Raul Ibanez: Good Deal For the Phillies?

Matthew McNallyContributor IDecember 15, 2008

Raul Ibanez: Great Deal?

The Phillies just recently signed Raul Ibanez to a three-year contract for $31.5 million. Raul has hit .286 in his 12-year career with almost 800 RBI’s. Compared to Pat, .257 with almost 830 RBI’s, it might look like a close match, especially since Burrell has had a shorter career. Then when you compare their strikeout numbers you see that Pat has over 1200 while Raul only has over 700.

Raul is very dangerous in the fifth spot behind Howard, especially if Utley gets on in the inning. Ibanez has 695 runs compared to Burrell’s 655, which is amazing since Burrell has 90 more homeruns than Ibanez. That gives the Phillies better chances of winning close games inside and outside the NL East.

All these stats are incredible considering Ibanez only had 200 more at-bats than Burrell. In the field Burrell had a considerable amount more errors than Ibanez, 15 errors. That may not seem that much, but some of those errors might have cost the Phillies a close game or a need-to-win game. These stats make me think that it was an improvement by the Phillies, not a huge improvement but an improvement none-the-less.

Burrell’s absence in the clubhouse might have a slight affect on the players, but over time they’ll get used to having Raul there instead of Pat. Burrell always seems like a nice guy, but I think Ibanez will fit right in especially since Moyer was on his team for a number of years.

I think the Phillies can expect the same amount of numbers that Raul put up the last three years, which are:

G   R   H   2B   3B   HR   RBI   BB   SO   AVG

162  92  172   32    2   20    89   71    99   .280

159  103  181   33    5   33   123   65   115   .289

149  80  167   35    5   21   105   53    97   .291

In Citizens Bank Park you might expect to see a few more home runs, especially versus the NL pitchers. Those extra homeruns will increase his RBI production and help us win close games.

Overall I think this is a good move for the Phillies and can’t wait to see them pick up where they left off, and maybe get some help from Ibanez and Chan Ho Park. Hopefully the Phillies will pick up a few more exceptional players like these two, for instance Jake Peavy is still up for grabs.