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.
Thursday is September 1, which means rosters expand. As a result, the Nationals plan to promote pitcher Mat Latos to the major league roster, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. Latos had an opt-out clause for Monday, but after discussing the matter with the team, he agreed to stay at Triple-A Syracuse until Thursday.
Latos, 28, put up a 4.62 ERA over 11 starts with the White Sox before being released in mid-June. Nearly two weeks later, he signed a minor league contract with the Nationals.
In the Nationals’ minor league system, Latos has made three starts for the club’s Gulf Coast League team as well as three for Syracuse. In aggregate, the right-hander has yielded six runs (four earned) on 20 hits and 10 walks with 28 strikeouts in 28 innings.
Latos will likely pitch out of a long relief role for the Nationals and can be used as starting rotation insurance as well.
Mark Buehrle hasn’t officially retired, but he hasn’t thrown a pitch in professional baseball since last October. Still, the Blue Jays wouldn’t mind having some insurance, so manager John Gibbons recently texted Buehrle, “You know, rosters expand in September,” Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports.
Buehrle’s response? He texted back a picture of a lake. Sounds like he’s not interested in making a return, at least this year.
Last year, at the age of 36, Buehrle went 15-8 with a 3.81 ERA with a 91/33 K/BB ratio in 198 2/3 innings while leading the league with four complete games. He fell 1 1/3 innings shy of a 15th consecutive 200-inning season. There are many worse ways to end a career.