Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
July 31, 2006
BASEBALL: The Abreu Heist

A few very quick thoughts on the Yankees getting Bobby Abreu and Steamboat Cory Lidle for some prospects:

*Man, the Phillies should get a big tax deduction for this donation. Except, of course, that the Yankees are the least needy cause on earth.

*Abreu may be the best mid-season Yankees pickup since Johnny Mize, and at least since David Justice and David Cone. We're talking a Hall of Fame quality player who's 32 years old. Yes, his power and batting average have been off the past year or so, but he's still an on-base machine and a dangerous hitter. The Yankees may be best suited leading him off, except that Damon is comfortable in that role.

*So Abreu doesn't love the limelight. Neither did Gehrig or DiMaggio; plenty of guys with quiet personalities have thrived in the Bronx. And so he doesn't like running into walls; big deal, neither does Sheffield. When you have a hitter like Aaron Rowand, you can live with losing him for two weeks because he ran into a fence making a game-saving catch. A guy with Abreu's kind of bat, you want in the lineup.

*So Abreu makes a load of money. If he plays at his present pace, he's not really that overpaid; if he plays like he did in 2004, he's absolutely a $14-15 million player.

*From the Mets' perspective, the deal is frustrating in one sense: you hate to see them miss a chance when a great player is on the market for peanuts, though even with a big payroll they don't have the Yankees' bottomless resources (nobody does) and they don't need corner outfield help as badly as the Yanks. But it's also good news; besides Miguel Cabrera, Abreu was the best player on any of the Mets' four division rivals, and his departure ends the Philllies' time as a contender.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:26 AM | Baseball 2006 | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)

I definitely agree. It galls me to see the Yankmes get Abreu for less than we paid to get Zambrano. However, if it screws the Phillies a lot, how can I complain?

Posted by: Greg Schreiber at July 31, 2006 11:12 AM

The Yankees somehow managed to avoid being forced to pick up Abreu's 2008 option, which was expected, and which would have made him a much costlier proposition. $15 mil for one year really isn't bad at all, for the Yankees.

Posted by: Jerry at July 31, 2006 11:37 AM

That Abreu doesn't want to run into walls means he lasted longer than Pete Reiser.

Abreu was unhappy in Philadelphia. I lived there for a year when I got my masters. It's a miserable town, and having gone back a few times over the years, nothing has changed, so I can't blame him.

Gehrig and Dimaggio didn't like the limelight, but they had lots of talent anyway, so it didn't matter (and DiMaggio really liked the glory and freebies). ARod likes the limelight, but isn't crazy about the price you pay for it when you seek it.

Abreu on this team is a role player with star talent, so I bet he is in for a great summer.

Now if only the Oswalt for Milledge rumors are true!!!

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at July 31, 2006 11:56 AM

I think the Yankees were able to give up to little to get him and a starting pitcher however Philly was in fire sale mode and had to dump salary. The only team willing to take it all, as usual, was the Yankees. If this was Fantasy Baseball they probably would not let you do this trade.

That being said let's not get over the top on Abreu. He is not a HOF quality player. He has no 200 hit seasons, 1 30 HR season, etc. He is a solid player but there is no way he is going to the Hall. Over his last year he is .279/.418/.432. I think, given that he plays in the sub-standard NL, that a 10% reduction in numbers in not unreasonable. That makes him .251/.395/.376. Melky Cabrera is .278/.388/.349 this year. Matsui is due back in a couple of weeks. Sheffield allegedly in September. I would think Matsui plays and is likely effective pretty much straight away. Not so much for Sheffield given the nature of his injury. They can't DH one and play Giambi at 1st because he is so miserable there.

Maybe Abreu comes in and plays out his ass and this is a great deal. I think that is less likely than him just sort of being OK. I think baseball has a problem when it comes to trades like this in which the Yankees had to give up no one for 2 everyday players simply because they have tons of money. As a Sox fan I am glad this appears to be the extent of what the Yankees have done. We'll see what happens over the next 3 hours.

Posted by: jim at July 31, 2006 12:49 PM

As a Phils fan, I can tell you from watching Abreu since 1997, he is a very good player - but not a HOF type guy.

I am not being a hateful Phils fan when I say he is defensively lazy. The gold-glove he got was a sham. It was awarded to him b/c of his bat and not his glove.

I am happy with Pat Gillick. Ed Wade would have sat on his hands and we would have been left with Abreu's salary. It is time to rebuild. This core only got as close as 1 game from the wild-card. I will enjoy watching Shane Victorino play every day.

Do I wish we got better prospects or Melky...yes! Am I completely crushed by the! Maybe Henry will be the starting SS in 3 years and another member of the underachieving core (J. Roll), will be gone. Hopefully teh new core will be C. Utley, R. Howard, Shane Victorino and Cole Hamels. Hopefully!

Posted by: Lou at July 31, 2006 10:23 PM

Abreau an Hof player. Where can I score some of that stuff. Yanks will regret this deal, 1 yr. from now.

Posted by: D. Werner at July 31, 2006 11:21 PM

Or sooner

Posted by: D. Werner at July 31, 2006 11:25 PM

Abreu and Cabrera are the best players on Atl, Fla, Nats, and Phils??? Abreu better than Andruw Jones????? Are you crazy? I wouldn't even say that Cabrera is better than Andruw, although I would rather have Cabrera at his age than Andruw.

Posted by: Luke at August 1, 2006 4:21 PM
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