July 25, 2014

Indians have talked to Bobby Abreu’s agent about comeback

bobby abreu dodgersThe Cleveland Indians have reportedly talked to the agent of 39-year-old outfielder Bobby Abreu about a possible comeback.

FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi confirmed on Tuesday afternoon the report initially sent out by Indians Baseball Insider’s Tony Lastoria. Lastoria first shared that the Indians are monitoring Abreu in winter ball in his native Venezuela, while Morosi shared that the two-time All-Star is indeed planning on a baseball comeback.

Abreu last played in 2012 for the Los Angeles Angels and Dodgers, appearing in 100 total games with a .242/.350/.342 batting line. From 1998 through 2010, the left-handed hitter slugged at least 15 home runs and 74 RBI each season while playing in over 150 games each year. During that span, he averaged 39 doubles, 21 homers, 28 steals, a .297/.402/.492 line and 4.5 bWAR. The famous former Philadelphia Phillies star was a consistent on-base machine. But now, there’s probably not a whole lot left in the tank.

Just yesterday, the Indians signed soon-to-be 30-year-old Jeff Francoeur to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training. Franceour, a right-handed hitter, only has a .226/.272/.354 batting line in 859 plate appearances over the past two seasons. At best, if he even makes the team, he’d be expected to contribute as a fifth outfielder, pinch-hitter and possible designated hitter.

That’s largely the same role Bobby Abreu would play if he were to surprisingly complete his comeback. Already, the Tribe has four outfielders on roster (Michael Bourn, Michael Brantley, David Murphy, Ryan Raburn) along with a versatile first baseman (Nick Swisher) and an aging designated/pinch hitter (Jason Giambi). It appears to be a crowded environment, especially for the retread types, but kudos to the Cleveland front office for at least scoping out the potential with these veteran players.

[Related: Tribe Makes the Playoffs on a 10-Game Winning Streak — WFNY Top 10 Cleveland Sports Stories: No. 1]

Photo: Eric Risberg, Associated Press

  • mgbode

    I was a bit surprised that Abreu didn’t have a home last year. ’12 was his worst hitting year of his career, but he still finished with a respectable 94 OPS+ (guessing he was hurt? didn’t really monitor him closely).

    Not a bad guy to give a tryout.

  • nj0

    This guy here is dead.
    Cross him off then.

  • nj0

    Hurt? More like pushing 40. I’m not going to get worked up over minor league deals and spring invites, but I don’t see any hidden upside here.

    For the life of me, I don’t see how we can’t have a quad-A bat in the minors that isn’t cheaper and just as productive as Abreu, Francouer, Giambi, et al.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I’d rather have Francouer.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    UGH!

  • mgbode

    I agree on the A^4 player, but it hasn’t seemed to work out that way.

    But, again, Abreu was a productive player his last several seasons. Given the state of alot of DH hitters in the AL for even contending teams last year (*cough*Giambi*cough*), I was surprised that he wasn’t on a team (and given his age, thought he may have had some nagging injuries that stopped him from trying out).

    Anyways, completely agree that it’s just a spring invite, a shot in the dark to fill our backup-DH / veteran leader role that Francona seems to want on the 25man.

  • nj0

    Productive? He hasn’t posted a positive WAR since 2011. And has shown seriously diminished power. He can still draw walks, but that’s about it. Don’t want him in the field either. That the Indians went with Giambi over him isn’t a vote of confidence.

  • nj0

    God, I hope it doesn’t come to that.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    As a bench guy why not? But God is to busy for Cleveland fans haven’t you figured that out yet?

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    WAR…what is it good for?

  • Ed Carroll

    Determining a player’s actual value to the team?

  • nj0

    Because he is not good? Look at his numbers. He’ll be three years removed from his last positive offensive season plus he moves like a dump truck in the field. On top of that, our outfield is already full. Him making it means several things went horribly, horribly wrong. Basically if Frenchy is on your roster in 2014, you’re in trouble.

  • nj0

    Don’t like WAR? Look at his “regular” stats from 2012. His SLG was at near Marson levels. I don’t want 40 year old legs running around my outfield either!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    You guys are just to serious personally I like the song more.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I bet he could out run Nick Swisher but listen here mister you leave my Frenchy alone otherwise I’ll be forced to ask you to step outside.

  • mgbode

    if he can get on base and run the bases well (even in his advanced age, he was able to do so), then he is more useful than Giambi and thinking he is worth a look to see if he can somewhere between his ’12 and ’11 stats (as he didn’t play in ’13). I’m not aiming very high here.

  • Ed Carroll

    It’d be more amusing if you weren’t the one billionth (estimated) person to make that joke.

  • nj0

    Let it go man…. He’s a great guy, grinder, loves the game, does it the right way, etc. He just isn’t good. At all. Sorry.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    What? You give me the names of those other 9,999,999,999 because I’m the only one who ever uses it here!

    Garry_Owen lets go baby it’s suing time!!!!!!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    We shall see, oh we shall see!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Please stop I’m not used to you being on my side and frankly it’s scaring me.

  • Garry_Owen

    Wha . . . hey, did someone say “lawsuit”?

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    To late man I called Saul Goodman! ;-)