Seattle Mariners Make Curious Signing With Raul Ibanez

By Andy Schmidt
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

It was obvious that the Seattle Mariners needed offense after a terrible offensive year in 2012. Seattle went back in time some and signed Raul Ibanez this week which will help bring some much-needed offensive pop to the lineup. Ibanez has in Seattle before and should be quite familiar with everything about Safeco Field but I’m kind of surprised that Ibanez decided to go back there.

Ibanez joins a pile of players who can play first base and being the designated hitter for the Mariners including the recently-acquired Kendrys Morales. I’m thinking Ibanez may be looking at playing somewhere in the outfield for Seattle since he won’t get to be the DH much. There is no mistake that Ibanez can still play at 40 years old after his postseason production this last season so getting Ibanez 350-400 at-bats should be a priority for Seattle. If Ibanez can get that many at-bats, he could hit 12-15 home runs and have 50-60 RBIs for a team that might plug him into the No. 5 or 6 slot in their lineup and be more successful.

This also could be the beginning of a farewell tour for Ibanez as he began his career with the Mariners and it now looks like he will finish his career there as well. I’m sort of surprised that the New York Yankees didn’t want to keep Ibanez around after last season but they are heading in a completely different direction these days. It is an nice pickup for Seattle even if it seems like Ibanez won’t get the same playing time he did last year in New York.

Andy Schmidt is a columnist/writer for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter @ASchmidtSports or like his Facebook page.

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