Bobby Abreu Rumors
MLBTradeRumors readers will be sure to note that longtime MLBTR writer Mike Axisa has become the newest contributor to the Eye on Baseball blog at CBSSports.com. Congrats to Mike, who started things off today with a look at the Yankees’ core pieces. As always, Mike’s latest piece is worth your time. Mike’s by-line won’t be appearing at MLBTR anymore, but Zach Links has become a full-time writer and he’ll be taking over the site’s Baseball Blogs Weigh In feature from now on. You can reach Zach here with your submissions: ZachBBWI@gmail.com.
Here are some links from around MLB...
- Carlos Beltran's preference is to return to the Cardinals following the 2013 season, writes MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch. However, the presence of Matt Holliday, Jon Jay and top prospect Oscar Taveras might leave Beltran without a spot on St. Louis' roster.
- In a piece at River Ave. Blues, Mike previews a potential extension for Yankees right-hander David Robertson, suggesting a three-year, $15MM deal could work for both sides. That said, cost certainty isn't a huge priority for the Yankees, so "working out a multi-year contract with Robertson probably isn’t worth the hassle" from the standpoint of the club.
- The Marlins are hearing from the agents for several veteran free agents who would love to play in Miami, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports. Freddy Garcia and Bobby Abreu are among the players who would like to join the Marlins, Jackson writes.
- Agent Scott Boras expects increased interest in free agent right-hander Jose Valverde now that Rafael Soriano has signed with the Nationals, George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press reports. The Tigers, Valverde's most recent team, seem confident in the ability of 22-year-old Bruce Rondon.
TUESDAY, 3:58pm: A major league source somewhat dismissively labeled the trip as "background work" and "nothing more than a scouting assignment" in a conversation with Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald. Abreu would be a possible fit as another left-handed-hitting outfielder to split time with Jonny Gomes in left field, but he turns 39 in March and hit just .242/.350/.342 in 257 PAs for the Angels and Dodgers.
The Red Sox also expressed some interest in fellow available veteran Lance Berkman, but they are not believed to still be considering him. Recently, a team official said the Sox would be "comfortable" with either Ryan Kalish or Daniel Nava splitting time with Gomes, but cautioned that a move for another outfielder couldn't be ruled out.
MONDAY, 4:07pm: The Red Sox have worked out Bobby Abreu in Venezuela, including putting the veteran outfielder through drills at first base, reports Rafael Tejera (WEEI.com's Alex Speier confirms it through a Major League source). Speier notes that the workout may have been a case of "due diligence" for both Abreu and the Sox as Abreu has no professional experience as a first baseman and may not even be interested in playing the position.
After being released by the Angels and designated for assignment by the Dodgers in 2012, however, Abreu may have little room to argue a position change if he wants another contract with a Major League team. Abreu hit three home runs and had a slash line of .242/.350/.342 in 257 PAs for the two Los Angeles teams last season, with the .693 OPS standing as a career-low for the 17-year veteran.
Abreu, 38, is a below-average defender in the outfield and wouldn't see much time at DH in Boston with David Ortiz in the fold, so first base might be his only opportunity for even semi-regular playing time as part of a platoon. The Red Sox still have a tentative agreement with Mike Napoli though that deal has been under renegotiation for weeks due to concerns about Napoli's hip, and the Sox have also talked to free agent Adam LaRoche about filling their hole at first base.
The latest from Jon Heyman and Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com...
- Both the Dodgers and Red Sox have interest in Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan, reports Heyman. He hears Los Angeles could also make a play for Indians closer Chris Perez or Mets right-hander Bobby Parnell as well.
- The Rangers were interested in Anibal Sanchez and Russell Martin before they signed elsewhere, Knobler reports. Now Texas is pursuing Edwin Jackson, A.J. Pierzynski and Cody Ross. Michael Bourn and Kyle Lohse aren't thought to be "front-burner" items for the Rangers now, Knobler reports. Knobler suggests the Rangers are interested in a relatively short-term deal for Jackson, who's also drawing serious interest from the Cubs.
- The Dodgers have talked about trading Andre Ethier and signing Bourn to replace him, reports Knobler. Los Angeles is looking for a leadoff hitter. Earlier this week we heard they've considered trading Ethier and signing Nick Swisher.
- The Rangers may be the best bet for Pierzynski since the Yankees still can’t get excited about the backstop, Heyman reports (on Twitter). Instead, New York is looking to go with Austin Romine.
- The Braves continue eyeing a left fielder and would prefer to add a leadoff type, Heyman reports (on Twitter).
- Bobby Abreu, who is now playing winter ball, hopes to play for two or three more years, Heyman reports (on Twitter).
Mike Axisa contributed to this post.
2:45pm: Abreu has accepted the Triple-A assignment, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter).
10:36am: Bobby Abreu has cleared waivers after being designated for assignment by the Dodgers, ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick reports (Twitter links). The outfielder must decide by this afternoon whether to accept the minor league assignment, and he is leaning toward accepting it, Crasnick writes.
Though Abreu's power has disappeared, he continues to get on base at an above-average rate. The 38-year-old has posted a .246/.347/.340 batting line in 236 total plate appearances for the Angels and Dodgers this year. The 17-year MLB veteran earns a $9MM salary, but any team could sign him for a pro-rated portion of the MLB minimum if he elects free agency instead of accepting the minor league assignment.
The Angels released Abreu in April after a disappointing opening month, and the Dodgers signed him to a minor league deal a week later. Though Abreu's power has disappeared, he continues to get on base at an above-average rate. The 38-year-old has posted a .246/.347/.340 batting line in 236 total plate appearances this year. The 17-year MLB veteran earns a $9MM salary, but any team can sign him for a pro-rated portion of the MLB minimum if he reaches free agency.
Here's the latest out of baseball's two West divisions...
- Bobby Abreu had other offers before choosing to sign with the Dodgers, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). He liked the idea of returning to the NL and knows manager Don Mattingly from his time with the Yankees.
- The Giants offered Travis Ishikawa a minor league contract to return during the offseason, but he signed with the Brewers because they offered a better opportunity to Hank Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle. Mat Gamel's injury opened the door for Ishikawa to play everyday.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports speculates (on Twitter) that Mark Trumbo of the Angels would be a good fit for the Blue Jays. He says it's hard to see Toronto trading a reliever while Sergio Santos is still on the DL, however.
The Dodgers have reached agreement on a deal with Bobby Abreu, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter). The Peter E. Greenberg & Associates client will serve as a bat off of the bench and a part-time outfielder.
On Wednesday, we learned that the Dodgers were in serious talks with the 38-year-old. The Angels released Abreu one week ago and will be on the hook for the remainder of his $9MM salary. Abreu's new deal could be for as little as the pro-rated portion of the MLB minimum.
Abreu took a step back in 2011 as he hit .253/.353/.365 with eight homers in 142 games. He openly complained about his reduced role with the club and got off to a slow start in 2012, prompting his release. The Angels appeared to have struck a deal for Abreu with the Indians in March but Cleveland balked at the portion of his salary they were being asked to pay.
The slugger hopes to play for two or three more seasons, according to Heyman (via Twitter).
The Angels released the 38-year-old Abreu late last week, and earlier today we heard that several NL teams have expressed interest. Abreu posted a .353 on-base percentage with 21 stolen bases and 78 walks last year, but got off to a slow start in 2012. He is a client of Peter E. Greenberg & Associates and is available for a pro-rated portion of the MLB minimum at this point. The Angels are responsible for the remainder of his $9MM salary.
Free agent outfielder/DH Bobby Abreu is drawing interest from some National League teams, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports (Twitter links). The Angels released the left-handed hitter over the weekend, making him a free agent.
Abreu started the 2012 season slowly for the Angels, who didn't have room for him on a roster full of outfielders and DH options. However, the 38-year-old posted a .353 on-base percentage with 21 stolen bases and 78 walks last year. Abreu, a client of Peter E. Greenberg & Associates, is available for a pro-rated portion of the MLB minimum at this point. The Angels are responsible for the remainder of his $9MM salary. The Tigers aren't actively pursuing Abreu, Morosi writes.
- There's already moderate interest in Abreu, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter).
- Abreu doesn't have any hard feelings about his release, reports Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. “There’s not really any bitterness -- it’s just a tough situation here,” Abreu said. “I’m going to wait and see what happens. I’m going to talk to my agent, make some calls, see who’s interested. I’m going to keep working and be ready.”
- The Angels released the wrong player in dropping Abreu and keeping Vernon Wells, opines Fangraphs' Paul Swydan. Abreu is set to earn $9MM in 2012 while Wells is owed $63MM through 2014 but Wells' contract is already "a sunk cost." Swydan argues that Abreu is better suited for a pinch-hit role than Wells and, as a left-handed bat, Abreu brought balance to an otherwise right-handed Angels outfield.
- The Angels' busy Friday (releasing Abreu, calling up Mike Trout and elevating Scott Downs to the closer's job over Jordan Walden) is a sign that the team is already feeling the pressure of high preseason expectations, writes ESPN Los Angeles' Mike Saxon.
- Mike Axisa of the River Ave Blues blog thinks the Yankees might have an interest in Abreu as at least a short-term fix while Brett Gardner is on the DL. New York tried to acquire Abreu for A.J. Burnett in the offseason, before Burnett blocked the deal to avoid playing on the west coast.