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.