Bob Abreu Playing A Dangerous Game

16 10 2009

A couple of years ago, Bob Abreu was making $16 million a year. During the 2008 off-season he decided to test out the free agency market and it came back to haunt him. That winter, the Tampa Bay Rays offered the aging slugger $16 million for two years, which Abreu quickly turned down.

With the season quickly approaching, Abreu was forced to sign with the Angels for just $5 million. It’s worked out great for Los Angeles, as Bob helped them get to the playoffs thanks to impressive numbers including 30 stolen bases, 103 RBI, and a .293 average.

Recently, the Angels offered to re-sign Abreu to a two-year contract for $16 million. Surprisingly, Bob turned down the offer.  Although he’s never been a superstar, Abreu has always been an above-average hitter. Going into the 2010 season, he will be 36 years old and in his 15th year of service.

One has to wonder just how much does Bob Abreu have left in the tank? While 36 isn’t exactly retirement age, it’s pretty darn close to it. Although some greats have been afforded extra time for nostalgia and ticket sales (Ken Griffey Jr.), that same option won’t be available for Abreu if he starts to struggle early in a season.

As for trading cards, Bobby does not get much love in The Hobby. His absolute best rookie card comes from 1995 Bowman’s Best and the Refractor version is clearly the most-desired. However, Abreu does have two on-card certified autographs from Old Judge and Upper Deck SP Top Prospects.


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8 responses

16 10 2009
jesse

If you have to gamble on a 36 y/o it would be him hands down. the stolen bases are good news.

the same time though without steroids factoring in anymore theres not going to be many magical 40y/o Bonds type seasons… and swinging a bat isnt a natural motion for the body to do over and over.

Give him the money he wants, but not for 2 years.

16 10 2009
Mr. Scott

The problem with when he was in New York was that he was so afraid of the right field wall.

16 10 2009
ToddUncommon

I can understand where he’s coming from, to a certain extent. Even just on the West Coast, he (and his agent) can see at least three teams that are lacking a serious bat; Padres, Giants, and Mariners, and two of them (excepting the Padres) had positive seasons with renewed fan (i.e. season ticket holders) pressure to take it further next year.

The Mariners improved greatly, and have strong role players (Beltre’, Branyan, even Junior, at this point) that would get a boost from a legitimate slugging threat in the lineup. The Giants just missed the wild card, and offering Abreu $10mil a year for a corner outfielder (even if he’s a left-handed bat) with speed would be a monster 3-4-5 lineup match-up with Pedro Sandoval and Bengie Molina. Abreu could be someone’s Manny Ramirez to turn them into next year’s Andre’ Ethier.

There may be more of a market for an Abreu than we might think, especially considering beyond the West Coast.

As for hobby love, I understand it to some degree. Although clearly talented, he played on national media ignored teams for most of his career in Houston and Philadephia (at the time). Afterward, he was an appetizer on the Yankees, practically added to the roster like a fantasy team to prevent other teams (Boston, Toronto) from picking up him to use against them. Just ask a gamer stud like Nick Markakis how much love goes his way playing for a currently anonymous loser club like the Orioles. Nobody seems to jump for joy when they get a Markakis relic.

To some extent, Abreu is like this era’s Eddie Murray, but with more speed and a little less power; consistently strong, but more anonymous than he should be. Add to the fact that Abreu has never been shy about having a bit of a mercenary attitude. That doesn’t cuddle him right in with fans who cautiously see him, since his days with the Phillies, as little more than a bat rental.

16 10 2009
Beandip

So what is the “dangerous game” in all of this? That he’s truning down millions while being at risk of being done? 5 million isn’t exactly pocket change. But of course, if he’s like most of those guys, he’s squandered everything into depreciating assets. Although if he has managed to be good enough to stick around for 15 years, he must’ve learned something somewhere along the way and is OK.

16 10 2009
jesse

I can see Seattle going for him for sure.

the word around here is Beltre is gone. the team had the best pitching in the AL, but terrible offense. the hitting next year will be based around Ichiro, Lopez, and Gutierrez… Branyan should be back as well but so many other spots are up in the air, and it would be nice to add a guy like that.

16 10 2009
Ken

Good for Abreu to have the guts to say no (even if it backfires).

I feel the lack of offers for Abreu, Dunn and Orlando Hudson last season was an almost unspoken collusion amongst the owners.

Dunn is in his prime and was coming off of five straight 40 plus home runs seasons; a feat that has only been done a few times, ever. He also walks a ton.

Abreu is one of the most underrated offensive weapons in the last 15 seasons. Yes his fielding is well below average.

Any team that had signed Dunn and Abreu would have dramatically improved their teams at bargain prices. And it was obvious to everyone.

If Abreu can stay healthy and have an OPS of .800-.840 the next three seasons, he should strongly be considered for the Hall of Fame.

He should finish his career with around 2500 hits, 300 HR, 400 SB, a .295 BA and an OBP of around .400. Those are Hall of Fame numbers but he will get no support.

16 10 2009
Eric E

I just hope he can step up to the plate tonight… (no pun intended) We’re gonna need everything against the Yanks tonight.

5 11 2009
ToddUncommon

Guess who just got a two year contract (with an option for a third) from the Angels?

Good to see the Angels knowing a good thing when they see it, and not banking on a free-swinging Vlad with a bat that will continue to slow over time.

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