Results tagged ‘ Bobby Abreu ’
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.
One of them came July 30, 2006, when the Phillies traded Bobby Abreu and Cory Lidle to the Yankees for Matt Smith, C.J. Henry, Carlos Monasterios and Jesus Sanchez. If you look at the talent exchanged, the trade came out poorly for the Phillies. Smith and Henry are out of baseball, and the Mets selected Monasterios with the seventh pick in December’s Rule 5 Draft.
Only Sanchez remains, but the Phillies are optimistic after converting him from a catcher to a pitcher. In his first season as a pitcher, Sanchez went 10-6 with a 3.44 ERA in 26 games last year for Single A Lakewood. He impressed the Phillies enough that they protected him from the Rule 5 by placing him on the 40-man roster.
But the Phillies made the trade not because they were in love with Smith, Henry, Monasterios and Sanchez. They made the trade because the nucleus they had in place had not won, and Pat Gillick wanted to make a change. They traded Abreu to clear salary and change the atmosphere in the clubhouse.
The trade allowed the Phillies to play Shane Victorino in right field the remainder of the season, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley to assert themselves as leaders in the clubhouse, and indirectly sign Utley and Brett Myers to contract extensions in the offseason because Abreu had been set to make $16.5 million in 2007 with a $16 million club option with a $2 million buyout in 2008.
“It came out all right,” Gillick said. “I’m happy with it.”
The Phillies selected two pitchers this morning in the Rule 5 Draft.
They first selected right-hander Kenneth David Herndon with the 17th pick. Herndon, 24, went 5-6 with a 3.03 ERA and 11 saves in 50 appearances last season with Double-A Arkansas, which is the Los Angeles Angels affiliate. It will be difficult for Herndon to make the 25-man roster if the Phillies accomplish what they hope to accomplish in free agency, but he least provides the Phillies inventory in Spring Training.
“We’ve seen him for about three or four years, but our guys really got on him in Winter Ball this year,” Phillies pro scouting coordinator Mike Ondo said.
Herndon went 2-1 with a 3.86 ERA in 16 appearances in the Dominican Republic.
“Maybe if he makes the club he can give us two innings out of the bullpen,” Ondo said.
The Phillies lost right-hander Carlos Monasterios to the New York Mets in the draft. (The Mets then traded him to the Los Angeles Dodgers.) The Phillies acquired Monasterios in the Bobby Abreu trade in 2006. That leaves right-hander Jesus Sanchez, who converted from a catcher to a pitcher, as the only holdover from the trade.
The Phillies also selected right-hander Angelo Sanchez in the Triple A portion of the draft. Sanchez, 20, went 5-1 with a 5.52 ERA in 12 starts with rookie-level Elizabethton, which is a Minnesota Twins affiliate.
He said the Phillies tried during the season to bring back Burrell, but Burrell was looking for too much (i.e. money and years, although he said the years concerned the Phillies the most). So the Phillies stepped back, let Burrell walk and signed Ibanez to a three-year, $31.5 million contract.
Burrell turned into a fan favorite late in his Phillies career, but I think Ibanez is an upgrade. Remember that Burrell hit just .215 after the all-star break and just .230 after May 4. He had been 0 for 13 in the World Series before his leadoff double in the seventh inning in Game 5 of the World Series. He was prone to long slumps. He couldn’t run. Charlie Manuel regularly replaced him in left field in the late innings. Now, I’m not saying Burrell isn’t a productive hitter. He averaged 31 homers and 99 RBIs the last four years. That’s productive. That’s very productive. But if it meant signing Burrell to a four-year, $48 million contract mid-season or signing Ibanez to a three-year, $31.5 million in the off-season, I’d take Ibanez.
Of course, look around. Bobby Abreu just signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Angels. Adam Dunn just signed a two-year, $20 million contract with the Nationals.
Didn’t the Phillies overpay for Ibanez?
Hard to say. Gillick said the Cubs were hot after Ibanez, too. I also heard the Angels, Braves and Mets pursued him. Why? Because it seems those teams also considered him the best lefthanded-hitting outfielder on the market. So I don’t think the Phillies could have gotten Ibanez for two years, $20 million like Dunn because I think somebody else would have gotten Ibanez before the price would have dropped on him.
“The Cubs were in it pretty thick,” Gillick said. “It’s funny. When I was over there (in Seattle), Lou (Piniella) didn’t play (Ibanez) a lot. He became a free agent and went to Kansas City. He did well in Kansas City. Even though he didn’t play for us, they had a good relationship. So I thought Lou was in there plugging pretty good with the Cubs on this deal. I don’t think he would have been (available). The Cubs were searching for lefthanded hitting. My opinion would be that I would prefer Ibanez over Milton Bradley. I’d prefer this guy over Milton Bradley just from an injury standpoint. Milton Bradley to me is an American League player who’s a DH, part-time outfielder. He’s not a day in and day out player in the National League.”
Ibanez’s age (he’s 36) doesn’t concern him?
“No, he’s in great shape,” Gillick said. “In my mind he is (an upgrade over Burrell).”
Ryan Howard meets with reporters after his workout today. J.C. Romero meets with reporters tomorrow.