Report: Phillies Sign Abreu to Minor League Deal
A source confirmed a CBSSports.com report today the Phillies and Bobby Abreu have agreed to a Minor League contract, which can be worth $800,000 if he makes the team.
Abreu, who turns 40 in March, did not play in the big leagues last season, but he has played well in Winter Ball in Venezuela. He hit .322 with 10 doubles, three triples, three home runs and 28 RBIs in 180 plate appearances for Leones del Caracas. He has hit .464 with eight home runs in 15 games in the postseason.
Earlier this offseason the Phillies signed Marlon Byrd to a two-year, $16 million contract. Byrd and Abreu played together as regulars in the Phillies outfield in 2003-04.
Abreu is expected to compete for a bench job as the Phillies have been looking for a left-handed bat. He will be the favorite for that job. The Phillies also had been pursuing Lyle Overbay, and it is known they have liked Grady Sizemore in the past.
Abreu played for the Phillies from 1998-2006, and he ranks among the leaders in several offensive categories. Former Phillies general manager Pat Gillick traded Abreu and Cory Lidle to the Yankees in July 2006 for C.J. Henry, Jesus Sanchez, Carlos Monasterios and Matt Smith. The trade was little more than a salary dump as Gillick thought the clubhouse needed different chemistry. He later said moving Abreu allowed players like Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard to assert themselves as leaders.