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Ibanez interested in Marlins?


Puma

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"I've always been open to the possibility about playing in Miami. I've followed the team closely since even before they were a team. I've always been intrigued by that possibility, especially after we played them last year, and I saw how competitive they were."

 

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The Marlins may not be in the running for any top power-hitting free agents this offseason, but here's one name that seems to make a lot of sense: Raul Ibanez. The former Mariner attended Miami-Dade Community College and has a long-standing relationship with Marlins president of baseball operations Admin Beinfest and manager Fredi Gonzalez.

 

Right now, Florida is possibly looking at a starting outfield for 2009 of Cody Ross (left field), Cameron Maybin (center field) and Jeremy Hermida (right field). Adding Ibanez could make either Ross or Hermida a fourth outfielder and give the Marlins a veteran and a left-handed power-hitter. And, at 36, the Marlins likely won't have to give him much in terms of guaranteed years.

 

Ibanez has driven in over 100 runs the last three years and has hit 20-plus home runs in four straight seasons. Last year, he played in all 162 games while hitting .293 with 23 home runs and 110 RBIs. It's been reported that there has been a long list of teams interested in Ibanez, including the Mets, and that he would like to wait and see what the Mariners -- which he's been with the last five years -- will do first.

 

But there's definitely an interest from Ibanez in being a Marlin. Here's a quote from him provided by The South Florida Sun-Sentinel: "I've always been open to the possibility about playing in Miami. I've followed the team closely since even before they were a team. I've always been intrigued by that possibility, especially after we played them last year, and I saw how competitive they were."

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