Raul Ibanez was mostly not very good this year before going nuts in the playoffs, but Dan Martin of the New York Post reports that the Yankees “have had preliminary discussions” about re-signing the 40-year-old free agent.
Ibanez played this season on a one-year, $1.1 million contract and hit .240 with 19 homers and a .761 OPS in 130 games. If spotted mostly versus right-handed pitching he’s still a reasonably competent hitter, but it’s hard to imagine the Yankees can’t do better even if they’re shopping on a budget.
Among the 108 first basemen, corner outfielders, and designated hitters to appear in at least 100 games this year Ibanez ranked 67th in OPS, and that was while being shielded from tough lefties.
The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.
After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.
Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.