MLB Hot Stove Report: Ibanez, Jones, Abreu, Ichiro, Hamels

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 15: Andruw Jones #18 of the New York Yankees scores a fifth inning run against the Texas Rangers on June 15, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

For Eric Chavez discussions, click here. This will be for all other baseball news.

  • The Yankees made the Raul Ibanez signing official today. I'm kinda "meh" on his addition. He should still hit decently against RHP and can - unlike Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui - play the field (not well, mind you, but he can still play). Damon is currently a better hitter, but considering he wanted around $5M, signing him (a platoon DH) didn't make sense. And while Matsui might've been willing to take the $1.1M Ibanez got (and is a comparable hitter), he's barely an outfielder anymore either. Ibanez has played at least 129 games in the outfield each of the last six seasons; he brings more versatility.
  • Andruw Jones thinks his surgically repaired knee will allow him to contribute more in 2012. Frankly, I'd be ecstatic if he merely duplicated 2011.
  • Bobby Abreu told the Angels that he wants to be traded before the season if they don't plan to play him everyday.
  • Ichiro won't be Seattle's leadoff hitter anymore. Manager Eric Wedge told reporters that he'll be moved to the third spot in the lineup.
  • Ken Rosenthal profiled the most desirable player of the next free agent class, Cole Hamels.
  • MLB instituted a rule change after Tampa's Joe Maddon used a position player to pretend to warm up on the mound just to give his actual pitcher more time.
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