Angels DH slot could be time share between Albert Pujols, Raul Ibanez

Posted by Scott Wuerz on December 27, 2013 

The Anaheim Angels may not have the money to throw around this year that the did in the previous two winters.

But that doesn't mean that they can't make off-season headlines.

The Halos have signed former Seattle Mariners and Philladelphia Phillies slugger Raul Ibanez to a one-year contract. And, according to the Boston Globe, they may be the favorite to ink former St. Louis Cardinals and Oakland Athletics hurler Mark Mulder to a contract that would allow the lefty a chance at a comeback.

Ibanez, who reportedly was landed for $2.25 million plus incentives, doesn't seem like a bad signing because of the price coupled with the need for power to replace traded slugger Mark Trumbo. But I have to wonder where the 40-something corner outfielder is going to play.

In Seattle last season Ibanez split time between designated hitter and the outfield. But he was terrible in the field with greatly diminished range and the Angels outfield was already stacked with much younger talent. 

If the Angles plan to use Ibanez as a DH, I guess they're gambling that former Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols is healed after foot problems that cut short his 2013 season. He played only 34 games at first base while serving as designated hitter for 65. If Pujols can't run, the Cardinals are going to have a traffic jam at that spot in the batting order.

While Albert was shut down last year to have surgery to correct the plantar faciitis that has caused him problems since he played in St. Louis, there is no guarantee that the surgery will correct the problems. According to WebMD.com, only about 75 percent of people who have the surgery see improvement. And in some cases the problem gets worse. Only time will tell because symptoms usually become aggravated by being on your feet a lot. So the Angels might not know for sure if Pujols is better until the season is well underway.

Maybe the Angels would like to sign Mulder in effort to convince both the pitcher an Pujols that the clock has been turned back to 2005 when they both were in their prime.

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