Last offseason, the Phillies surprised many baseball people by signing Raul Ibanez to a three-year contract worth $31.5 million. The signing itself was not surprising (unless you were a huge Pat Burrell fan), but the number of years was, with the Phillies willing to give the 36-year-old Ibanez a three-year contract.
So far, the results have been great. The Phillies are back in the playoffs for the third straight season, and Ibanez, at age 37, has put up some of the best numbers of his career (.274, 34 HR, 93 RBI).
As we look forward to the 2009 offseason, I can't help but wonder if the Ibanez contract will become the standard for aging but still productive hitters. Instead of looking for one or two years when the player is clearly past his prime, will agents start looking to ...
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Article written by Josh Levitt