As the New York Yankees look to fill out their roster with short-term contracts rather than high-priced multi-year deals, the team has had preliminary discussions with free agent Raul Ibanez about returning to the Bronx next season, reports Dan Martin of The New York Post.
Ibanez, 40, hit .240 with 19 home runs and 62 RBI in 130 games this past season. He also hit .318 with three clutch home runs in eight postseason games.
Ibanez signed a one-year deal with New York back in February to be used as a part-time designated hitter against right-handed pitching. However, left fielder Brett Gardner missed all but 16 games because of an elbow injury, forcing Ibanez to play the outfield a lot more than originally expected.
Though Ibanez was productive, the Yankees would like to return him to a platoon role next season, spending time at DH against right-handed pitchers rather than playing the outfield.
In addition to Ibanez, Andruw Jones, Nick Swisher, and Ichiro Suzuki are all currently free agents, leaving the Yankees with Gardner and Curtis Granderson as the team's only outfielders.
The lack of outfielders on New York's roster could change quickly, however, as Ichiro and the Yankees have mutual interest in getting a deal done and the Yankees are also showing interest in veteran outfielder Torii Hunter.
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