A couple of days ago, a source told ESPN.com's Jayson Stark that the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim would accept a couple of "middling" prospects for OF Bobby Abreu. That's not surprising considering that the Angels really don't have a need for the 37-year-old Abreu and I am sure they would love to unload his $9 million contract for 2012.
As MLB Daily Dish's Marisa Ingemi posted yesterday morning, Abreu hasn't requested a trade, but even if he did, do the Angels even have a trade market for Abreu? It's going to be tough to unload him, but it's not like Abreu is a complete wet noodle. Abreu does have some redeeming qualities, so let's take a look at the pros, cons, and potential trade partners for the man that the Philadelphia Phillies acquired for Kevin Stocker back in 1997.
Pros: Very quietly Abreu has put together a Hall of Fame resume. For his career, Abreu has a .293/.397/.481 slash line with 284 HR's and 393 SB's in 16 seasons. Those are some pretty impressive numbers.
While Abreu's power really fell off in 2011, all of his other numbers were in line with what we have come to expect from him. He stole 21 bases and his eye is still as good as ever. His 13.3 BB Percentage was his highest since 2006. Despite that lack of power, Abreu still had a higher OPS (.717) than Ichiro Suzuki (.645), David DeJesus (.698), was just below Jayson Werth's (.718).
Cons: Unfortunately for the Angels, the cons outweigh the pros when it comes to Abreu. As I mentioned above, Abreu's power really fell off in 2011. He hit only eight HR's and his .112 ISO was the lowest of his career. I don't think too many teams are lining up for a 37-year-old, singles hitter.
Not only is Abreu a 37-year-old singles hitter, but he is a 37-year-old singles hitter who is due to make $9 million in 2012. That's a lot of boxes of ziti for Abreu. If the Angels are going to get anything for him or even get a team interested, they might have to eat some of his salary.
If someone is going to be a 37-year-old singles hitter and making $9 million a year, then he better bring some defense to the table. Yeah, that's not happening with Abreu. He has never met a wall he has liked and his range is the equivalent of Mark Eaton's towards the end of his career with the Utah Jazz. He really is just a DH at this point.
Now that we have looked at the pros and cons of Abreu, let's look at the teams that might be interested in his services for the 2012 season...
New York Yankees: If the Yankees are looking at Raul Ibanez then Abreu can't be too far out of the picture. A A.J. Burnett for Abreu swap might be unrealistic, but on the surface makes some sense.
Detroit Tigers: The Tigers are in "all-in" mode and right now have Ryan Raburn penciled in as their DH. If they want a platoon at DH, they could use Abreu vs. right-handed pitching.
Cleveland Indians: The Indians think they can win the American League Central next year (I don't) and they could look to Abreu as a replacement for Michael Brantley in left and insurance just in case Travis Hafner goes down -- again.
As we can see, the market is pretty limited for someone like Abreu. I don't think he has a spot or at least a starting spot on a National League team. My guess is the Angels will play Abreu a lot in spring training and hope that he improves his market, so they can get more interest in him.