There are a number of things the Indians can do in the wake of Grady Sizemore’s injury. As I pointed out in my post earlier today, this could give a young player or a minor league invite a chance to step forward and claim a spot in the outfield.
Is that a good idea? Should the Indians stand pat and just hope that they’re able to solve this problem internally, or should they take action?
I’d like to propose one possible scenario, and perhaps consider other options as they present themselves.
The current scenario: acquire Bobby Abreu.
Now as it’s already been established, the Angels have a surplus (BINGO). Abreu looks to get pushed from a full-time role to a part-time role and is not happy about that. It was rumored that the Yankees and Angels considered an Abreu-A.J. Burnett deal, but that Burnett did not want to pitch on the west coast. It’s obvious that the Angels are looking to offload Abreu, especially since he’s already made it very clear that he does not want to play part-time.
Let’s look at some of the positives and negatives of an Abreu deal:
- He’s in the final year of a three year, $27 million deal, so he’s set to make $9 million this season. While that’s a little steep for an aging outfielder, perhaps the Angels can be enticed to pay some of that salary.
- He’s 37, so it’s entirely possible that he’s past his prime. His stats took a slide over the past two seasons, so it could be the result of a decline.
- Abreu is a left-handed bat, of which the Indians already have plenty.
- While a career .293/.397.481 hitter, in 2011 he hit .253/.353/.365 with 8 home runs and a 1.3 WAR. He managed to steal 21 bases and had a good walk rate.
- Since 2007, he’s at 500+ at-bats a season, which means he’s pretty durable.
- Abreu has always had great plate discipline.
- Even though he only hit 8 home runs last year, he hit 20 in 2010, 15 in 2009, 20 in 2008 and 16 in 2007. Again, this could be a sign of a power decline, or he could’ve just had a bad year last season (or some combination of both).
- A veteran like Abreu would be able to provide guidance to young players.
So as you can see, it’s kind of a toss up. He’s pricey and may be in a decline, but he still may have enough left to help the team. If it looks like he may not get a full-time position as Spring Training progresses, the Angels may get desperate to move him (since he’s made it clear he prefers a trade to a role on the bench). I’m not sure if I’d panic and run out and start grabbing players tomorrow, as the Indians did when trying to fill the void left by Fausto Carmona/Roberto Hernandez Heredia, but I’d definitely keep an eye on the Abreu situation. If all of the players in the mix for the Angels remain healthy, the Indians may be able to get a great deal on Abreu (the odd man out). I’ve always been in Abreu fan (back to his days with the Phillies) and wouldn’t mind seeing him with the Tribe.