Abreu likely to remain in pinstripes in ’08

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To exercise or not to exercise. That is the Yankees’ question. And with regards to Bobby Abreu, it looks like the Yanks are going to exercise.

Bobby Abreu has had one roller coaster ride of a season. One of the main culprits behind the Yankees’ early-season struggles, Abreu really turned it around this season to become a steady number three hitter in the Yanks’ potent lineup.

Through April and May, Abreu was awful. In over 200 plate appearances, he was hitting .228 with a measly .313 OBP and a wimpy .289 slugging percentage. He had 2 HR, 22 RBI and 42 strike outs, and we were writing him off left and right.

Well, one apology and three-and-a-half months later, Abreu has turned in one hell of a season. Since June 1, Abreu has around 400 plate appearances. He’s hit .320/.398/.548 in that span with 14 HR, 27 2B and 72 RBI. When Abreu broke out of his two-month slump, the Yanks started winning. His turnaround was just as responsible for the Yanks’ playoff push as his struggles were for their terrible start.

Now, comes the word on the street via MLB Trade Rumors that the Yanks plan on picking up Abreu’s 2008 option. As Tyler Kepner and Buster Olney both noted yesterday, it’s almost a definite certainty that Abreu will remain with the Yanks in 2008.

I personally like this move. The Yanks have recognized that the 2007-2008 free agent class of outfielders isn’t a particularly deep one. They see that Abreu’s .300/.400/.500 line from June 1 on is more indicative of his perfromance that his .200/.300/.300 line from April and May, and they know they would be hard-pressed to replace Abreu’s production. With Alex Rodriguez‘s future in pinstripes fairly uncertain, keeping Abreu’s bat around is a must.

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  • Ivan

    Good Deal, plus, by the time Abreu time is up, Tabata will be ready to make his MLB debut by then.

  • http://riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    I’ve been privately wondering for a while if Cashman would have the balls to decline Abreu’s option, then make a deal for Carlos Quentin, who’s clearly the odd man out in Arizona.

    The Yanks have more pitching in the minors than they know what to do with, and they really should use some of it in trades to improve other areas. Maybe trade for Quentin anyway with the idea of having him replace Abreu in 2009, with Tabata taking over for Matsui in 2010.

    • dan

      that is a spectacular idea. i figured if they declined it they would get a cheap free agent, not trade for ml ready prospect.

  • tony from the bronx

    mike i almost agree with you expect i think i would make a play for aaron rowand i like rowand for his defense and clutch hitting i dont know what it would take to sign him if 3yrs would do it i think i would i am not completely sold on melky as an every day championship team center fielder i believe the yanks have high hopes for austin jackson thats why they put him in trentons line up for the playoffs i guess they figure tabata and jackson will be ready around 2009 when damon and matsui come off the books tabata rowand and jackson is not to shabby but abreu for one more year even at 16mil is probably going to happen since there really isnt much choice hunter is going to be over priced and andruw jines is also going to command a long term deal mike if the yanks dont pick up abreus option do they get the draft pick? cashman speaks about how important these F A draft pcks are i bet that comes into play also

  • Rich

    They don’t have more pitching in the minors than they know what do with. Pitchers get injured every year, keep your depth unless you’re overwhelmed with an offer.

  • Tom B

    Everyone seems to assume that Tabata and Jackson are sure things, which they are far from…I don’t believe Tabata has had a full injury free season yet, and Jackson has only really shown marked improvement in the last month or two…

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see the yanks try to move Damon, but i don’t see them going after Rowand….although i love the way he plays. Melky has shown that he could be the answer in CF, but i think it makes sense to keep going with the 4OF rotation they used this year b/c it keeps Damon’s legs fresher and keeps Abreu out of the lineup against tough lefties (which throw him into a funk for weeks at a time afterwards)

    • http://riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      I thought Atlanta was a very compatible trade partner for Damon, but they have nothing to give up. Maybe just dump the salary and get a spare part like Brayan Pena?

    • dan

      even if tabata and jackson dont pan out, they could get quentin from arizona to replace abreu and play here for a long time… he just turned 25.

  • The Scout

    This seems to be a case of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The outfield rotation of Abreu, Matsui, Damon, and Cabrera can keep everyone fresh, and Matsui would get more bats at DH. If Abreu departs after 2008, the Yankees might get a good draft pick as compensation — although the rules and his age then make that problematic. I would not be surprised if the Yankees negotiated a different deal with Abreu, declining the option but adding more years (one, perhaps two) at a lower salary. Tabata and Jackson seem a LONG way off still.

    • http://riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Eh, I consider the old “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” cliche one of the dumbest (I don;t mean anything personally hear, Scout, just sayin’). Don’t look at it as a fix, look at it as an improvement. Any GM worth a damn should always be looking to improve his team.

  • tony from the bronx

    tabata will be in the outfield no later then 2009 jackson if he keeps on keeping on might get here a bit earlier cashman,after having sucsess with the youngsters seems willing to be agressive with promotins see kennedy,hughes,joba, cano,melky,wang so on Cashman will look to keep a rod
    and picking up abreus option might actualy be the cheapest option available since the deal is for one more year this way they dont have to force feed one of the two outfield prospects dealing damon would be ideal but 2years at 13per for a player on the down side will be difficult to do also what do you think about brett gardner does he have a future with us he is better then melky considering he has similar numbers to elsbury

  • JohnnyC

    If Damon is still on the team, Gardner might be the 5th outfielder. And he’d be very useful with his plus speed and defense. But his real lack of power gives the starting job to Melky.

  • http://www.iwritesports.com Adam

    There is no way that Tabata or Jackson are ready by even 2009, but picking up this option at least gives the Yanks a year to see if either are the genuine thing at AA. If they both falter then they can think about signing or trading for a long term right fielder. If either Jackson or Tabata impress next year at AA, then the Yanks know that they’ll only need a stop-gap, maybe even Abreu, on a one or two year deal for 2009.

    Any way you put it, its better then going after this year’s JD Drew.