Thanks to MagelB from the Philadelphia Inquirer for the Raul Ibanez photo from twitpic
Raul Ibanez came to the Phillies three seasons ago now, and despite his initial burst onto the scene in Philly, it’s been a downhill slide for him ever since and he’s getting the bulk of his contract this year at $12,166,000. Is Raul living up to this salary?
Despite being small and looking quick, Raul has never been a base stealer, but some would argue that he is stealing salary in Philly as his decline continues this year. This is Raul’s 16th season in baseball, and in 2009 he came to the Phillies fresh after the Phillies won the World Series and we waved goodbye to Pat Burrell. He burst onto the Philly scene with 34 home runs his first season, and could barely hit half of that the next season which was last year, with a total of 16 HR’s.
Raul blended in well with the superstars on the Phillies, but he never became one of them. His fall from where he started at in 2009 was a swift one, going on extended slumps that you thought he would never recover from. His seasons in Philadelphia including this year, have never seen him drive in 100 runs, even with his 34 HR in 2009. That’s what the Phillies though of him when they brought him here, this was a player that drove in 100+ runs from 2006 (123), 2007(105), and 2008(110) with the Mariners.
There are rumors that Raul may be gone, but where would he go? Will the Phillies be content with eating a large portion of his contract? If there can be one player to point to as a bit of a failure signing by Ruben Amaro Jr., it would be Raul Ibanez. He hasn’t lived up to the expectations except for that outstanding year in 2009 with his 34 HR, but now that is just a distant memory.