Report: Angels re-sign Abreu to two-year deal

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Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports that the Angels have re-signed Bobby Abreu to a two-year contract with a team option for 2012.
No word yet on the money involved, but Abreu said that he’s “very happy to sign this contract” after settling for a one-year deal worth just $5 million in guaranteed money as a free agent last offseason.
What’s interesting about Abreu getting a multi-year contract now is that his production this season was basically the same as it’s been every season. He hit .293/.390/.435 with 15 homers, 30 steals, 103 RBIs, and 96 runs in 152 games for the Angels compared to .296/.371/.471 with 20 homers, 22 steals, 100 RBIs, and 100 runs in 156 games during his final season in New York.
There’s no real difference between those two seasons, and if anything Abreu was slightly worse this year because of a drop in power. Plus, now he’s 35 years old instead of 34. So why was he only worth a one-year deal for modest money last season, yet is now worth a two-year deal that will almost surely pay more annually? Perception. Abreu was viewed as merely a cog in the Yankees’ machine, whereas this season he’s been given a ton of credit for being a driving force behind the Angels’ improved offense.
We’ll have more analysis of the Abreu signing once the financial details are revealed.

Alex Wood to try pitching out of the stretch

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Pedro Moura of The Athletic reports that Dodgers starter Alex Wood plans to pitch out of the stretch throughout the 2018 season. Wood got the idea when he watched Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg pitch against the Dodgers.

Wood, 27, finished last season 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA and a 151/38 K/BB ratio in 152 1/3 innings. That’s a mighty fine season, one in which many pitchers would not dare to mess with something that isn’t broken.

Interestingly, Wood indeed has had better results with runners on base — when he would pitch out of the stretch — as opposed to the bases being empty, with a respective OPS allowed of .523 versus .684, respectively. Over his career, he has allowed a .617 OPS with runners on and .706 with the bases empty.

In response to Moura’s tweet about Wood, retired pitchers Dan Haren and Jered Weaver took the opportunity to burn themselves. Haren tweeted, “I pitched a few seasons completely out of the stretch actually, just not by choice.” Weaver responded, “Sometimes I would just step off and throw the ball in the gap myself because I knew the hitter would do it anyways.”