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.

Marlins, Giants get into heated beanball war

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You may have heard that Giants closer Hunter Strickland broke his hand punching a door in frustration after Monday night’s subpar performance. He’ll miss six to eight weeks as a result. Strickland came in to protect a 4-2 lead but ended up giving up three runs. The tying run was knocked in by Lewis Brinson on a single to right field. Brinson moved to third base on a go-ahead single by Miguel Rojas, which prompted manager Bruce Bochy to take Strickland out of the game.

On his way to the dugout, Strickland started chirping at Brinson. Much like Bryce Harper and Strickland, Brinson and Strickland have a bit of a history. Last Thursday, Brinson handed Strickland a blown save with a sacrifice fly to deep center field. Brinson was happy to help his team tie the game, pumping his fast and saying, “Let’s go” at no one in particular. That rubbed Strickland the wrong way. Everything seems to rub Strickland the wrong way.

During Tuesday night’s game, Giants starter Dereck Rodriguez threw at Brinson with the first pitch, a 92 MPH fastball. Home plate umpire Andy Fletcher issued warnings to both benches. Manager Don Mattingly came out to argue, suggesting that his team hadn’t done anything wrong so it was unfair to essentially take the inside part of the plate away from his pitchers. On his way back to the dugout, Mattingly could be seen saying, “You’re next” to catcher Buster Posey.

The Giants scored twice in the bottom of the second against Dan Straily to extend their lead to 3-0. Posey came to the plate with a runner on first base and one out. Straily hit Posey with a 91 MPH fastball on the first pitch, prompting ejections of both Straily and Mattingly. Posey was hit on the arm. If the pitch had come in a bit lower and hit Posey on the wrist or hand, Posey might have had to go on the disabled list for a couple months. Or if the pitch had hit Posey a couple of inches higher, in the head, then who knows what would have happened.

Things calmed down from there, thankfully. The two clubs have one more game against each other in San Francisco on Wednesday and that will be the final time they meet this season. If anything further is going to happen — and hopefully, nothing happens — then it will come tomorrow.

Straily will almost certainly be facing a suspension and a fine, as will Mattingly. It’s less clear if Rodriguez and/or Bochy will be reprimanded for throwing at Brinson, even though it was fairly obvious the pitch was intentional. Regardless, the punishments amount to just one missed start for the pitchers, which isn’t nearly enough of a detriment to deter beanball wars.