Royals sign Raul Ibanez, recall Christian Colon; designate Pedro Ciriaco, Justin Maxwell

Ibanez2 jpgThe Royals announced today that they have signed outfielder/designated hitter Raul Ibanez as a Major League free agent.  In addition, Kansas City has also recalled infielder Christian Colon from Triple-A Omaha.  In corresponding moves with the Major League roster, the Royals have designated infielder Pedro Ciriaco and outfielder Justin Maxwell for assignment.

Ibanez, 42, signed with the Los Angeles Angels prior to this season, but was granted his outright release on June 21 and cleared waivers three days later.  He played in 57 games for the Angels, batting .157 with five doubles, two triples, three homers and 21 RBI.  Ibanez is one of two active players with 300 career home runs and 50 career triples (Carlos Beltran).  The left-handed hitting outfielder spent three seasons with the Royals (2001-03), hitting .294 with 37 doubles, 24 homers and 103 RBI during the 2002 season, helping him earn the Joe Burke Special Achievement Award from the Kansas City Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.  Ibanez was also named an All-Star starter in 2009, while with Philadelphia and has participated in 44 postseason games with three different teams: Seattle (2000), Philadelphia (2009-11) and the New York Yankees (2012).

Colon, 25, was the Royals’ first-round draft pick (fourth overall) in 2010 and was hitting .296 in 74 games at Triple-A Omaha this season, with 14 doubles, 4 homers and a .360 on-base percentage.  He ranks 12th in the Pacific Coast League with 48 runs scored, while his 14 steals are tied for 11th in the league.  Colon was named the Omaha Player of the Year in 2013, hitting .273 with 12 doubles, 12 homers and a .335 OBP.

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