Raul Ibanez is officially out of Seattle. Ibanez declined to accept an offer of arbitration from the Mariners that would have kept him in the Emerald City in 2009. And while the Mariners can still bid on Ibanez as a free-agent, just as any other club can, we’ve just seen the last of him. Ibanez will get a three-year deal, likely worth more than $30 million, from one of the plethora of teams pursuing him.
Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik met with Seattle reporters about 10 p.m. tonight here at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, after news of Ibanez’s decision came down. Zduriencik said he wasn’t surprised by the move. He said the M’s still plan on talking to Ibanez and would like to have him back.
But I’ll tell you this. They’ve given zero indication they want him back for three years, $30 million. That means this puppy has already barked. Time to move on. The team will continue to say nice things about Ibanez, as it should. Will talk about wanting to keep him. But money talks in these cases. And the M’s are not prepared to throw suitcases full of it at Ibanez. He’s not coming back. And the M’s know it. They get two compensatory round draft picks for him. That round takes place between the first and second rounds of the draft, so the M’s are stocking up on some high picks. Now, they need to go get some offense.
We start our full winter meetings coverage tomorrow. Remember to phone in your questions for our daily edition of the Geoff Baker Show. You can start dialing in right now and all through the meetings at 206-464-8286 and we’ll try to get to as many as we can on the broadcast.
Photo Credit: Ben Margot/AP
December 7, 2008 at 11:17 PM