ESPN NY:

The New York Yankees have agreed to a one-year deal with Raul Ibanez worth $1.1 million plus incentives, baseball sources told ESPN The Magazine’s Buster Olney on Monday morning.

Ibanez can make up to $4 million total with the incentives, the sources said.

The Yankees plan to use Ibanez as a left-handed designated hitter, a source told ESPNNewYork.com’s Andrew Marchand last week.

Ibanez last 3 years vs. RHP:

Here’s what we don’t get:

1. The Yankees traded AJ Burnett at his absolute low point to clear money under the Steinbrenner-imposed budget cap ($5 million “saved” for 2011)

2. They use $1.1 mil of that $5 mil to sign Raul Ibanez, with the deal possibly being worth $4 mil in total. As noted by his numbers above, Ibanez has been in decline over the past 3 years, even against RHP.

3. Ibanez shouldn’t be allowed near a glove.

4. The Yankees signed Russell Branyan to a minor league deal (a very astute move, in our view) and he can play a decent 1B. While he was awful in 2011, he’s been just as productive as Ibanez against RHP over the course of their careers, and he’s only 1 year removed from a .254/.352/.522 (.375 wOBA) season against righties. He’s also 2 1/2 years younger than Ibanez.

So in a nutshell, we don’t understand why the Yankees traded AJ Burnett in order to sign Raul Ibanez, when his signing seems duplicative to Branyan — and Branyan can actually play the field. If the Steinbrenner Cap is indeed real, we would have rather seen the Yankees keep the “savings” from the AJ Burnett deal and use it for a mid-season deal.