Abreu wants to return


Jesse Spector writes the Touching Bases column for the Daily News. It’s a lesser known blog that the tabloid has run for the better part of four years now. Today, he tackles the topic of Bobby Abreu:

The top right fielder on the free-agent market is a Yankee, wants to stay a Yankee, and the Yankees might let him walk away.

You read that right. Bobby Abreu’s stated first choice this winter is to remain in the Bronx, but the Bombers have a surplus of outfielders – Melky Cabrera, Johnny Damon, Brett Gardner, Hideki Matsui and Xavier Nady – under contract, in addition to the organization’s top hitting prospect, Austin Jackson.

“Bobby’s definitely very happy with the Yankees and he’s enjoyed his time with the Yankees, and it’s his first choice to come back,” said Chris Leible, one of Abreu’s agents. “But it’s just wait and see what happens.”

If the Yankees do let Abreu walk after he hit .296 with 20 homers and 100 RBI, they probably won’t be looking for his replacement via free agency, where other options are sparse.

I don’t really see the harm in letting Abreu walk though. Sure, he may be the top right fielder on the market, but he’s not the top outfielder on the market. The Yanks could easily slide Xavier Nady to right to make room for Manny Ramirez, a far, far superior player to Bobby Abreu. The cost-benefit analysis would show that Manny is a better investment.

Meanwhile, the Yanks also aren’t going to let having Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner under contract at or slightly above the league minimum deter them from finding an adequate replacement for Bobby Abreu or for re-signing Abreu. Furthermore, Hideki Matsui isn’t and shouldn’t be considered an outfielder at this point in his career. Until his knees show otherwise, he’s a full-time DH, and even if his knees are healthy, he’d be a defensive liability at this point.

The other options — Ken Griffey, who will never play in New York, and Brad Wilkerson — are indeed sparse, but it’s not really a dire predicament. I’m glad Abreu enjoys New York; I’m glad he’d like to return; I’m just not so sure he’s the man for the job.

Categories : Hot Stove League


  1. Steve S says:

    Hes a Met, write it down

    • Slugger27 says:

      my prediction is the cubs… theyd love to have a lefty with power in the middle of the order… and fukudome has wore real thin with the fans

      • steve (different one) says:

        i wonder if the Cubs would be willing to eat half of Fukudome’s salary to unload him.

        does anyone know if he is viable in CF?

        he struggled this year, but still got on base at a decent clip..

        it’s not a great idea, just thinking aloud.

        • E-ROC says:

          In a really small sample size, Fukudome’s RZR is 1.000. Fielding was one Fukudome’s strengths when he came over from Japan. I think he would be fine in CF.

        • Slugger27 says:

          the only thing i know about his defense is that he supposedly has a cannon… not the biggest priority in CF but good to know i suppose

          that being said, im not very keen on the idea

          • steve (different one) says:

            yeah, it’s not a great idea. i am just looking for interesting buy low opportunities.

            Fukudome could be one. he hit almost as well as Matsui in Japan, and so far, his OBP skills have translated decently.

            he may bounce back and add some more power next year. if he did, and can play CF pretty well, then you might have a bargain.

            i only mention it b/c i think Piniella doesn’t like him at all, and they may be willing to pick up some salary to get rid of him.

            • Mike Pop says:

              What would u give up for Fuku ? Buy low move ? Man after the Jacobs argument I thought you hated those

              • steve (different one) says:

                not sure who i would give up. would have to think about that.

                i was more against Jacobs because he is supposedly a butcher with the glove. his OBP is horrible, but maybe you deal with it if he did everything else well. but you’re already sacrificing defense. i guess he was an OK pickup for a team like the Royals who aren’t going to compete in 2009 anyway, so they can roll the dice a little. if he bumps up his OBP to .335 or something and hits 30+ HRs, they they may have something. but for a team like the Yankees, they can’t really risk that their starting 1Bman puts up a .300 OBP. that would really hurt a team trying to win a division.

                plus i just wanted to make my Brandon Jacobs joke….

            • Bruno says:

              If they sign Abreu, then Fuk would be THEIR CF. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them snag Dunn when Bobby goes to Queens.

  2. T-Dizzle says:

    Would he accept arbirtration? I know he could get more years, but if he really loves it that much, is it totally impossible?

    • Slugger27 says:

      highly doubtful… he could get 3/45 on the open market…

      i would imagine hed feel slighted at only an arbitration offer… even if he does like it here, id be shocked to see him settle for that knowing the yanks dont think hes worth multiple years

      remember, players have pride in that kind of stuff, think about pettitte after the 2003 season

  3. E-ROC says:

    Abreu wants to return on a multi-year deal. The Yanks won’t give him that type of deal. Offer arbitration and get the draft picks or have him become a signed player for next year. Rocco Baldelli can play right field too.

    • whozat says:

      A couple days a week, for about 7 innings a game. And has he shown that he can actually still hit well?

      Look, more power to the guy for fighting to overcome his horrible disease…but that doesn’t mean he can be a full-time ballplayer. He admitted himself that his legs start shaking from exertion by the 7th inning when he’s out there.

  4. RJ - CT says:

    That is all!

  5. ManRam says:

    Yes to Manny. Think of the protection he would offer A-Rod.

  6. RJ - CT says:

    Keep Cano.
    Play A-Jax.

  7. Joseph M says:

    There is so much age on the Yanks that bringing Abreu isn’t an option. As these guys come up for renewal they have to go. Damon (next year), Matsui next year at the latest (I’d like to see if they could move him over the winter), Giambi (this year, take the buyout).

    Manny is a once in a lifetime player who raises the level of the whole batting order. I think Boston would be World Champs today if he had remained.

  8. Mike Pop says:

    What if we just signed Manny and Tex or Dunn and Tex without a starting pitcher…Imagine that lineup
    Damon-DH/LF depending on Manny or Dunn
    Manny/Dunn- manny-DH but Dunn-LF
    this lineup should score over 900 to 1000 runs… Could we get by with a rotation of Wang, Joba, Pettite, Moose, Hughes/Aceves/Kennedy ? Would it be too risky having that many rookies in the rotation again

    I know SP is the priority but what if we miss out on CC cuz he wants to pitch “home” or in the NL. Cuz i know most of you here arent wild bout Burnett or Sheets…Would it be a safer bet to bring in 2 bats with Pettite and Moose coming back… Assuming Moose wants back.

    • steve (different one) says:

      that team would rake, but i think they kindof have to sign a starter.

      it would be fun though.

      • Mike Pop says:

        3 or possibly 4 30 plus home run guys… That would be awesome to watch.. We’d have a better offense than the Rangers

    • Bruno says:

      I’m all for Dunn. If we miss CC, I wouldn’t mind Ollie Perez to help fill out the middle of the rotation. Wang, Perez, Moose, Pettite, JOBA would be nice with Hughes, Aceves, etc waiting in the wings. Even if we do get CC but Moose or Pettite retires, I’d still like Perez.

      • Bruno says:

        I know I’m beating a dead horse, but the only thing that concerns me is Posada. If we sign Tex and Dunn, Manny or anyone else for DH then what do we do with Jorge IF he can’t catch? I think Posada’ll end up moving to DH whenever he’s done catching, and Jeter to LF. Jeter, A-Jax, Nady/Dunn? would be a nice OF in 2010+. I’m sure Cash is taking the future into consideration this winter, just as he did last.

        • Mike Pop says:

          I think Posada will catch until his contract is up or he will be a lost cause and an unfortunate 52 million wasted.. We gave him 4 years to be a catcher ya know.. I think he can do it

          • Mike Pop says:

            I too am all for Dunn.. If he cost less than Manny and we had him for more years Id take him… Plus with our short porch.. 50 home runs ? ha longshot but possible right ?

          • Bruno says:

            We’ll find out in December hopefully. I would hate for him to make to ST fine, THEN have a setback (unless Cash prepares for it of course). Of course, having him 100% and behind the dish is ideal and my fingers are crossed for that. I just like to be a realiest and be prepared.

  9. steve (different one) says:

    was anything said about this? i could have missed it, but i figure this falls under the Hot Stove (sortof) heading:

    Quietly, the Yankees brought Bill Livesey back to the organization last week as a pro scout. Livesey was a key component when the Yankees developed their run of star players who became World Champions. Livesey was the team’s scouting director in 1992.

    first the overhaul of the Japanese scouting, now this. seems like Cashman is getting all his ducks in a row.

  10. KO says:

    I like Abreu. He’s a pro. The problem is that he’s stuck on a team filled with lefty DH’s – Matsui, Damon, Giambi, Posada. Too many similar skills. This is all Cashman’s fault, constructing a crappy team with a boatload of guys with the same skills (and all old to boot) and no young, fast, righty, slick fielding players in those positions. Unfortunately, Abreu is not what the Yankees need as long as all of those others are still around.

  11. godfather says:

    if abreu goes, so be it, but calling manny a far superior player is high comedy…manny in left at the stadium is a highwire act

  12. [...] while we’ve already debated Abreu, I’d like to offer up some observations that serve as something as a counterpoint to my own [...]

  13. [...] the beginning of the off-season we knew that Bobby Abreu’s preference was to remain a Yankee. That was not the team’s preference, though. The acquisitions of Nick Swisher and Mark [...]

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