Coupled with the return of Kendrys Morales this spring, it threatens to make playing time sparse for those who don’t make the team’s opening day starting lineup. One of the players on the short end of that deal appears to be veteran outfielder Bobby Abreu.
A deal was reportedly in the works to send the 38-year-old to Cleveland, but the trade fell through on Thursday night, according to a report from CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman. The negotiations could be re-opened, however. The Angles have Abreu in their lineup and starting in left field for Friday’s Cactus League game.
And from the sounds of it, Abreu is not in the loop.
“I don’t know what’s going on,” he said Friday morning. “I don’t think too much (of the trade rumors). I don’t really look at what’s going to happen. I’m here. I’m happy. I don’t control what’s going to happen.”
Abreu, who hit just .253 last season — his lowest average since 1997 — managed only eight home runs and 60 RBI in 502 at-bats in 2011. With emerging young center fielder Peter Bourjos set to earn more playing time, veterans Torii Hunter and Vernon Wells expected to start in the outfield corners, and talented 26-year-old slugger Mark Trumbo also battling for playing time, Abreu may simply be the odd man out. He hasn’t helped himself this spring, going 4 for 46 at the plate for a .087 average.
Injuries in Cleveland’s outfield could open up an everyday spot for Abreu this spring, but his $9 million salary might be a prohibitive number for teams looking to add a veteran bat unless the Angels cover a good chunk of it themselves.