Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Eating Raul

Okay, I was wrong. I admit it.

I blasted the Raul Ibanez signing when it happened. I may have used the phrase "crippling" when describing it. Too much money, too long of a deal, too early in the process (the M's gave up a first round pick to sign him because they couldn't wait for the Royals to non-tender him), the wrong player all the way around.

It wasn't just that I thought we were overpaying, I thought there was every reason for Ibanez to be terrible. Jeff Cirillo, Scott Spiezio level terrible. Stinky. Pee-yeeew.

You see Ibanez had just completed his age 31 season. It was an acceptable year, hitting 290/345/454. But it was a decline from the previous two seasons. His slugging dropped 86 points from the previous year. His OBP dropped only one point but 10 points from his first semi-acceptable season two years prior.

Ibanez had clearly been a late bloomer and he had just finished a decent 3 year peak in a very good hitters park. And the last last season was the worst of the three. At ages 32 and beyond he was going to decline pretty quickly, especially going into the poor hitting environment of Safeco Field.

So when Walt defended the signing with something like, "hey he'll hit 280 with 20 homeruns," I couldn't wait to jump all over that. "He's hit twenty exactly one time in his career and if he hits twenty playing half his games at the Safe, I'll eat my hat."

Ooops. This is going to be bad.


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