Ibanez played for the Royals from 2001-2003, hitting for good power in his time with the Royals—which was his first real opportunity to establish himself as a major-league starter. Ibanez played 57 games this year for the Los Angeles Angels, hitting .157/.258/.265. Despite this offensive performance, the late-blooming Ibanez had been above average offensively for every year between 2001 and 2013, except 2011. Last year, he hit 29 home runs for the Seattle Mariners.
Details of his current contract are pending.
Colon was drafted number 4 overall by the Royals in the 2010 draft. He’s a little old for a prospect at 25 years old, but he was hitting .296/.360/.384 for AAA Omaha this year with 14 steals in 74 games. He’ll provide the Royals with much needed bench flexibility, as he can play second base and shortstop.
Despite Maxwell’s power and history against left handers, the Royals opted to go with the more proven commodity. The Royals decided that Colon’s future value to the team was greater than Ciriaco’s. Maxwell cleared waivers earlier this year, so it wouldn’t be much of a surprise to see him make it back down to Omaha. It would be surprising to see Ciriaco clear waivers given his defensive versatility.
Signing Ibanez and calling up Colon looks like a cost-effective attempt to address the Royals need for pop in the middle of the lineup and more bench production. It will be a coup for GM Dayton Moore if he can solve the Royals needs without surrendering any significant prospects.
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