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Ibanez headed back to Mariners

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Ken Rosenthal

Ken Rosenthal has been the FOXSports.com's Senior MLB Writer since August 2005. He appears weekly on MLB on FOX, FOX Sports Radio and MLB Network. He's a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter.

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The Seattle Mariners added another proven hitter officially announcing their one-year, $2.75 million deal with free agent Raul Ibanez.

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Ibanez, 40, will return to the team that drafted him in the 36th round of the 1992 draft, joining Kendrys Morales, whom the Mariners acquired earlier this week from the Los Angeles Angels.

The New York Yankees had been interested in bringing back Ibanez, who batted .240 with a .761 OPS, 19 homers and 62 RBIs in 384 at-bats last season and produced a series of heroics during the postseason.

In Game 3 of the American League Division Series against the Orioles, Ibanez — pinch hitting for Alex Rodriguez — homered in the ninth inning to send the game into extra innings. He then hit another home run in the 12th to win it, 3-2.

In Game 1 of the AL Championship Series against the Tigers, Ibanez capped the Yankees' rally from a four-run deficit in the ninth, again hitting a homer to tie the game. However, the Yankees lost to Detroit, 6-4.

Ibanez became the first major-league player to hit three home runs in the ninth inning or later in a single postseason.

But he batted just .197 with five RBI in 61 at-bats against left-handers.

Ibanez had two runs with the Mariners, 1996 to 2000 and 2004 to 2008. He topped 100 RBIs for them in three straight seasons, 2006 to 2008. After the '08 season, he signed with the Phillies as a free agent.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Tagged: Yankees, Mariners, Raul Ibanez

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