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November 4, 2008 at 6:44 PM

Ibanez: “Too early to tell”

Spoke to Raul Ibanez tonight, listening over the phone to the sounds of his newborn daughter, Carolina, wailing in the background. She was born on Oct. 5 in Bellevue, but is now back home in Miami with Mom, Pop and her three siblings. Anyhow, we got around to chatting about his phone conversation with new Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik.
Ibanez described it as “a nice conversation” but said “it’s too early to tell” what will happen with his pending free agency.
Several teams have contacted his agents, he said. But Ibanez added that he’s told the agents to put off on giving him the details for now. It’s still very early in the process. The Mariners have until 16 days after the end of the World Series — mid-November — to negotiate exclusively with Ibanez. They have until Dec. 1 to offer him arbitration.
“Quite frankly, when I spoke to Jack it was a quick conversation,” Ibanez said. “He said once he knew more of what they were planning ondoing, we’d talk again. I didn’t get a sense yet of what they’re trying to do.”
Ibanez wants a sense of how serious a rebuilding effort this is going to be.
“He’s looking for a manager and he’s got a lot on his plate right now,” Ibanez said.
“He just said that he wanted me to know he’d heard good things about me as a person and a player. He wanted me to know that he’d extended me the courtesy and respect as a player, by talking to me a bit.
“I didn’t want to pry further than that. He’s the boss. I told him I thought it can be done in Seattle. He told me he thought that, too. He thought it could get turned around. He just didn’t give any specifics or say how long it was going to take. But he did say he’d get back to me when he had a little better idea of how things were going to go.”

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