I see Pravda's been hiring:
Of the three, Ibanez is the player the Mariners would love to have back.
The Mariners, though, clearly want him back -- new general manager Jack Zduriencik reached out to Ibanez by telephone.
"This guy deserves a phone call from the general manager because of his contributions to this club, this city, and the type of person he is, a guy of great character," Zduriencik said. "We'll see where it goes from here."
Ibanez, 36, hit .293 this year with 23 homers and a team-leading 110 runs batted in. Zduriencik termed the conversation "very cordial" but was noncommittal about how hard the Mariners would pursue re-signing Ibanez.
"It was nothing more than a complimentary conversation of respect that he very well deserves — an introduction so he knows who I am," Zduriencik said.
If the Mariners really badly want Ibanez to come back, there's no indication of it anywhere, save for this article, in which the statement is totally unsubstantiated. It's like saying "Erik Bedard is an alcoholic. He recently went to the store." The former sentence is in no way supported by the latter, especially if you already know prior to writing that the reason for the action in the latter is completely unrelated to the former. So it's more like saying "Erik Bedard is an alcoholic. He recently went to the store" when you know with absolute certainty that all he bought were Shark Bites and granola*. It's just a silly and irresponsible thing to write.
Raul Ibanez is a below-average player. He's also 36 years old and has been to the playoffs once. I highly doubt GMZ wants to pay for him to come back, just like I highly doubt Raul would want to re-sign. The reason for the phone call was to allow a new GM to introduce himself to the team's elder statesman and express his gratitude for all Ibanez has done over the years. That's it. It was out of respect, not some desire to convince a declining veteran to stick around and not win ever.
Old players who aren't very good and are overvalued by the market serve little purpose to a ballclub in transition, and GMZ knows that. The local media is gonna need to learn how to let go. Shit's about to get real.
* if all Erik Bedard bought at the store were Shark Bites and granola I would be more inclined to call him a stoner**
** I am not calling Erik Bedard a stoner