Mariners reach agreement with free agent Raul Ibanez

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Raul Ibanez is headed back to Seattle. Again.

Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Mariners have signed the free agent outfielder, and WFAN’s Sweeny Murti adds that it’s a one-year contract. No word yet on the financial terms.

Ibanez was drafted by Seattle in the 36th round of the 1992 MLB Amateur Draft and spent the first five seasons of his major league career there. He then returned in 2004 and struck around through 2008.

The 40-year-old hit .240/.308/.453 with 19 homers and 62 RBI in 130 games this past summer for the Yankees before slugging three home runs in eight postseason games. He’ll probably start in left field for the M’s against right-handed pitching.

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UPDATE, 9:18 PM: Daniel Barbarisi, Yankees beat writer for the Wall Street Journal, says Ibanez will get $2.75 million in 2013. He can also earn another $1.25 million via performance-based incentives.

Angel Hernandez made a great call on a tough play

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Fans, and even some writers, tend to jump on umpires when they make bad calls, but rarely if ever point out when they make good calls on tough plays. Angel Hernandez is one of those umpires who gets a lot of flack — and I may suggest even deservedly so — but in the interest of giving credit where credit is due, he made a great call on a very tough play during Thursday afternoon’s game between the Phillies and Marlins.

With a runner on first base and two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning with the Phillies leading 2-1, first baseman Brock Stassi laced an Edison Volquez pitch down the first base line. Michael Saunders, who was on first base, came around third base and attempted to score. The relay throw from second baseman Dee Gordon beat Saunders, but Saunders slid expertly to the back of home plate, avoiding the tag from catcher J.T. Realmuto just long enough to slip his hand in and touch the plate. Hernandez ruled Stassi safe with no hesitation because he was in a great position to get a look at the play. In real time, it was a bang-bang play. The Marlins didn’t challenge the call.

The MLB.com video doesn’t have the best angle, but still shows what a close call it was in real time. This .gif from Meghan Montemurro of The News Journal provides the best angle:

Hernandez also made this nonchalant grab when catcher Andrew Knapp tossed it attempting to catch a foul pop-up:

Yoenis Cespedes leaves game with pulled hamstring

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The Mets and Braves are playing today and it’s not a great day for the Mets in the injury department.

First they scratched Noah Syndergaard with a “tired arm.” Now they’ve lost Yoenis Cespedes, who pulled up limping at second base following a double in the bottom of the fourth:

The team has announced that he has pulled his left hamstring.

Cespedes, of course, missed three games over the weekend due to hamstring issues. That was merely tightness, however, and following an off day and a rainout, Cespedes played last night without incident. But it now looks as though he’s going to miss some serious time.