Bobby Abreu - Angels Lodestone or Gem?

WELL... How did I get here?

Designated hitter Bobby Abreu is less than 30 plate appearances away from seeing his $9 Million 2012 option vest. With five Plate Appearances on Sunday he has 1,075 PA in 2010 and 2011 with the Angels. The option vests if he makes PA #1,100 combined over both seasons.

Abreu's offensive numbers this season eerily match those of Alberto Callaspo's. They each have a 110 OPS+ and an OPS within .002 of each other (Abreu's .729 to Callaspo's .731). They both have 3 HR this season. While Callaspo has  28 fewer walk (36 - 62), he has struck out 34 times to Bobby's 77, in addition to having 25 points of batting average and 18 points of slugging on Bobby. Callaspo has 52 fewer PA but plays a decent defense. These numbers form a good-not-great 3B are excellent. The absence of anything beyond OBP (especially power) from the DH position, though, its troubling. Abreu turned 37 in March.

Putting up Callaspo numbers while not flashing any leather is a detriment. At his age, you can feel free to stop calling it a slump and speculate if Callaspoism is a ceiling on Abreu's production. He gets put in the lineup each night with the unstated hope that he will end what appears to be a power and production slump. Two-thirds of the way through 2011 we are all still waiting.

There is almost nowhere to trade Bobby. The player's union would object to a summary DFA dismissal when he has been showing up every day to play regardless of production. Cynics might pine for an alternative scenario where he gave decent production from LF and then strained something just late enough into a decent year that he could not compile the numbers that made that option vest. We have Torii Hunter and Vernon Wells perfectly capable of scooting into the DH role in order to accommodate Peter Bourjos and Mike Trout in the outfield, let alone the 2012 logjam at DH/1B if the Prodigal Morales Son should ever appear and not be able to quite usurp Mark Trumbo.

Of course, Torii's no trade clause precludes the fact that his 96 OPS+ from the RF slot is really pulling the Angels down much more, so this is not to pile onto Bobby, just to poin out the inevitable expendability.

What will happen is that Bibby will ride out the season with the Angels and Trout will go back to the minors and in 2012 Trout will pingpong back and forth as injuries in Anaheim determine. Unless Tony Reagins can work something out in the next 25 PA, which jsut so happen to coincide with the trade deadline.

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