Report: Abreu-to-Indians only has “50-50” chance

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CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Indians and Angels are close to finalizing a trade involving veteran outfielder and DH Bobby Abreu.

No word yet on what the Angels would receive in return, but it’s probably not going to be much.

Abreu, 38, hit just .253/.353/.365 with eight home runs across 585 plate appearances last season for Anaheim and no longer possesses much defensive range. He’s also owed a $9 million salary in 2012, which the Angels will likely have to eat all or most of.

Abreu will presumably start in left field this year for Cleveland if the trade indeed goes down. Which has us wondering whether he’s really any better than Shelley Duncan, all things considered.

UPDATE, 10:01 PM: FOX Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi says Indians outfielder Trevor Crowe was pulled from a minor league game Thursday for the purpose of a trade. It’s probably safe to connect the two.

UPDATE, 10:35 PM: Abreu’s agent told Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times that he “has not gotten confirmation” that a deal has been agreed to involving his client. This one might take a while.

UPDATE, 10:58 PM: According to Heyman, the Crowe trade that Morosi caught word of earlier is now a “no-go.” It’s not clear whether that means the Abreu trade has also been called off.

UPDATE, 11:27 PM: FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that Abreu is only “50-50” to be dealt.

Tom Ricketts says the Cubs don’t have any more money

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Cubs owner Tom Ricketts met the media in Mesa, Arizona today and said a couple of things that were fun.

First, he addressed the controversy that arose earlier this month when emails of his father’s — family patriarch Joe Ricketts — were leaked, showing him forwarding and approvingly commenting on racist jokes. Ricketts apologized for those serving as a “distraction” for the Cubs which, OK. He also said “Those aren’t the values our family was raised with… I never heard my father say anything remotely racist.” If you choose to believe that a 77-year-old conservative guy who loves racist emails — who once spearheaded an anti-Obama ad campaign that required a “literate African-American” as its spokesman — hasn’t said racist stuff a-plenty, that’s between you and your credulity.

More relevant to the 2019 Cubs is this:

The Cubs aren’t in the same position as some other contenders in that (a) they don’t have a cheap payroll; and (b) are not obvious candidates for the big free agents like Harper or Machado, but I still find that comment pretty rich for an owner of one of baseball’s marquee franchises in a non-salary cap league. If nothing else, it’s an admission by Ricketts that he, like the other owners, consider the Luxury Tax to be a defacto salary cap.