The Yankees didn’t sign Yoan Moncada. They didn’t sign Yasmani Tomas or Rusney Castillo. Could they add Andy Ibanez? According to George King III of the NY Post, the Yankees were one of the teams watching the speedy second baseman in his showcase in Miami this past Saturday.
"“He can run but doesn’t have much power,’’ said a scout who has watched Ibanez play extensively.An industry source said Ibanez could command a $6 million signing bonus. Another one said it could be more in the $7 million-to-$10 million range, and the Dodgers appear to be the front-runners."
Ibanez would count toward the international bonus pool, so if he’s a free agent before June 2nd, the Yankees can get him. If not, the Yankees wouldn’t have a chance of getting him, because their bonus pool is restricted to just $300k per player.
The Yankees don’t have a long term fit at second quite yet. Stephen Drew is a one year stopgap. Jose Pirela is rehabbing, but maybe he’s just a super utility player (which isn’t a bad thing). Rob Refsnyder we all assume is the guy, but he’s doing his best Ian Desmond imitation in the field and has already made five errors at second in AAA. That kind of defense is going to cost you games.
Ibanez in three seasons in Cuba had a .283 average with a .767 OPS. Not everyone needs to hit like Robinson Cano at second. You can win with your second baseman putting up those kind of numbers, especially if he can defend.
Ibanez wouldn’t come right up to the majors. It’s not a Jose Abreu situation. That’s not a bad thing. If anything, an addition of Ibanez makes the system deeper, and if he’s ready next season for the majors, that’s okay too.
Will the Yankees be able to get him? Stay tuned.
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