You’d think that hitting .157 in 57 games as a 42-year-old and getting released by the Angels would signal the end of the line for Raul Ibanez, but instead he’s quickly found a new home and a major-league contact with the Royals.
Ibanez had a lot of success in Kansas City from 2001-2003 and it’s certainly worth noting that he smacked 29 homers last season, but he looked awfully washed up with the Angels and if this move was going to come from any general manager Dayton Moore would probably have been most people’s first guess.
Presumably the Royals will limit Ibanez’s playing time to occasional starts at designated hitter and some bench bat work, although with Moore and manager Ned Yost you never know.
As is offseason tradition, the first of player-shape reports are trickling in. These usually use some variation of the phrase “best shape of [my/his] life.” This one, though, avoids that at least.
According to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers, Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber has lost 17-20 pounds so far this offseason. Schwarber said that he’s “already big and strong,” so “might as well try to get more explosive, faster.”
Though Schwarber knocked out 30 home runs this past season, his numbers were otherwise pedestrian. He hit .211/.315/.467 with 59 RBI and 67 runs scored in 486 plate appearances.
There has been some speculation that the Cubs will try to trade Schwarber to an American League team where he can be a DH. He’s a subpar defender, so making him a full-time DH makes a lot of sense. So far, though, the only team that has been linked to Schwarber this offseason has been the Red Sox.