Bobby Abreu could be “odd man out” for Angels after Albert Pujols signing

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Albert Pujols’ arrival means the Angels have a logjam of first basemen, corner outfielders, and designated hitters, and while trading Mark Trumbo would bring back the most in return Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times speculates that “the odd man out would probably be Bobby Abreu.”

Not only won’t the Angels be able to get much in exchange for Abreu, they’ll likely have to eat the majority of his $9 million salary just to move the 37-year-old for anything at all.

General manager Jerry Dipoto and manager Mike Scioscia have talked about Trumbo possibly moving to third base, which would lessen the logjam considerably, but his odds of being even passable there defensively seem pretty slim. Kendrys Morales’ health is also a big factor, although the Angels may end up non-tendering him if he doesn’t show major progress soon.

Abreu has seen his OPS drop from .843 to .825 to .787 to .717 in the past four seasons, but he still has very good on-base skills and could help quite a few teams as a designated hitter or part-time outfielder if the price was low enough.

Justin Turner is a postseason monster

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A not-insignificant amount of the Dodgers’ success in recent years has to do with the emergence of Justin Turner. In his first five seasons with the Orioles and Mets, he was a forgettable infielder who had versatility, but no power. The Mets non-tendered him after the 2013 season, a move they now really regret.

In four regular seasons since, as a Dodger, Turner has hit an aggregate .303/.378/.502. His 162-game averages over those four seasons: 23 home runs, 36 doubles, 83 RBI, 80 runs scored. And he’s also a pretty good third baseman, it turns out. The Dodgers have averaged 95 wins per season over the past four years.

Turner, 32, has gotten better and better with each passing year. This year, he drew more walks (59) than strikeouts (56), a club only five other players (min. 300 PA) belonged to, and he trailed only Joey Votto (1.61) in BB/K ratio (1.05). He zoomed past his previous career-high in OPS, finishing at .945. His .415 on-base percentage was fourth-best in baseball. His batting average was fifth-best and only nine points behind NL batting champion Charlie Blackmon.

It doesn’t seem possible, but Turner has been even better in the postseason. He exemplified that with his walk-off home run to win Game 2 of the NLCS against the Cubs. Overall, entering Wednesday night’s action, he was batting .363/.474/.613 in 97 postseason plate appearances. In Game 4, he went 2-for-2 with two walks, a single, and a solo home run. That increases his postseason slash line to .378/.495/.659, now across 101 plate appearances. That’s a 1.154 OPS. The career-high regular season OPS for future first-ballot Hall of Famer Albert Pujols was 1.114 in 2008, when he won his third career MVP Award. Statistically, in the postseason, Turner hits slightly better than Pujols did in the prime of his career. Of course, we should adjust for leagues and parks and all that, but to even be in that neighborhood is incredible.

In the age of stats, the concept of “clutch” has rightfully eroded. We don’t really allow players to ascend to godlike levels anymore like the way we did Derek Jeter, for instance. (Jeter’s career OPS in the playoffs, by the way, was a comparatively pitiful .838.) Turner isn’t clutch; he’s just a damn good hitter whose careful approach at the plate has allowed him to shine in the postseason and the Dodgers can’t imagine life without him.