Friday, December 12, 2008
Ibanez, Phillies agree to deal
By Jayson Stark
The Phillies have agreed to a three-year contract with free-agent outfielder Raul Ibanez, pending a physical. The deal is believed to be worth $30 million over three years.
The 36-year-old Ibanez will become the Phillies' new everyday left fielder, and his signing means the Phillies no longer will pursue their longtime left fielder, Pat Burrell, who is also a free agent.
Ibanez had drawn significant interest from a number of teams, including the Cubs, Mets, Angels and Braves. But he had been sending signals through friends that the Phillies were his first choice.
And the Phillies stepped up their efforts to sign him Thursday after it became known that the Angels also were negotiating the parameters of a deal with Ibanez as their No. 1 alternative if they lost out in efforts to sign Mark Teixeira.
Ibanez, who turns 37 next June, has spent the past five seasons with the Mariners, where he was a longtime favorite of Pat Gillick, then the Mariners' GM and now the outgoing Phillies GM.
Ibanez hit .293 this season, with 23 homers, 110 RBIs, a .358 on-base percentage and a .472 slugging percentage. He is one of just five outfielders who have driven in at least 100 runs in each of the past three seasons. The others: Carlos Beltran, Magglio Ordonez, Carlos Lee and Bobby Abreu.