The Indians are interested in . . . Bobby Abreu?

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In a world where people keep giving Jeff Francoeur paychecks I don’t suppose anything should surprise us. But this is still surprising:

 

Abreu has been hitting the cover off the ball down in Venezuela this winter. But he usually does. He also sat out all of 2013 following a 2012 which showed him to be more or less finished as a useful player. He still has some residual on-base ability — Abreu will be able to fall out of bed and work a walk when he’s 60 — but the power and speed and defense that were once his hallmarks have been gone for some time.

One wonders if this news nugget came out before the Indians signed Francoeur, because it’d be hard to feature the Tribe bringing in both of these guys. Unless of course the plan is to combine them into one player via surgical means. Kind of a golem, if you will, with Abreu’s plate patience and Francoeur’s defense and smile and stuff.  Maybe they can also get Mark Reynolds or someone for power. Give it three heads and everything.

Which, to be clear, I strongly advocate.

The Marlins made an empty threat. Giancarlo Stanton made an empty promise.

Associated Press
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I covered the main press conference about Giancarlo Stanton earlier, but afterward he and his agents fanned out to various TV shows, radio shows and reporter scrums from which some new, fun things have spun out. Part of what they’ve talked about is silly and meaningless, part of it just meaningless.

Here’s the silly and meaningless, from a Marlins official, apparently, trying to bully Stanton into accepting either the Giants or the Cardinals trades despite the fact that he told them beforehand that he was not willing to go to either of those teams:

This is silly because it comes off like a threat. Like the worst possible thing that can happen to a guy is to stay with the very team that is making the threat. It’s like telling your wife that if she does not leave you, she’s stuck with you forever.

It’s meaningless too, in that Stanton has an opt-out clause after 2020. If the Marlins could not make a trade Stanton would approve, he’d simply collect close to $90 million and then leave at age 30. Oooh, don’t throw me into that briar patch, Mr. Jeter!

Not that Stanton’s people are offering statements of serious gravitas. His agent was asked about Stanton’s opt-out rights, which he retains even though he’s now with the Yankees:

That may very well be true! He just got here and everything is going great so far. It’s totally empty, of course, because anything can happen between now and the fall of 2020. If the big time free agents of the next two years sign for the sort of money that makes Stanton look underpaid, he’ll certainly opt-out, even if he wants to stay with the Yankees. Ask Alex Rodriguez and CC Sabathia how that works. The opt-out clause is pure, unadulterated leverage for a player and unless he totally craters over the next three seasons he’ll most certainly use it, regardless of present desires.

Which, hey, that’s how things work when a big trade or free agent signing happens. Everyone who has lost looks bad and everyone who won sounds happy. Then, later, the baseball happens.