According to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, "El Comedulce," who turns 40 years old in March, is headed back to the City of Brotherly Love, where he spent eight-and-a-half seasons early in his career:
#Phillies officially announce signing of Bobby Abreu to minor-league deal with invitation to major-league spring training.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 21, 2014
CBS Sports' Jon Heyman initially reported the news:
Bobby abreu is headed back the phillies after agreeing to deal— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) January 21, 2014
Abreu just wants to make comeback. Not doing it for the $ (tho he gets $800,000 as phillie). 8 Hrs, 26 RBI in 16 plaoff Gs— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) January 21, 2014
ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick added that Abreu will sign a minor league contract:
#Phillies have, indeed, reached agreement on a minor league deal with Bobby Abreu, source confirms.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) January 21, 2014
During his stint with Philly, Abreu was a two-time All-Star and won the Silver Slugger award in 2004 when he hit .301/.428/.544 with 30 home runs and 105 RBI. He slugged over .500 five times.
While he enjoyed a nice career with the Phils and went on to have some productive seasons with the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Angels, he last played in the majors in 2012, when he hit .242 with three home runs in 100 games with the Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers.
He was unable to land a contract in 2013.
How would you grade this signing for the Phillies?
Nevertheless, according to CSN Philly's Jim Salisbury, Abreu hit .322 with three homers, 28 RBI and an .877 OPS in the Venezuelan League this winter, leading to this quote from general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.:
“Bobby has had a nice winter season. We have decent reports on him.”
The chances of Abreu making a significant impact for the Phillies in 2014 aren't good. But at the same time, he's a low-risk signing and will potentially provide a decent left-handed bat off the bench.
If he struggles in spring training, then that will likely signal the end of his playing career. If he proves that he can still hit a little bit, though, then perhaps he can play a small role for Philadelphia.