Raul Ibanez and the New York Yankees have agreed to a $1.1 million one-year contract. He can earn up to $4 million with incentives.
The 39-year-old outfielder, who played with Philadelphia the last three seasons, is expected to be the Yankees’ primary designated hitter against right-handed starting pitchers. The Yanks plan to use Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter and a few other players against lefties.
Ibanez hit .256 with 16 homers and 60 RBIs against righties in 2011 for the Phillies.
New York favored Ibanez over Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui, who remain free agents, because of his stronger defensive skills in the outfield.
The agreement came just one day after the Yankees traded A.J. Burnett to Pittsburgh. The Pirates will pay $5 million of the pitcher’s salary this year.