July 12, 2006
Who Is Bobby Abreu?
With all the talk lately about the Yankees going after Bobby Abreu, I decided to use the Complete Baseball Encyclopedia to see if I could come up with a hitter that matches him. This is what I found:
While Will Clark had a great career, and he should get more consideration for Cooperstown, how much would you be willing to trade for a 32-year-old Will Clark? That should be the same thing that you're willing to trade now for Bobby Abreu.
Posted by Steve Lombardi at July 12, 2006 11:07 PM
In 1996 at 32, Clark hit .284/.377/.496 with Texas. The next two years he hit .326/.400/.496 and .305/.400/.496. So my answer to your question is that I would take any of those seasons on the current Yankees at the expense of Duncan, Henn, White, or some combination thereof.
I agree, as long as it doesn't take top prospect and guys already contributing, i'm all for it. Abreu is way too underated (though not underpaid)
And the difference between Yankee stadium and Citizen's band box should be minimal for a lefty.
I will chalk this up to being late at night, but I managed to read Clarks 1998 (age 34 season) completely wrong. Its an even better .305/.384/.507
For me at least, Steve's analysis backfires here. Will Clark was a very good player -- a top 15 all-time 1B. A guy who hits like Will Clark, who has speed (as Abreu does), and who plays at least an average RF (a more important defensive position than 1B) is quite valuable indeed.
Plus, Abreu's 32 is not so bad because players with his skill set usually age well.
If you look Bob Abreu up on baseball-reference, his most similar player is Brian Giles, and his most similar player for his 30 and 31 year old seasons was none other than Bernie.
Of course, as jonm pointed out, guys like Abreu, the speed/glove/hit combo age better than the hit. Maybe he'd be more like Larry Walker than Will Clark, perhaps? Of course, the sixth most similar age 31 season in baseball history... Raul Mondesi. That, by the way, was the season he joined the Yankees.
If they don't feel like they have to give him a three or four year extension and can get him with based more as salary dump, they definitely should do that.
Since Abreu's a 10-5 guy, does anyone know if he'd approve a trade to the Yankees? Also, I'm with the commenter directly above - if we don't have to extend his contract (expiring in 2007, I believe) I'd be happy to part with mid-level minor leaguers and have Abreu in RF for the rest of the season. It's certainly better than having Bernie out there every day.
Also, it's a statistically insignificant sample but he has hit 2 homers at Yankee Stadium in 19 AB's so maybe he'll like the short porch in RF?
It's more than just who you're willing to give up for him, it's also: how much are you willing to pay him. He's set to make $20 million next year, and the years after that are pretty expensive as well. His presence on the roster means that the Yanks will have less money to throw at free agents in the coming years. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but you have to consider it, too.
MJ- From what I've read, Abreu and Bowa are tight (apparently all the naysaying about Abreu in Philly was not something Bowa was part of) and that he lives in NYC in the off season. From what I've read, it sounds like New York is one of the few places he wants to go. I also read on ESPN, Olney's blog I think, that he would not go to Boston.
Nick- Abreu would make $20 million between 06 and 07. He makes $13m this year, and his 07 contract value is $15m (which is $1.5m over the value Sheff's 07 option.)
So assuming insurance is paying Sheffield's contract, this works out to only a real world addition of $1.5m to 2007 payroll. Which is not bad at all.
And I have no idea when I became a Bob Abreu expert.