I've been hearing a lot of Yankee fans saying it would be a better move for the Yankees to sign Johnny Damon as opposed to Raul Ibanez. At first reaction I agreed with this also, but after looking into it further my opinion has changed and this is why.
The Yankees need a DH to start against right handed pitching, with Andruw Jones already filling the DH spot against lefties. So when considering which of these two players to choose, how they fare against right handed pitching should be the main concern. Here are links to Damon's and Ibanez 2011 splits from Baseball Reference.
Looking at these splits you can see that there batting averages differ by one point, and Damon has a higher OBP by 7 points. However, there is a big difference in their power numbers. Ibanez hit 16 HRS and 60 RBIS while slugging .440 as compared to Damon hitting 10 HR's with 45 RBI'S and slugging .401. Also keep in mind Ibanez has the higher power numbers in pretty much the same amount of AB'S, actually a little less. Using these splits we can see Ibanez hits the same for average as Damon while displaying more power against right handed pitching.
I've also heard a couple of people bring out the point that Johnny Damon will benefit big time from the right field porch in Yankee Stadium and that will bring his power numbers up. If you look at the park dimensions of Citizen Bank Park as opposed to the dimensions of Tropicana Field, Citizen Bank actually has a deeper right field then Tropicana Field, so you would have to give any type of benefit you would give to Damon in Yankee Stadium, To Ibanez as well. So I believe it would be safe to assume, they would both see jumps in their power numbers.
Then of course, there is the fielding factor. Ibanez displayed last yea he can still play the field for most of the season, something Damon did not display. I understand we have Andrew Jones who can play the outfield, but it can never hurt to have somebody who can play the field effectively, especially when they possess a better bat as well. If we have injuries in the outfield, and need some bodies out there, Ibanez would seem to be able to play an effective left field for us.
So When you look at the whole picture, Ibanez based on last years performance showed he can hit for average just as well as Damon, get on base at pretty much the same rate and hit for more power. He is also more capable of playing the field if we needed him too and I believe he would see the same type of jump to his power numbers due to playing in Yankee Stadium as Damon. Ibanez may be slightly older then Damon, but the fact that he played 140 games in left field for the Phillies shows he is good shape, and Damon's not exactly a young pup either. Due to all of these factor I believe Ibanez would be the better fit for the left handed DH spot.