ANAHEIM, CA: Bobby Abreu #53 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim rounds third base after hitting a solo home run against the Oakland Athletics in the third inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jeff Golden/Getty Images)
The Angels no longer have a regular place to play Bobby Abreu. This isn't sitting very well with Bobby Abreu.
A year ago, Bobby Abreu served as the Angels' regular DH. Then the team signed Albert Pujols, and is getting Kendrys Morales back from injury. Without making other room, I mean. This has left Bobby Abreu looking like a probable bench player. Bobby Abreu doesn't want to be a bench player.
Says Abreu, via Victor Rojas:
"Si los Angelinos no tienen una posición fija para mí, entonces lo mejor es que me cambien. Sería lo más correcto. No voy a hacer nada sentado en una banca", dijo Abreu.
That's in Spanish, because Bobby Abreu speaks Spanish. Many of you do not speak Spanish. Here's what Abreu said in English, with the translation made possible by my high school:
If the Angels don't have a fixed position for me, then the best thing is that they trade me. It would be most correct. I'm not going to do anything sitting on a bench.
One senses that Bobby Abreu is not pleased. He's not unique in this regard -- few professional baseball players would be pleased by the prospect of sitting on the bench. Especially players with Abreu's track record. Do you know Abreu's career batting average? .293. Do you know Abreu's career on-base percentage? .397. Abreu probably feels like he can still perform at a high level. He needs to feel that way.
Do you know Abreu's 2011 batting average? .253. Do you know Abreu's 2011 on-base percentage? .353. The season before, those two marks were .255 and .352. Abreu's nearly 38 years old. He's coming off his worst season since he was a rookie in 1997. He doesn't contribute in the field.
Bobby Abreu would like to be traded in the event that the Angels don't have a regular place for him to play, but Bobby Abreu is not an easy player to trade. The Angels reportedly tried to trade him for A.J. Burnett, but Burnett didn't want to move West. So Abreu remains. If you think about it, Raul Ibañez just signed for a low salary. Johnny Damon's a free agent. Hideki Matsui's a free agent. Derrek Lee's a free agent. A player like Abreu doesn't have a lot of value or appeal.
I suspect that Bobby Abreu will come to terms with his new reality. He can still get on base, and stands to get some at-bats. Maybe Morales has a rough go of it. Maybe Vernon Wells continues to suck. Maybe Pujols gets hurt! Oh no! There are worse guys to have on the bench than Bobby Abreu.
But guys like Bobby Abreu don't deserve to be handed starting jobs. Maybe he'll get his wish and actually get traded somewhere he can start. I don't know. Failing that, it's Bobby Abreu who needs to make an adjustment.