It seems as if another trade could be in the works Tribe fans. This time, the Indians seem to be looking for some outfield help. MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports that the Cleveland Indians are in talks to acquire Bobby Abreu, the disgruntled slugger who seems to now be the odd man out in Los Angeles. Abreu, now 38, would likely be a solution for the Indians outfield problem at first glance; however, Abreu spent only 28 of his 142 games in the outfield last season for the Angels. Since Cleveland already has Travis Hafner locked into the DH spot, if the Indians do choose to trade for Abreu, it is likely that the bulk of his playing time while in a Tribe uniform would come roaming one of the corner outfield spots. It is no secret that Abreu’s stats have slowly dropped over the past couple of seasons. Take a look at his numbers over the three seasons he has spent in an Angels uniform:
2009- .293 BA 15HR 103 RBI 94BB 30SB
2010- .255 BA 20HR 78RBI 87BB 24SB
2011- .253 BA 8HR 60RBI 78BB 21SB
(Courtesy of MLB.com. Notice that his batting average, runs batted in, walks, and stolen bases are all trending downward as he approaches the end of his career)
So, who would the Indians be sending to Los Angeles in return for Mr. Abreu? Well, Ken Rosenthal of Foxsports reported that Trevor Crowe was pulled from a minor league game on Thursday, perhaps because he was involved in the deal. In my opinion, if the Indians have the opportunity to trade Crowe, a former first round selection who has never met the organizations expectations, for Abreu, then it is a good move. Crowe may or may not benefit from a change of scenery, but it is apparent he has not been able to breakthrough for the Indians full time. I was actually concerned this spring because I thought that Crowe could be released, but it seems as if his strong spring may have brought out his trade value. Also, do not fret about Abreu’s large salary. Bastian also reported that if a deal were to occur, the Angels would have to pay the majority of Abreu’s 9 million dollar salary he is due this season.
Although I am not a fan of trading younger players to acquire veterans on the downside of their careers, a Crowe for Abreu deal would give the Indians some veteran presence in the clubhouse. Abreu could even teach Michael Brantley a thing or two about stealing bases. After all, Abreu did steal 21 bases as a 37 year old DH in 2011.
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