If your team is getting old the best thing to do is to go young. If you can’t go young, the next best thing I suppose is to bring in old players who don’t ever age. To that end:
The Post has also learned the Yankees have an interest in bringing back the popular and productive Raul Ibanez to be the DH against right-handed pitching. Some voices within the organization believe it was a mistake to let Ibanez leave following the 2012 season, when Ibanez grew impatient waiting and signed for a second stint with the Mariners.
Ibanez, at this point, is homers and not much else. His line for 2013: .242/.306/.487, 29 HR in 454 AB. Which is better than a kick to the back of the head, but if the power suddenly goes — and it tends to do that with guys over 40 at some point, he’s not worth a diddly-durn. Of course he’d almost certainly be back on a one-year deal, and there really is no such thing as a bad one-year deal.
That column from George King and Ken Davidoff also links the Yankees with approximately eleventeen other free agents, suggesting that the Yankees are casting as wide a net as possible to grab a couple of needed pieces.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times unloaded a lot of interesting news items about the Rays last night, including a report that the Rays might have “mutual interest” in a deal with free agent first baseman/DH Mike Napoli. The Rangers declined Napoli’s $11 million option earlier this month and owe the veteran infielder a $2.5 million buyout.
Napoli, 36, had a strange year in Texas. He turned in 29 home runs, good for 11th-most among AL hitters, but finished the year batting just .193/.285/.428 over 485 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, his -0.5 fWAR was the worst mark of his career to date, but on the bright side, he should come cheap for a team looking to swap out their veterans come spring.
Of course, the specifics of the Rays’ offseason plan have yet to be divulged — or, by all accounts from Topkin, even decided on. The club could go the refurbishment route, changing out some of their higher-paid veterans for a mix of prospects and cheaper aging players; or they could opt for a full rebuild, which Topkin cautions against as it could have a negative effect on the financing of a new ballpark. Either way, the Rays figure to offload some of their bigger contracts this winter, and will need to decide if they want to retain Alex Colome, Chris Archer, Wilson Ramos, Evan Longoria and others before pursuing any other major free agents.