Yankees hero Ibanez may not be back

Yankees hero Ibanez may not be back
December 22, 2012, 7:45 pm
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Being a postseason hero doesn’t guarantee you a spot on the roster for the next year.

Raul Ibanez, a free agent, apparently won’t be returning to the Yankees in 2013. The club has not been negotiating with Ibanez’s agent, the New York Post reports, but the outfielder-designated hitter has drawn “serious interest” from the Mariners. Ibanez, 40, played two stints in Seattle for all or parts of 10 seasons, including three years when he drove in more than 100 runs.

The Yankees’ lack of interest in Ibanez is because they are seeking a right-handed-hitting outfielder. Ibanez swings left-handed.

“As has been their strategy this off-season,” the Post reported, “the Yankees have placed one need ahead of others, and at the moment it’s securing a righty-hitting outfielder because all three of their outfielders swing from the left side.”

In October, Ibanez beat the Orioles in Game 3 of the American League Division Series, first tying the game in the ninth with a home run, then winning it with an extra-inning homer in the Yankees’ 3-2 victory.

In Game 1 of the AL Championship Series with the Tigers, Ibanez sent the game into extra innings with another tying ninth-inning home run, as the Yankees rallied from down 4-0. However, New York ended up losing the game, 6-4.