Bobby Abreu to LA Angels Rumors Pick Up Steam with Waiver of Green

Bill MartinezContributor IFebruary 11, 2009

Apparently, Tony Reagins may not be as crazy as some people might be otherwise inclined to think.

Reports from around baseball late Tuesday have free-agent outfielder Bobby Abreu in serious discussions with the Los Angeles Angels.

Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal quoted two GMs as saying Abreu, who will be 35 in March, was headed to an American League team and a separate source saying that the team is the Angels, whose lineup is currently devoid of an established left-handed bat after the departures of first baseman Mark Teixeira and outfielder Garret Anderson.

ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick went one step further, saying that while there are still details left to be hashed out, an agreement could be reached before L.A.’s pitchers and catchers report to camp in Tempe, AZ this weekend.

The Angels further fueled the speculation by requesting outright waivers on 24-year-old RHP Nick Green, which opens up a spot on the 40-man roster.

From several perspectives, this deal makes perfect sense for the Angels, who desperately need something more in the lineup from the left side than Kendry Morales. For one, Abreu is roughly the same age as Anderson, who will more than likely finish his Angels’ career as the club’s all-time leader in hits.

However, Abreu possesses two things that Anderson never could claim at any point in his career: speed and the ability to get on base via the walk. The 13-year-veteran is a career .300 hitter and has stolen at least 20 bases in 10 consecutive campaigns.

He also has a career on-base percentage of .405, and has drawn at least 75 walks in every campaign since going back to his first full season with the Phillies in 1998.

Should the move take place, it would also be a sure bet that Gary Matthews, Jr. would be on his way out the door. One of the few bad signings by former Angels’ GM Bill Stoneman, Matthews still has three years and almost $35 million left on his five-year, $50 million deal signed in November 2006.

The 34-year-old has been a free agent bust in Anaheim, hitting a combined .247 in his two seasons with just 27 home runs and an anemic OPS.