The depth signings continued as the Phillies and Bobby Abreu agreed on a Minor League deal earlier today, Todd Zolecki reports. Abreu, who turns 40 in March, had been on fire in the Venezuelan Winter League, hitting .322 with a .416 on-base percentage and a 35-to-30 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 180 at-bats.
Reading the reactions to every player the Phillies have been rumored to have shown interest in, you’d think GM Ruben Amaro was constructing a roster of beer league softball players. The knee-jerk negative reaction to every Phillies transaction, rumored or made official, has more to do with two, going on three, years of frustration after the Phillies won the NL East five seasons in a row. It has to do with losing faith in a GM who signed one of the worst contracts in baseball history, gave a significant amount of playing time to Michael Young and Delmon Young, and was sharply derisive of statistical analysis in baseball.
The Phillies won 73 games and lost 89 last year, their worst record since 2000. They have a lot of money tied up to old, injury-prone players whose best years are slowly fading into the horizon in the rear-view mirror. The Phillies aren’t likely to be in the mix for a playoff spot come the end of September. But you know what? They could be a whole lot worse, and whether you like it or not, Amaro deserves credit for showing discipline this off-season.