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Yankees sign Ibanez for DH, pass over Damon

The Yankees made it official this morning, signing veteran Raul Ibanez to a one-year,  $1.1 million deal to largely serve as their left-handed DH. Ibanez hit .245 for the Phillies last season with 20 homers and 84 RBIs but was at .256-16-60 against right-handed pitchers with a .440 slugging percentage and .747 slugging percentage that was 162 points higher than it was against lefties.

The Yankees waited to free up some money by trading A.J. Burnett to Pittsburgh and then moved on their DH slot, which will often be filled against lefties by Alex Rodriguez and even Derek Jeter. They kicked the tires on Hideki Matsui and Damon openly campaigned for the job, telling CBSSports.com that he's surprised neither the Yankees nor the Rays (his team last year) have brought him in. The Yankees apparently think Ibanez can do a little more defensively, according to ESPN.com.

Ibanez had a great year for the Phillies in 2009, when they lost the World Series to the Yankees, as he hit .272 with 34 homers and 93 RBIs. He had been a 100-RBI man the previous three years in Seattle and has 252 home runs in his career. But he turns 40 on June 2 so we'll see how much is left in his tank after his numbers took a dip last year.

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington) 

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About Inside Pitch

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has covered the Buffalo Bisons since 1992 and Major League Baseball since 1995. A member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, Harrington has reported on more than 30 MLB postseason series — including every game of the World Series in this century — and all three of the Bisons' championship runs in their modern era. He is a connoisseur of the famous Stadium Mustard at Cleveland's Progressive Field.

@BNHarrington | mharrington@buffnews.com


Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has covered the Bisons for The Buffalo News since 2002. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz | amoritz@buffnews.com

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