The legendary Pete Rose played some of his most hard-nosed baseball after the age of 40. It is not unprecedented to see a player improve in some areas after the big 4-0. It is rare but has happened before. That appears to be the case for Seattle Mariners elder statesman Raul Ibanez who currently is 41 years old. After signing on to just help out the roster this season, he turned around and was an offensive leader. He now says he feels great and is going to return for more baseball next season and in the future.
Nothing should make the Mariners happier than that. They cannot find a player that can consistently give them what Ibanez is giving them right now. He really shows zero signs of slowing down and absolutely appears to have some of his best baseball still ahead of him. Whatever it would take to re-sign him, the Mariners should do what they can to get it done. It doesn’t need to be a long deal obviously but one year with incentives should work very well for both sides.
Some of Ibanez’s best seasons have been spent with the Mariners and I would assume he loves the thought of returning to the team. They should in turn love the idea of him returning to blast 30 homers and 80 plus RBI for another season or two. No matter what age a player is, when they can deliver that kind of leadership and run production, they have earned another contract from the team. They should give it to him even if he is 61.