Heyman: Abreu Could Sign With Tampa Bay | The Process Report

Heyman: Abreu Could Sign With Tampa Bay

According to Jon Heyman the Rays are amongst Bobby Abreu’s potential landing spots.

Although Heyman does not explicitly state so, you have to believe the Rays are offering Abreu a minor-league contract. Don’t laugh at the thought of Abreu riding buses: He accepted an outright assignment from the Dodgers last August and spent about four weeks in the minors before returning. In many ways Abreu’s situation mimics that of Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon in 2012. He wants to continue playing and to continue building his Hall of Fame case. If that means hanging around Triple-A for a few months waiting on his chance then so be it.

Ostensibly Abreu would offer the Rays another option. Were Luke Scott to suffer an injury or were a roster spot for a left-handed bat to open up then Abreu would, in theory, come in handy. In practice it’s not clear Abreu has much left in the tank. His offensive game has always included the walk but nowadays it’s the walk and little else. He hit .246/.361/.344 for the Dodgers in 230 plate appearances, which should cause long-time Rays fans to reminisce about Greg Norton’s .243/.358/.347 line in 2007. Abreu hasn’t shown power since 2010 and he no longer offers value in the field or on the basepaths. His strikeout rate topped 20 percent for the first time since 2006, presumably because he hunted for walks and worked deep into counts.

Still, adding Abreu on a minor-league deal is a worthwhile venture. He’s not going to block or take developmental time away from a prospect, and he’s likely an improvement over the minor-league player he dislocates. Because Abreu has more than six years of MLB service time he would have the right to opt out come June 1, but that’s far from a deal-breaker.

Worth noting: Abreu turned down a richer deal from the Rays than he received from the Angels prior to the start of the 2009 season. That wasn’t the first time the Rays and Abreu failed to form a lasting relationship: Tampa Bay selected Abreu in the expansion draft but traded him to the Phillies for Kevin Stocker later that night. Abreu went on to have a career worthy of Cooperstown consideration while Stocker took his final big-league at-bat three years later.

One Comment

  1. budman3 wrote:

    Nothing better than inviting a possible left handed DH replacement who looks to take a walk as his main skill set to ST .And extend his HOF hopes?… He’s about 100 HR’s and 6 All Star appearances behind JIm Rice(although his other numbers are eerily similar)

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