Raul Ibanez, 42, Signs With Royals One Week After Angels Release Him


USATSI_7902316.000Raul Ibanez found a home with a familiar team, one week after being released by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

The 42-year-old outfielder signed a major league contract with the Kansas City Royals, with whom he played from 2001 to 2003.

Ibanez reached the 15-home run and 90-RBI plateaus twice during his three-season stint with the Royals. This year with the Angels, however, was a far cry from those days. He hit just .157 with a .258 on-base percentage in 57 games.

Ibanez’s shining moment this year came when collected his 2,000th career hit — a game-tying, three run home run against the New York Mets on April 12.

The move came after the Royals designated outfielder Justin Maxwell and former Boston Red Sox infielder Pedro Ciriaco for assignment. Maxwell was hitting .150 through 40 at-bats this season. Ciriaco hit .213 in 25 games.

While Ibanez is not the same player he was only a year ago, he does give a young Kansas City squad that sits 1 1/2 games back in the American League wild-card race some veteran leadership down the stretch. He is one of just four Royals with any big league postseason experience.

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