Report: Rays Interested in Raul Ibanez | The Process Report

Report: Rays Interested in Raul Ibanez

The Rays have interest in Raul Ibanez, according to Sweeny Murti of Sportsradio 66 WFAN.

Ibanez spent last season with the Yankees. He celebrated his 40th birthday in June and hit .240/.308/.453 overall. Joe Girardi used Ibanez as a platoon corner outfielder and designated hitter, wisely limiting the veteran’s exposure to same-handed pitching. Ibanez showed a disciplined approach at the plate and more power in 2012 than he had in recent seasons, though some of the increased pop is attributable to Yankee Stadium. (Ibanez’s home/road splits are sure to cause panic if he winds up with a non-Yankees team.) His conditioning receives praise as often as his fielding inspires mockery.

Were the Rays to sign Ibanez, he would presumably serve in a platoon at designated hitter. Ibanez is the third left-handed hitter the Rays have inquired about over the past several days, joining Juan Francisco and Nate Schierholtz. Reading between the lines, you get the sense the Rays are seeking a player capable of the heavy side of a platoon.

One other note: Ibanez worked with Jaime Cevallos last winter. Cevallos, known as “The Swing Mechanic,” has consulted with present and former Rays like Ben Zobrist, Justin Ruggiano, Nevin Ashley, and Drew Sutton.

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