Angels Sign Abreu At Bargain Price

How far has the market fallen for baseball sluggers? At the end of last season Bobby Abreu was asking for $48 million over three years, and that seemed a fair price for one of the most consistent big bats in the game.

Wednesday, he agreed to a one-year deal with the Angles worth $5 million, with incentives that could bring it up to the $8 million range. That is 99¢ Store prices in the often unrealistic world of baseball economics.

The Angels were smart in finding a way to get a deal done that works for everyone. Meanwhile up the 5 Freeway, the Dodgers fiddle while the economy burns. It's another sign that the Angels ownership at least gets it.

Abreu is not Mark Teixeira at the plate, but he is not a bad substitite and comes at a considerably better price than the Yankees overpaid for the former Angeles first baseman. Abreu hit .296 with 20 home runs, he scored 100 runs and had 100 runs batted in last year for the Yankees. And the Angels can pretty much expect those numbers or better — he has had 100 RBI and 100 runs scored the last two seasons.

The signing gives the Angels one of the best outfields in the game — Abreu, Vladimir Guerrero and Torii Hunter will start, with very good subs Juan Rivera and the switch-hitting Gary Matthews Jr. behind them. One of those guys likely will DH most nights.

And this was a smart move by Abreu — he lands in a good place, a winning franchise, the Venezualan native lands in a Latin-friendly clubhouse, and does all of it before fellow sluggers Manny Ramirez and Adam Dunn make up their minds. One more team just came off the sluggers market for those two, limiting their options.

Abreu signs a one year deal and if the president’s stimulous package works he’s back on the market next year with the chance to make some longer-term money.

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