37-Year-Old Outfielder – Free Agent
2018 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
It remains to be seen whether Raburn, now entering his age-37 season, can still be a viable platoon bat in the outfield. He was used sparingly during his time with Washington last season and missed th...
Ryan Raburn Contract Information:
Signed a minor-league contract with the Nationals in November of 2017. Released by the Nationals in March of 2018.
Raburn was released by the Nationals on Saturday, Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post reports.
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Ryan Raburn: MLB Games Played By Position
Ryan Raburn: Minor League Games Played By Position
Ryan Raburn Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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Ryan Raburn: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
The Rockies landed Raburn on a minor league contract during the offseason, and after posting surprisingly solid numbers with the Indians in 2015, his 2016 campaign was a step backward. In limited playing time, the veteran flashed power while exhibiting great patience at the plate (10.9 percent walk rate), but nearly every other metric declined. His batting average dropped 81 points, while his OPS sunk to a pedestrian .713. This decrease in production could be due to an increased exposure to right-handed pitching in 2016 -- in fact, he logged more at-bats against righties than the previous two years combined. His splits last year (.615 OPS against righties vs. .835 OPS against lefties) reflected his career tendencies, so this situation was not ideal for the outfielder. Considering his struggles against righties, it's difficult to see Raburn being anything more than a short-side platoon piece, no matter where he lands in free agency.
Raburn rebounded nicely from a disastrous 2014 (.200/.250/.297 in 212 plate appearances) for the Indians, slashing .301/.393/.543 in 201 plate appearances in a reserve/platoon role in the outfield. His days at the keystone appear to be a thing of the past as the 34-year old veteran hasn't seen any action at second base in either of the last two seasons but he continues to mash southpaws. Raburn hit .325/.415/.589 in 176 plate appearances against lefties in 2015 and owns a career OPS of .827 against them. The Indians declined their club option on Raburn for the 2016 season so he's free to test out the market in free agency where he shouldn't have a problem finding work with a premium being placed on right-handed power this offseason. His eventual landing spot will have a huge impact on his fantasy prospects as he looks to latch on with a new team.
When it's all said and done, Raburn will have banked more than $10 million on the strength of his ability to pound left-handed pitching. That ability has been much less consistent over the past three years, as he sandwiched a huge 2013 (.308/.403/.617 against LHP) with two very soggy campaigns in 2012 (.165/.224/.253 v. LHP) and 2014 (.195/.263/.333). Overall, the plate discipline last season looked very typical, as he struck out in nearly a quarter of his plate appearances while drawing walks at a low clip (6.1% BB%). A guaranteed $2.5 million salary for 2015 should put him on the Opening Day roster, but Raburn will have to return to somewhere more closely resembling his 2013 splits in order to extend his career beyond this season.
Raburn put a few more balls over the fence than normal thanks to a spike in his HR/FB rate, as he launched 16 homers in 87 games for the Indians. An ankle injury limited his playing time down the stretch, but he signed a two-year extension to remain in Cleveland in August. Most of his damage continues to come against left-handed pitching, which should put Raburn's bat in the lineup when the Indians are facing a left-handed starter as part of a platoon in the corner-outfield spots with Michael Brantley and David Murphy. Keep in mind, however, that the multi-position eligibility Raburn once offered is likely gone in most leagues, as he only appeared in two games at second base in 2013.
After flashing power potential in previous seasons as a part-time player, the Tigers finally decided to give Raburn a chance to earn an everyday role last season. To say the results were a disaster would be an understatement. The 31-year-old outfielder turned second baseman lost his starting gig after two months of play and finished the season with a slash line of .171/.226/.254 in 205 at-bats. He was then released by the Tigers after the season. If Raburn finds another major league job, it will likely be in a utility role off the bench while facing primarily left-handed pitching.
Like past years, the 2011 campaign was another tale of two halves for Raburn, The 31-year-old hit just .213/.248/.360 before the midsummer classic, but he turned his season around by hitting .341/.393/.574 after the break. He saw most of his playing time in the corner-outfield spots and second base, but Raburn also made a few appearances at both corner-infield positions. Unless the team makes some late roster additions, the Tigers plan to deploy him as a platoon option at second base while also giving him some starts in the outfield. While his second-half surge makes him an enticing option heading into the next season, Raburn has struggled to display the type of consistency that would make him a constant source for fantasy production in shallow formats, but he's a decent source of power at the second base position in deeper leagues.
Raburn was tabbed as a breakout candidate heading into last season thanks to a strong finish to his 2009 campaign. Unfortunately, Raburn didn't live up to the hype in the early season, hitting just .208/.287/.350 before the All-Star break. But like the previous year, Raburn went on a torrid stretch the final two months, hitting .315 with 13 home runs and 46 RBI over the final 70 games. Tigers brass has committed to making Raburn a bigger part of the team over the course of a full season. He's expected to open the 2011 season as the left fielder. If Raburn avoids an early-season slump and accumulates more than 500 at-bats for the first time in his career, he'll hold value in any format.
Raburn saw an increased role with the Tigers in 2009, resulting in the versatile utility man putting up career-high numbers in hits (76), home runs (16), RBI (45), runs (44) and steals (5), all with just 261 at-bats. After battling for a job each of the past three seasons, manager Jim Leyland has already stated that Raburn will be guaranteed a roster spot out of spring training. To further increase Raburnís 2010 value, the Tigers have opted to not bring back Marcus Thames, which will open up more playing time for Raburn as the designated hitter. If he can thrive with what will likely be close to an everyday role, Raburn could be one of the more valuable late-round fliers this season.
Raburn's second year in Detroit was not as productive with the bat as his first but the versatility that Raburn provides keeps him on manager Jim Leyland's bench. Raburn has a little pop in his bat but his infield defense isn't solid enough to make him an option to start long-term should the Tigers lose an infielder to an injury. The Tigers also have plenty of options in the outfield beyond their current group of starters so Raburn will be regulated to spot starts to keep everyone else fresh.
Raburn established himself as a solid reserve player last season, hitting over .300 and playing multiple infield and outfield positions. He's shown decent power and some speed in the minors so he could be interesting if he earned more playing time. He should enter 2008 as Detroit's top utility player.
Raburn put together a fairly solid year at Triple-A Toledo last season and added some versatility by switching from second base to the outfield. He currently doesn't have a 40-man roster spot and the Tigers have little use for him as a utility player right now but he could be an option in 2008 if he puts together another good year in the minors.
Raburn spent all of last season at Triple-A Toledo with no September call-up despite earning one the year before. He posted solid power numbers but needs to improve his patience at the plate if he hopes to be anything more than a reserve in the majors. He should start 2006 back at Triple-A and will need injuries at the major league level to receive an opportunity.
The Tigers top second-base prospect, Raburn had a great season at Double-A Erie and was called up by the Tigers for the last few weeks of the regular season. While he struggled at the plate there, the Tigers are still very high on him. With Omar Infante and Fernando Vina on the roster, Detroit doesn't need to rush Raburn, but he will still have the chance to compete for a roster spot during spring training.
The teamís 5th round pick in 2001 out of South Florida CC has been injury-prone in his early career. The 23-year-old has made the transition from third base to second and is interesting as power middle infielder. Some in the organization think he can become Jeff Kent but heís not shown it statistically yet. Expect him to begin the 2004 season in high Single-A with a promotion to Double-A Eerie at some point.