The Bobby Abreu-to-Cleveland Indians trade talks appear to have fallen apart, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. As surmised by Heyman, the deal fell through "as constituted," which means the deal is not completely dead and could be revisited.
The deal could have—and still could—make sense for the Angels, who appear to have run out of spots to put Abreu. Kendrys Morales is back from his ankle injury and will man the designated hitter spot with Mark Trumbo as backup, and the Angels acquired Albert Pujols to cover first base.
Abreu's outfield skills are diminishing, and the Angels appear to be going with a mixture of Vernon Wells playing center and left, Trumbo backing up those two positions, Peter Bourjos in center and Torii Hunter in right field.
This leaves the disgruntled Abreu without a full-time position to play, and the 16-year veteran Abreu wants to extend his career and play full time. Abreu told Enrique Rojas of ESPN's Deportes.com that he would rather be traded than relegated to the bench.
"I'm an every day player," he told Rojas. "I can still be in the lineup for a Major League team. I will not be on the bench knowing that I can play."
“If the Angels don’t have a position for me, then the best thing is to trade me. It would be the correct (thing) to do. I won’t be able to do nothing sitting in the bench.”
Abreu could find some inspiration in Cleveland and could find a resurgence on a new team that might need him in a full-time capacity, which obviously Abreu covets. What would happen, though, if the trade is made, Abreu falters, is benched and then becomes unhappy with his bench role?
He would probably become a distraction in the clubhouse, which the promising Cleveland Indians do not need.
On the other hand, the move would have seemed to be and still seems to be a bit puzzling, and I think the Tribe has better options in left field within their organization, as I outlined in my article, "Bobby Abreu to Cleveland Indians: Why Duncan, Canzler Top LF Options."
Barring the Abreu trade, or any other deal that would bring a left fielder to the Tribe, the starting left-field job appears to be Shelley Duncan's. The Tribe optioned Canzler to Triple-A on Friday per a tweet from Cleveland Indians beat writer for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Paul Hoynes.
I'm very disappointed in this move, as I would have liked to see Canzler at least get a spot on the bench, if not play left field on a regular basis. As I outlined in my piece, Canzler has mashed at the minor-league level, and it would be fun to see if he could do the same in the bigs.
Aside from missing out on the excitement that acquiring a player of Abreu's ilk would bring, I'm not crushed by the deal falling through.
I think they still have a good—and maybe even better—option available in Duncan, who I think will produce offensively. This was not a deal that blows me away, and in order for the Tribe to take the starting LF position away from Duncan, the player who comes over to the Indians needs to be an upgrade over him.
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