honest, what worries me most about the entire situation is that Geoff Baker took the same position as me in a Times article yesterday (ouch).

  52. MrZDevotee on December 28th, 2012 12:54 pm

    Also, Westy, this part…

    “his numbers have been down in the playoffs…”

    What is this “playoffs” thing you talk of? Is that Latin? Is that what makes Ibanez “Latin American”?

    “Playoffs”… It’s a cool word.

  53. djw on December 28th, 2012 1:13 pm

    Not particularly defending the signing, but if you want to post some relevant stats you should compare Ibanez’s post season OPS to his regular season OPS against the same teams.

    No, you should do neither, and stop pretending past playoff performance is meaningful indication of future playoff performance (or “clutch situation” performance more generally).

    He’s the player his age and declining skill set say he is, which is alarmingly similar to another 40-ish fellow who came here a few years ago–negative defensive value and a bat that one can hope might still be vaguely league-average. Whether he’ll be slightly better or slightly worse in “clutch” situations (or, rather improbably, in the playoffs) is not something we have the metrics to predict, because it’s essentially random.

  54. NorthofWrigleyField on December 28th, 2012 2:01 pm

    I’d pay Ibanez $3m and play him 79 games in LF too if my team had a $190m payroll like the NEW YORK-freakin’ YANKEES and played half their games in YANKEES-freakin’ STADIUM.

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