Jon Heyman of SI reports that Bobby Abreu has signed with the Angels for $5 million, plus incentives. Seems like a real bargain for a player who batted third in the Yankees' powerful lineup and hit .296 with 20 homers and 100 RBI last year. And, since the Yankees did not offer him arbitration, Abreu won't even cost the Angels a draft pick.
It's one thing to balk at paying Manny Ramirez money. But the Mets will lose more money than they are saving by not signing Abreu if they miss the playoffs as a result.
Can Ryan Church play like he did at the start of last season? Can Daniel Murphy continue to build on his impressive debut? If so, the Mets will be better off not signing another left-handed outfielder.
There are a couple of other reasons it might be good not to have Abreu on the team. The Yankees made no effort to keep him even though he was still productive. Do they know something? The market for Abreu did turn out to be remarkably bad. If the Mets had signed Abreu, it would have meant signing a Yankee castoff.
And speaking of the Phillies, they were also quite happy to get rid of Abreu, getting almost nothing in return when they sent him to the Yankees in the middle of 2006. And in the following two seasons, the Phillies made the playoffs both times and won the World Series. Meanwhile, with Abreu on the team, the Yankees saw their postseason streak end in 2008.
Could Abreu be a "cooler," as A-Rod has been accused of being? So far, the worst thing anyone has said about Abreu is that he doesn't like to go near the wall. But after what happened to Ryan Church last year, Met fans might reasonably hope that the team's current right fielder avoids the wall and steers clear of potential collisions that could trigger another concussion.
The Mets badly needed K-Rod and a starter like Oliver Perez. They were not cheap when they had to fill these positions (unless you feel that they should have spent $24 million more to get Derek Lowe). But the need for another left-handed outfielder was not as great, even if it's likely that Abreu has a better year than Church or Murphy. If the Mets had a certain amount money to spend as they claim, they spent it in the right places.
And the way these signings of players in their mid-thirties often work out for the Mets, Abreu could get hurt or suddenly lose his skills. Look at what happened to Roberto Alomar (who is in the news today for much more troubling reasons). Imagine how Met fans would turn on Abreu if he could not replicate his star performances with the Mets' biggest rivals - the Yankees and Phillies.
So passing on Abreu does not seem so bad as of now. But the pressure on Church and Murphy just went up.
Once his price went down, should the Mets have signed Bobby Abreu? Tell us what you think.