9:55pm: According to Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times, incentives could raise the value of the contract above $6MM.
3:42pm: Crasnick says the Angels and Abreu have reached a preliminary agreement. It’ll be a done deal once he passes his physical and the Angels remove Nick Green from the 40-man to make room. Also:
The Braves have also expressed serious interest in Abreu, but sources said Atlanta’s budget is so tight that general manager Frank Wren would have to stretch to give him a $5MM salary.
11:44am: ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick says the Angels and Abreu moved closer to a deal, but are still negotiating incentives that could be worth a million or two.
8:33am: According to SI.com’s Jon Heyman, the Angels and Bobby Abreu reached an agreement on a one-year deal worth a little more than $5MM plus incentives.
Abreu, 35 in March, hit .296/.371/.471 in 684 plate appearances for the Yankees last year while playing poor defense. He earned $16MM in ’08. Many questioned Brian Cashman’s decision not to offer arbitration to Abreu, a Type A free agent. The decision was wise, as Abreu ended up taking a 69% pay cut in base salary. At the beginning of the offseason, most people expected him to get multiple years and at least $10MM per. Abreu’s agent Peter Greenberg remarked to Larry Stone on January 30th:
"He might take a one-year deal so that he can — in his words — win the MVP and go out on the market again. He’s definitely motivated. Not that he’s not usually, but he has extra motivation."
In Abreu, the Angels add some much-needed OBP to a team that ranked 11th in the AL last year in the crucial stat.