MLB Trade Rumors: Contenders That Must Pursue Bobby Abreu

Michael DixonAnalyst IIIFebruary 22, 2012

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 14: Bobby Abreu #53 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim gets a high-five from Alberto Callaspo #6 after scoring on an error by second baseman Eric Sogard #36 of the Oakland Athletics in the eighth inning during an MLB baseball game at Coliseum on September 14, 2011 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

There is no possible reason for the Angels to hold on to Bobby Abreu. There is no room for him in the lineup, and he doesn't want to be there. 

Abreu told Enrique Rojas of the following, roughly translated from Spanish.

"I'm an everyday player, I can still be in the lineup of a major league team...I will not be on the bench knowing I can play."

"If the Angels do not have a fixed position for me, then it is best to change me. It would be more correct. I will not do anything sitting on a bench."

Well, the Angels aren't going to have a spot for him. With Albert Pujols manning first base, the Los Angeles will have the designated hitter, third base and three outfield spots to play Alberto Callaspo, Vernon Wells, Kendrys Morales, Mark Trumbo, Peter Bourjos, Mike Trout and Torii Hunter. Abreu doesn't fit in, but that doesn't mean he has no value. 

Every one of these teams are realistic playoff contenders and would do well to bring in Abreu, who hit eight homers, drove in 60 runs and stole 21 bags in only 502 at bats a season ago. 


Boston Red Sox

As things stand now, Cody Ross will be the Opening Day right fielder. He is far too streaky to be a stable force at the bottom of that order, and if 2011 is any indication, Ross won't be on the field anywhere near enough to be depended on. 

Abreu doesn't possess a ton of range, but with speedsters Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury in the outfield, the spacious right field territory of Fenway Park could get covered.

Ross and Abreu would form a strong platoon. Neither can be depended on to carry the load, but if they're starting based on matchups, either would be a deadly bottom-of-the-order hitter. 


Tampa Bay Rays

With an unproven Desmond Jennings in left and an inconsistent (at best) Luke Scott manning the designated hitter spot, there would be plenty of chances for Abreu to get his bat in the lineup.

This is a team that significantly lacks depth in the batting order. Having a guy like Abreu in the six or seven spot to help turn the lineup around would do wonders. 

He has power and, as is the case with Boston, wouldn't be an every day player. With Los Angeles, he would get frozen out. In Boston or Tampa, Abreu would still get a lot of at bats, but also would get the needed rest.


Los Angeles Dodgers 

Remaining consistent, we're not looking at Abreu as an every-day, middle-of-the-order guy. No, we're looking at him as a player to take the majority of the at bats in a platoon situation for a team that needs some thump after the five or six spot. 

That fits the Dodgers perfectly. Juan Rivera is not an every-day player, nor is he anything close. The pop may be there, but thinking he will get anything more than an occasional homer is overdoing it. 

The Dodgers could platoon Abreu and Rivera in left. Mix that in with an outfield that includes Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier, and you have a formidable punch. Abreu would fit in great a spot or two after James Loney, giving opposing pitchers one more legitimate bat to worry about.