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.
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.
Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.
When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.
Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.