Bobby Abreu will announce his retirement tonight, according to Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News.
Abreu’s career appeared to be over when the Mets designated him for assignment in early August, but they called up him in September for one last hurrah.
Abreu ceased being a productive regular in 2011, but he had a dozen-year run as one of the best all-around hitters in baseball, consistently posting .300 batting averages and .400 on-base percentages with 20-homer power and 30-steal speed.
Overall for his 18-year, 2,423-game career Abreu has an OPS of .870, which is a higher mark than fellow retirees Paul Konerko (.841) and Derek Jeter (.817).
He was an on-base machine who racked up 2,469 hits with 288 homers and 400 steals. Among all active position players only Jeter and Alex Rodriguez have gotten on base more times than Abreu’s career total of 3,977 and only Rodriguez, Jeter, Albert Pujols, Adrian Beltre, Carlos Beltran, and Chase Utley have a higher Wins Above Replacement total.
Great, underrated player.
Angels outfielder Mike Trout‘s marketability has been a topic of conversation in recent days as the best players in baseball converged upon Washington, D.C. for the All-Star Game. We learned that, according to one firm that measures consumer appeal of personalities, Trout is as recognizable to the average American as Brooklyn Nets reserve forward Kenneth Faried, despite being far and away the best player in baseball and one of the greatest players ever to play the game.
Commissioner Rob Manfred also addressed Trout’s marketability, Gabe Lacques of USA TODAY Sports reported. Manfred said, “Mike has made decisions on what he wants to do, doesn’t want to do, how he wants to spend his free time or not spend his free time. I think we could help him make his brand very bug. But he has to make a decision to engage. It takes time and effort.”
The Angels fired back on Wednesday, releasing a statement that said:
On behalf of the Angels Organization and baseball fans everywhere, congratulations to Mike Trout on another outstanding All-Star Game performance.
Mike Trout is an exceptional ambassador for the game. Combined with his talent, his solid character creates a perfect role model for young people everywhere. Each year, Mike devotes a tremendous amount of his time and effort contributing to our Organization, and marketing Major League Baseball. He continually chooses to participate in the community, visiting hospitals, schools, and countless other charities. One of Mike’s traits that people admire most is his humility. His brand is built upon generously spending his time engaging with fans, both at home and on the road, while remaining a remarkable baseball player and teammate.
In addition, Mike spends quality time as a husband, son, brother, uncle, and friend. We applaud him for prioritizing his personal values over commercial self-promotion. That is rare in today’s society and stands out as much as his extraordinary talent.
It’s not on Trout to build a brand that appeals to MLB’s marketing department, so the Angels are right to back Trout’s decision to stay out of the limelight. The Angels’ motivation likely isn’t entirely selfless, however, as supporting him in this situation may make it more enticing for him to sign a contract extension before his current contract expires after the 2020 season.