Bobby Abreu said last week that he’ll ask for a trade if the Angels aren’t going to use him as an everyday player, but apparently now he’s fine with something less than an everyday role.
There’s no getting around the fact that the Angels’ first base/corner outfielder/designated hitter logjam means Abreu will be a part-time player if he isn’t traded before Opening Day, but general manager Jerry Dipoto tried to assuage the 38-year-old’s playing time worries today by saying he’s in line for around 400 plate appearances.
Abreu got 585 plate appearances last season and it was his first time under 650 plate appearances since 1998. In other words, he’s basically never been a part-time player.
Abreu told Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times that 400 at-bats “is fine with me,” although it’s worth noting that the Angels cited 400 plate appearances, rather than 400 at-bats, which can be a big difference considering Abreu’s walk rate. Whatever the case, I still think there’s a strong chance he’s moved between now and the end of spring training if Kendrys Morales and Mark Trumbo get healthy.
Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.
That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.
Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.