Phillies Sign Bobby Abreu to a Minor League Deal
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.
Abreu didn’t play in pro ball last season, and it looked like his career might have been over, but the Phillies are still in need of a left-handed outfield bat off the bench. Aside from Abreu, the remaining LH OF bats were Rick Ankiel, Roger Bernadina, Brennan Boesch, Sam Fuld, Laynce Nix, Juan Pierre, Grady Sizemore, and Dewayne Wise. The Phillies have had experience with four names on that rather unexciting list — Bernadina, Nix, Pierre, and Wise. It’s easy to see why the Phillies were enamored with Abreu, who posted a .361 on-base percentage in 2012 between the Angels and Dodgers.
As with all of these depth signings, they represent no risk to the Phillies and a non-zero amount of upside, which makes the deal a win. The Phillies would have preferred it if their left-handed outfield bat also had the ability to play center field, but beggars can’t be choosers.
Abreu isn’t likely to hit for much power. In the VWL, he had a .139 ISO and he posted a .100 ISO in 2012 and .112 in 2011.Should Abreu make the 25-man roster, his ability to work the count and get on base will have value for the Phillies late in games when they attempt to score a crucial run.
This is, of course, Abreu’s second stint with the Phillies. He spent the 1998-2006 seasons with them when he was consistently one of baseball’s best hitters. By adjusted OPS, he is tied as the fifth-best hitter in Phillies history (min. 3,000 plate appearances).