The Mariners only wanted a 1 year contract with Ibanez
I can't say enough that I think Pat Burrell should have been the Phillies left fielder again next season. He added a potent threat to pitchers that had to pitch around Ryan Howard and he fit in as a Phillies player for many years. Burrell wasn't fully respected in Philly though, his numbers were great but no one really brought up numbers, for some reason Pat's star dimmed in Philly. Was he Babe Ruth? No, not really but the Phillies thought enough of him to make him a very highly paid ballplayer in the past couple of years.
The Phillies not only gave up Burrell, when they added Raul Ibanez, but now the Phillies will be giving up their first round pick at #28 plus added to the fact the Mariners didn't even want to go beyond one year with Ibanez which made him available to the free agent market. Raul is 36 years old, an age when most offense hitters really start to decline for the most part. Does the Phillies brass know something that we don't about Ibanez for the next three seasons worth of production? If anything we needed a young stud out there in left, not an aging guy like Ibanez. He got the deal in my opinion for one reason, Pat Gillick. Pat's hands are all over this one. Gillick made no bones about that he was out to get rid of Burrell.
If Ibanez can return to his 2006 stats of 33 HR's and 123 RBI's this deal will look like gold, if Ibanez gets hurt because of his age, or hits less than 20 HR's and lower than 100 RBI's this deal could look as bad as the Garcia and Eaton signings by Gillick. The majority of this team was in place by 2004 with Ed Wade, with some tinkering it became the championship team of last year. With Burrell gone now, the landscape has changed to a less fertile field.
Rich Baxter - Fightin Phillies Blog