Thinking about Bobby Abreu

Triple-A SWB Yankees sale finally final
Game 20: Reverse Lock
(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

The Angels came into the season with a very crowded outfield/DH picture, but they cleared things up a bit last night by releasing Bobby Abreu following their fifth straight loss. Top prospect Mike Trout was recalled to hopefully inject some life into their season. Anaheim is still on the hook for the $9M left on Abreu’s contract, less the pro-rated portion of the league minimum should he sign elsewhere.

The Yankees, as you may recall, actually agreed to trade for Bobby this past offseason before A.J. Burnett invoked his no-trade clause because he didn’t want to go to the West Coast. It stands to reason that they’ll at least explore the idea of signing Abreu as a free agent now even though they brought in a different left-handed hitting DH type after the trade fell through. It doesn’t hurt to look.

The timing works out well given Brett Gardner‘s injury. The Yankees are carrying a 13-man pitching staff at the moment, so they could easily option Cody Eppley to Triple-A and create 40-man roster space for Abreu by shifting either Cesar Cabral or Joba Chamberlain to the 60-day DL. That would give them a very short window to see what he still has to offer as the left-handed half of a DH platoon without having to jettison Raul Ibanez. It’s worth noting that Gardner performed bunting drills yesterday and was scheduled to visit the doctor, though no update was given. He is eligible to come off the DL next Friday.

Joe wrote about Abreu at length at the end of Spring Training, noting that he’s unlikely to be much an upgrade over Ibanez, if he is one at all. Since both guys are relatively cheap and terrible on defense, the decision would essentially come down to Ibanez’s power vs. Abreu’s on-base skills and base running. The Yankees value makeup and clubhouse presence, though they obviously have first hand knowledge of what Bobby is like in that department. Signing Abreu for what amounts to a week-long audition seems like a decent idea given the lack of risk, though I don’t think it’s the most imperative of moves. There are valid reasons both for it and against it.

Triple-A SWB Yankees sale finally final
Game 20: Reverse Lock
  • sevrox

    I don’t think about Bobby Abreu.

  • Improvident Lackwit


  • Andy in Sunny Daytona

    Abreu is afraid of walls, Ibanez is afraid of moving his feet in the OF

  • Professor Longnose

    Either of these guys is likely to have a hot week here or there. But they are what they are. There’s no real need for an audition.

  • DM

    He knows the Yankees, but if playing time was the real issue he might look for a better landing spot. And at that price (despite having Damon already) Cleveland could still be interested. Damon’s deal is already set up with bells and whistles to let him escape under certain circumstances, Abreu could be signed as a hedge against Damon leaving.

  • Clyde Barrow

    Isn’t there a better option than these old, washed up clowns? Ibanez can’t field. Abreu can’t field. The Angels released him because he’s finished. Get someone with some life left in their legs and their bat.

    • CJ

      You want Cashman to solve the DH AND pitching situation?

  • CJ

    Yeah this will probably happen.

  • Hall and Nokes

    Maybe the league would let both of them play LF at the same time?

    Not sure it would help any

  • OldYanksFan

    If he and Ibanez are basically the same, signing Bobby will only depress/piss off Ibanez. And certainly, once Brett is back, one of Abreu or Ibanez would have to go.

    I see no value in Abreu, unless he REPLACES Ibanez.

    • DM

      I can’t see that. If Ibanez was flopping I could see the interest in giving Abreu a crack as a replacement, but he’s been as expected in the role given. And I can’t see Abreu taking a AAA assignment like Cust to see if he can take Raul’s job later in the season.

  • CS Yankee

    I expect him to return to Philly as they are likely drooling over his 5 RBI’s in over 15 games.

    Looks like a classic “Our (future) DFA is better than your (Angels) DFA.”

    Looks like a “our (future) DFA is better than your (Angels) DFA.”

    • CS Yankee

      :::must of been worth repeating that last line:::

  • kenthadley

    Ibanez will hit more HR’s and have more RBI’s over the season….Abreu has nothing to offer here.

  • Kosmo

    Detroit could use Abreu right about now with Young just being placed on the restricted list.

    • Midland TX

      +1, assuming Matsui ends up in TB.

  • paul a

    Better yet deal Pineda for Montero.

  • KennyH123

    Abreu is close to done, true. But he is far from the “same” as Ibanez. Ibanez occasionally runs into one and hits it 450 ft, but is otherwise worthless. He actually managed a WORSE OBP than Adam Dunn last year, and Dunn had a historically horrendous season, hitting .159.

    Abreau can still run a little, and still takes a ridiculous amount of pitches. Even if his OBP isn’t what is used to be, he still has value by working the count and helping to wear down pitchers. He would definitely be an upgrade.

    • Mike Nitabach

      I kind of agree.

      This reminds me of when I went to the Giants ballpark a few years back to see the Yankees play them. I was in the outfield bleachers, and when Abreu took the field, the bleacher bums starting chanting, “Whatsamatta with Abreu? … HE’S A BUM!”, over and over. He covered his hand with the other so the cameras in the infield couldn’t see, and flipped the bleachers off. It was fucking hilarious!

    • Scott

      Close call but I prefer Ibanez: when like Abreu you’re old & your sole remaining skill is plate discipline, eventually pitchers learn, “challenge rather than get cute nibbling the corners with this guy,” (especially in a strong lineup like ours), and then 250/350/350 quickly becomes 250/310/350. In short, I think Ibanez’s remaining skill (some power) is less likely to dissipate quickly than Abreu’s (discipline)

  • CJ

    When does Freddy get released? If hes’s horrible today, what do they do? He’s been so bad, it doesn’t look like he will turn it around.

  • Mike Nitabach

    Anybody know why the Fox game is at 1PM this week?

  • Preston

    We need to treat these guys like old cars, let’s get them into a lab somewhere and splice out the parts we need. Give me Abreu’s on base ability, and slightly better foot speed, with what remains of Ibanez’s power and we’ve got a mildly acceptable baseball player. Get Dr. Frankenstein on the phone and let’s do this shit.

  • Kuck Fruk

    Play them both in left. Ibanez can handle plays near the wall, Abreu handles anything involving moving more than 10′ (provided it’s not towards the wall.)

  • OldYanksFan

    Abreu is a ‘better rounded’ player, and better at OBP, but both were similar in OPS last year. Bobby’s probably a better fielder, but that’s like sayin’ Stalin had a better personality then Hitler.

    However, Ibanez’s bat looks not-too-terrible so far this year.
    Ya know, the devil you know….

    I just think signing Abreu offers almost no upside.

    • CMP


      That Stalin Hitler line is an instant classic.

  • OldYanksFan

    I may be wrong, but it looks like Fox is NOT blacking out 4:00PM games on MLBTV. Last year, everything was black until 7:00PM.

  • sangreal

    Pretty sure AJ denied ever being asked about a trade to the Angels. Also denied that his wife is afraid of flying, which was the basis for that rumor. He did say he would have denied the trade though

  • Manny’s BanWagon

    Maybe Cashman shoud get some scouts who can actually find and develop an outfielder. Our AAA and AA outfield crop s pretty pitiful.

    I’d start with signing Soler when he becomes a FA.

    • BigDavey88

      They have before. One of them was traded away recently, if you remember.

      And besides, it’s not like the Yankees ever draft high in the subsequent rounds. That’s the price of winning all the time.

  • sangreal

    The Yankees, as you may recall, actually agreed to trade for Bobby this past offseason before A.J. Burnett invoked his no-trade clause because he didn’t want to go to the West Coast.

    I don’t think this is true. AJ denied ever being asked about a trade to the Angels. He also denied that his wife is afraid of flying (the basis for that rumor). He did say he would have denied the trade if he were ever asked, however.

    • sangreal

      Oops, first post kept giving errors on the mobile site so I didn’t think it went through

  • pistol pete

    Both Ibanez and Abreu have warts and Ibanez has started far far better than I expected or most could have expected after a terrible spring. But, let’s not kid ourselves Abreu is better than Ibanez. He’ll have a higher obp, work pitchers far better and help wear out pitchers like most Yankee teams do, he runs better and can still steal bases, and as lousy aa a fielder as he is he’s still better than Ibanez who can’t field at all. Sign Abreu and dump Ibanez.