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.
No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.
Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.
Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.