The Los Angeles Angels lost a huge bat in the middle of their lineup when they shipped first baseman Mark Trumbo and his 40 home runs to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Well, the Angels seem to have found a suitable, albeit not as productive, replacement for Trumbo in Raul Ibanez.
The Angels and Ibanez have agreed to terms on a one-year, $2.75 million contract, with incentive bonuses that could increase the value to $5 million, with no option for a second year, team nor player.
The 41-year-old Ibanez is a career .276 hitter, with 300 home runs, 1181 RBI and an .338 on-base percentage. Last season he slugged 29 home runs for the Seattle Mariners, but 24 of them came in the first half of the season while only five came in the second hald, which raised concerns about the lefty.
Ibanez was among the top power bats int he market, and after the Angels shipped their most powerful bat in their lineup to the Arizona Diamondbacks for much needed pitching, Ibanez will fill in the void.
The Angels have crossed off almost everything off their shopping list, they acquired third abseman David Freese as they lacked a third baseman, they acquire to young left handed pitchers to fill out their starting pitching rotation and now they have acquired a designated hitter they alcked when they shipped Trumbo away.
Ibanez will now take over that role with Josh Hamilton remaining in left field and Kole Calhoun or J.B. Shuck taking over right field. His decrease in production int he second half was alarming but it might have had something to do with the way he was used in Seattle as the Mariners played Ibanez in 832 innings int he outfield which may have cost him at the plate. Being a full-time DH should enable Ibanez to just concentrate and put all his energy into hitting.
During the first half of last season, Ibanez hit .267 with 24 home runs but during the second half of the season he only hit .203 with five home runs. The DH role will be a great fit, and the low-salary contract also give the Angels flexibility in limiting his playing time and using that spot for Albert Pujols and Hamilton as well when they need rest from the field.
At Angel Stadium, Ibanez seems to enjoying as in his career in Anaheim, Ibanez is a career .349 hitter, with 10 home runs and a .929 OPS which the Angels hope he can continue to be a monster at the plate at home.
Ibanez has also shown to come through big in clutch situations as he came through many times two seasons ago for the New York Yankees, always seeming to hit a big hit or home run just when the team needed him the most, he also kept coming through for the Philadelphia Phillies when the team needed him the most.
After beginning his career in 1996 with the Mariners, Ibanez will be joining his fifth team after stints with the Kansas City Royals, Phillies and Yankees.