Neither the Angels nor the Indians have confirmed that they're working toward a deal.
Abreu, who is in Friday's Cactus League lineup batting sixth and playing left field, has grumbled publicly about his diminished role even before spring training. When he reported to camp, the Angels told him he could expect to get about 400 at-bats this season, but the rapid improvement of slugger Kendrys Morales quickly made that a hollow promise.
With Abreu in Friday's lineup, it could be a sign that a deal with the Indians is either stalled or has fallen apart.
"I don't know what's going on," said Abreu, according to the Los Angeles Times. "I don't think too much (of the trade rumors). I don't really look at what's going to happen. I'm here. I'm happy. I don't control what's going to happen."
Morales, who hasn't played a regular-season game since fracturing his left ankle in May 2010, is 10 for 16 with two home runs this spring, while Abreu, 38, is hitting .087 in 46 at-bats. The Angels also need to find designated hitter at-bats for rookie of the year runner-up Mark Trumbo, who -- along with Morales -- was displaced from first base by the acquisition of superstar Albert Pujols.
Abreu is making $9 million this season, the product of a vesting option he reached in 2011. The Angels likely would pick up the vast majority, if not all, of Abreu's salary in order to complete a deal. It's not clear whom the Angels would receive from the Indians in exchange for Abreu, but 28-year-old outfielder Trevor Crowe was pulled from a minor league game on Thursday.
Crowe, a former first-round draft pick, is a .243 career hitter in 205 games with the Indians. He missed most of 2011 with shoulder and elbow injuries.
The Indians were looking to bolster their outfield depth after Grady Sizemore underwent back surgery and is expected to miss the first two months of the season.
Abreu, 38, is a .293 lifetime hitter with an elite .397 career on-base percentage and is in the top 25 on the all-time doubles list. But he is coming off the worst season of his career and has seen his outfield skills decline rapidly in recent years. He played just 28 games in the field in 2011.
"One of the things I'm doing now that's more important is getting myself ready for the season so that when I do get opportunities to play I can do my best," Abreu told the Times. "Honestly, I just want to get ready for the season."