Bobby Abreu Rumors
Saturday night linkage..
- Josh Hamilton told Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas that he's open to talking to the Rangers about a contract extension during the season. “If they want to talk to my agent, we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it,” he said after previously indicating an unwillingness to negotiate during the season.
- Agent Barry Axelrod has been discussing employment opportunities with the Diamondbacks, reports Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic (Twitter links). Axelrod and GM Kevin Towers are close friends.
- Unlike agents Jeff Moorad and Arn Tellem, Scott Boras has no desire to own a major league team, writes Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com.
- The Angels' deal to trade Bobby Abreu to the Indians fell apart due to salary concerns, a source familiar with the talks told Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. Cleveland wanted the veteran slugger but the two sides couldn't agree upon how much of his $9MM salary they would assume.
- Mets pitcher Mike Pelfrey was surprised to learn that his job was on the line during spring training, writes David Lennon of Newsday. The front office was kicking around the idea of releasing the 28-year-old before Opening Day to free up roughly $4MM, the non-guaranteed portion of his one-year, $5.7MM deal.
- Scouts covering the Giants say the club is getting nervous about rotation depth, tweets Jayson Stark of ESPN.com.
- The Orioles cut minor league pitcher Josh Banks, tweets Steve Melewski of MASNsports.com. The right-hander spent most of 2011 with the Giants' Triple-A affiliate and posted a 7.27 ERA with 5.8 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in twelve starts and seven relief appearances.
Mike Axisa contributed to this post.
The Dodgers have generated most of the L.A.-related news this week, but there's plenty going on with the area's second team. Here are some updates regarding the Angels...
- The Bobby Abreu trade appears to be dead or on hold, as the Angels have the veteran in today’s lineup, according to Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com hears the deal fell apart (Twitter link). The Angels had discussed a trade that would have sent Abreu to the Indians.
- Jason Isringhausen has made the Angels’ Opening Day roster, DiGiovanna reports. Isringhausen, who signed a minor league deal with the Angels last month, had also seriously contemplated retirement. The Angels will pay Isringhausen $650K in 2012.
10:32pm: The trade has a "50-50" chance of happening, according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. A source says the two teams are negotiating how much of Abreu's salary will be covered by the Angels.
9:43pm: Peter Greenberg, Abreu's agent, hasn't gotten confirmation that his client has been dealt, tweets Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times. Jon Heyman notes that the trade would require permission from the Commissioner's Office, given the large amount of salary the Angels are very likely covering to make the deal happen.
With Vernon Wells and Torii Hunter filling the corner outfield spots, and Mark Trumbo and a seemingly healthy Kendrys Morales slated to play DH, Abreu was the odd man out in Los Angeles. Abreu was becoming increasingly vocal about his likely lack of playing time which could well have sealed his fate as an Angel. The 38-year-old is coming off his worst full season in the majors (a .253/.353/.365 line in 585 plate appearances) and will earn $9MM in 2012 after reaching enough plate appearances for a contract option to vest.
While the Indians were known to be looking for help in left or center field, Abreu is a bit of an odd fit. It seems Abreu will platoon with Shelley Duncan in left, but Abreu played just 28 games in the field last season and has been a below-average defender for years --- he has a -8.3 lifetime UZR/150 rating. Abreu also adds yet another left-handed bat to the lefty-heavy Cleveland roster and he won't get much opportunity to play DH given Travis Hafner's presence. Still, since the Angels are undoubtedly paying most of Abreu's salary, the price is right for the Indians if Abreu is able to recapture some of his old form.
Here's the latest from Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com..
- The Tigers' interest in John Lannan is only lukewarm at best and one executive told Heyman (via Twitter) that American League teams are leery of what switching leagues would do. For their part, the Nationals still seem eager to move the left-hander.
- With no real playing time likely available to Bobby Abreu, it might be for the best for the Angels to simply release the veteran, Heyman writes. Even though Abreu's agents, Peter and Edward Greenberg, said his recent comments were taken out of context, Abreu is obviously frustrated and unhappy about his situation.
- Is Barry Zito's contract the worst free agent deal ever? - Heyman believes that it is and it tops his top ten list. John Lackey, Gary Matthews, Carl Pavano, and Mike Hampton round out the top five.
- There are several theories as to why Adam Dunn wasn't able to produce last year, including the idea that his big contract got to him, writes Heyman. The 32-year-old hit .159/.292/.277 in 122 games last season.
Saturday afternoon linkage..
- The Phillies appear to be comfortable with beginning the season with Freddy Galvis at second base and are searching for a backup utility infielder via trade rather than a starter, sources tell Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com.
- Word is that the Yankees offered Freddy Garcia to the Marlins but Miami wasn't interested, tweets Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com. Garcia, who is a trade candidate following the club's signing of Andy Pettitte, is signed to a one-year deal worth $4MM plus incentives.
- Angels manager Mike Scioscia and General Manager Jerry Dipoto met with Bobby Abreu following the outfielder's comments to Lider en Deportes. DiGiovanna writes that the team may have no choice but to release the veteran if he continues to struggle and be a distraction.
- The case of Jairo Beras and his $4.5MM contract with the Rangers is in the hands of Major League Baseball, but the club is confident that he is 17 years old, writes Jeff Wilson of the Star-Telgram. Beras' biological father also told the paper that Beras is in fact 17.
- The Mets are facing a serious numbers crunch on the 40-man roster, writes Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com.
Don't expect Pedro to pull a Pettitte. Links are in Spanish...
- Bobby Abreu doesn't put a whole lot of stock in manager Mike Scioscia's prediction that the 38-year-old will get 400 plate appearances this season. "I've learned not to have much confidence in these people, but I hope they live up to what they told me," Abreu told Billy Russo at Lider en Deportes. "How long am I going to have to continue proving to people what I am, and what I'm able to do? At times it's like the work one does doesn't get appreciated, but here I am, and we'll continue the fight." Likewise, he said not knowing how much his time will be split between right field and DH has altered his preparation for the season. "It's clearly affected me, because I'm not used to that, and I don't know why they did it, but whatever; I'll keep on keeping on." Abreu said a month ago that he'd prefer being traded to playing off the bench.
- Pedro Martinez said in December that he would soon make his retirement official, but almost four months later, an announcement hasn't come. Martinez recently appeared on the television program El Despertador in his native Dominican Republic and said an official statement is nevertheless on the way. "We're working, and we're going to send out a press release," he said (as transcribed by Panorama Diario). "We're going to pick a date where we'll make an official announcement, and at the same time, give the Dominican public the opportunity to see it."
- Miguel Tejada still hasn't received any offers this offseason, but he has no plans to explore options in other leagues, the veteran infielder told the Dominican radio show Grandes en los Deportes (Twitter links.) "I play baseball because I like it. I don't have economic problems," Tejada said. "I believe there's still a lot of playing for me to do in the US."
Happy birthday to Clayton Kershaw, who turns 24 years old today. Kershaw has plenty to celebrate this year, between being the NL Cy Young Award winner and his new two-year, $19MM contract extension with the Dodgers.
Here's the latest out of L.A. from both the Dodgers and the Angels...
- Erick Aybar said that his agents have left the Angels Spring Training camp, reports Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles. It was reported earlier today that Aybar and the Halos had made only slight progress on a contract extension for the shortstop.
- Angels designated hitter Bobby Abreu tells MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez that he wants to play for three more years, though his age-40 season. Abreu just turned 38 on March 11. "That's what I want. I feel that I can keep playing," Abreu said. "I believe that you have to know when your body tells you when to stop. But I'm fine. I feel fine."
- Patrick Soon-Shiong has joined Steve Cohen's ownership group in a bid for the Dodgers, reports Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times. Soon-Shiong, known as the richest man in Los Angeles, had been rumored to be joining the ownership group led by basketball legend Magic Johnson.
- Also from Shaikin, a mediator has reinstated the joint bid from Stanley Gold and the Roy Disney family into the Dodgers ownership process. The Gold/Disney group joins four other ownership groups in having their bids judged by MLB's owners, who are expected to vote on the matter by the end of the week.
- Dodgers GM Ned Colletti says it's too early to consider any possible roster needs before Opening Day, reports MLB.com's Ken Gurnick. The Dodgers are also waiting until the club is sold in late April before making any possible additions to payroll.
The latest from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports..
- If Steve Cohen winds up buying the Dodgers, Tony La Russa would reportedly become a key decision-maker for the club. According to rival executives, La Russa's strong personality might diminish the Dodgers’ chances of hiring one of the top current general managers. It's far from certain that Cohen will get the team or that he would in fact hire LaRussa in a top role, but GMs like the Rays’ Andrew Friedman or the Diamondbacks’ Kevin Towers likely would not leave their current situations for limited autonomy in L.A.
- Rival executives still find it curious that the Athletics traded Trevor Cahill and one told Rosenthal that GM Billy Beane "must have known something." Beane was likely troubled by what he saw out of the right-hander's advanced metrics. Cahill, who is under a club-friendly long-term contract, had an abnormally low BABIP of .237 in 2010, his breakout year. When Cahill’s BABIP increased to .306 in 2011, his performance suffered accordingly.
- Angels manager Mike Scioscia said at the start of spring training that Bobby Abreu could get 400 plate appearances, but that doesn't seem likely with Kendrys Morales on track to be the team’s designated hitter. The Halos have been looking to move the 38-year-old for quite some time and he hasn't helped his case by coming into camp overweight. The veteran would likely have been cut by now if he wasn't guaranteed $9MM for 2012.
- Meanwhile, fellow Halos trade candidate Mark Trumbo told Rosenthal that he is becoming increasingly comfortable at third base, though he still has much to learn.
MLBTR readers won't be surprised if the Angels emerge as one of the league's top teams in 2012. More than a quarter of some 19,000 voters said yesterday that the Angels are the likeliest AL team to turn things around in 2012 (2011 playoff teams excluded). Here are today's Angels-related links via Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com...
- Angels GM Jerry Dipoto said he “absolutely” expects Bobby Abreu to open the season with the Angels. Some baseball people believe there’s a real chance the Angels will work hard to trade the outfielder/DH before Opening Day.
- Torii Hunter said he hopes to re-sign with the Angels after the season, when his contract expires. But if a new deal doesn’t make sense, the outfielder will look to sign with a championship caliber team. "Right now, I'm focused on winning," Hunter said. "Money? I've made money. I want a ring.”
- The Angels appear to be seeking a left-handed reliever, just one year after signing Scott Downs and Hisanori Takahashi.
The Angels are looking around for a left-handed reliever, tweets Danny Knobler of CBS Sports. Having committed $23MM to Scott Downs and Hisanori Takahashi during the 2010-11 offseason, left-handed relief is a surprising target.
During this offseason, the Angels signed righty relievers LaTroy Hawkins and Jason Isringhausen. If they focus on a southpaw, Mike Gonzalez and Arthur Rhodes are still on the free agent market. Matt Thornton, Will Ohman, and Sean Burnett are a few that might be available in trade, in my estimation.
Some people who talk with the Angels are convinced they'll trade designated hitter Bobby Abreu this spring, adds Knobler, and perhaps they can kill two birds with one stone. Abreu, 38 this month, hit .253/.353/.365 last year and is owed $9MM in 2012.