General manager Brian Cashman said on Tuesday the club is continuing talks with veteran free agent Raul Ibanez about returning to the Yankees in 2013, according to the New York Post.
Ibanez, 40, hit just .240 last year, but he added 19 home runs to mark his 11th consecutive season with 15 or more home runs. The left-handed-hitting veteran also added three more homers in the postseason, including his notable two-homer performance in Game 3 of the American League Division Series when he tied the game with a pinch-hit solo shot in the ninth then won it with a walk-off blast in the 12th.
The Yankees are continuing to evaluate other options as well, given Ibanez's struggles against left-handed pitching. Used mostly in a platoon role last year, the 16-year veteran hit just .197 and didn't homer in 61 at-bats against southpaws.
Ibanez would be used primarily as the club's designated hitter, with the trio of Curtis Granderson, Brett Gardner and Ichiro Suzuki expected to start in the outfield.