Thursday, September 29, 2011
Is Bobby Abreu movable?
By Mark Saxon
One of the Angels' biggest challenges this off-season is unclogging the glut of overpaid hitters on their roster.
With Kendrys Morales expected to be at or close to full health this spring, the Angels could have seven players (Morales, Bobby Abreu, Mark Trumbo, Torii Hunter, Vernon Wells, Peter Bourjos and Mike Trout) for five positions (the three outfield spots, first base and designated hitter).
It looks more and more likely that Trout will begin the season at Triple-A, but that still leaves six for five. Wells ($24 million) and Hunter ($18 million) are virtually impossible to move. It's looking more and more important that the Angels find a landing spot for Abreu, who will turn 38 and is coming off career lows in batting average (.353), home runs (eight) and RBIs (60).
Can Abreu be traded? One possible landing spot, presuming the Angels are willing to pay all or most of Abreu's $9 million salary: Miami. The Marlins, under Abreu's close friend and compatriot, Ozzie Guillen, could use Abreu as a pinch-hitter and spot outfield starter. More important, he could be a mentor to their young hitters and a recognizable face for a franchise moving into a new stadium.
One of Abreu's most positive impacts on the Angels was having his ultra-patient approach rub off on the team's younger players two seasons ago. He still gets on base. Amazingly, Abreu's .353 on-base percentage was second on the Angels to Alberto Callaspo.
On the Max and Marcellus show on 710 ESPN Thursday afternoon, Angels general manager Tony Reagins said the looming logjam for at-bats could be more fixable than people think.
"Things that look locked down now may not be in a month or two," Reagins said.