Eleven days remain until the trading deadline and as always there is considerably more talk than action. Much of it surrounds Bobby Abreu who has been dangled as trade bait since Pat Gillick took over as GM. Yesterday he proved his worth by propelling the Phils to a 5-4 win with a two-run double in the ninth. Despite all the rumors many baseball insiders feel that unless the Yankees come through with an offer Gillick cannot refuse, Abreu has a greater chance to be dealt in the coming off-season if at all. He will have a year remaining on his contract then, plus a club option that his agent says must be picked up if Bobby is to waive his no-trade clause. Many fans – especially those with season tickets in right field – feel the Phils need to unload Abreu as soon as possible. Yet as Pat Gillick (and we here at Phillies Nation) have often stated, losing his offensive production and ability to get on base will leave a gaping hole in the Phillies lineup. In Bobby Abreu’s eight-plus years with the Phillies, he has arguably proven himself one of the top ten Phillies hitters of all-time. Here is where he stands in comparison to other Phillies’ careers:
- 4th all-time in walks (3 away from second place)
- 2nd all-time in intentional walks
- 3rd all-time in doubles
- 9th all-time in runs scored (1 away from eighth place)
- 3rd all-time in strikeouts (that’s a bad stat, of course)
- 4th all-time in slugging percentage
- 7th all-time in runs batted in
- 7th all-time in total bases
- 6th all-time in stolen bases
- 5th most games played by an outfielder
- 7-time member of 20/20 club (a consecutive streak still in progress)
- On pace to surpass Lenny Dykstra’s single season record for walks (129 in 1993) by 25 walks
- Tied record for most consecutive games with a home run with 5
- Tied record for most consecutive games with a RBI with 10
Although Bobby is far from the best Phillies player of all-time, he certainly ranks up there in terms of Phillies outfielders with the likes of Richie Ashburn, Chuck Klein, Cy Williams, and Johnny Callison. So regardless of what uniform Abreu dons next week or next year, he has already solidified his place in the Phillies record books. That said, we can now review some of the rumors concerning where he (and a few others) could be traded:
- The latest Bobby Abreu rumor has him going to Baltimore for 30-year-old right-hander Rodrigo Lopez, who is 2 years removed from resembling the top-tier pitcher the Phillies say they need to get for Abreu. The Baltimore Sun reported that the Orioles have talked with the Phillies about acquiring Abreu but that a deal is unlikely because of his large contract. The New York papers, however contradict this report, claiming it is Burrell, not Abreu, that has been a rumored trade partner with Lopez (see articles below).
- The NY Daily News sees an Abreu trade as unlikely since Pat Gillick would rather part with Burrell. Despite Steinbrenner being a fan of Bobby, his preference would be to land Alfonso Soriano. The Daily News also suggests, confirming Jayson Stark’s earlier reports, that the Yankees are more keen on the Royals’ Reggie Sanders, although his groin injury maybe more serious than originally thought.
- Newsday feels the Yankees’ chemistry (and winning ways) don’t require a high-risk, high-reward player like Bobby Abreu. Similarly the team has little interest in Burrell.
- Meanwhile, Detroit is chomping at the bit at the possibility of acquiring Bobby Abreu. The Detroit News reports, Tigers’ left-fielder Marcus Thames and rookie pitcher Zach Miner could be moved in exchange for Abreu.
- The Angels have expressed an interest in Abreu but have said they will not part with anyone in their starting rotation.
- Similarly, the White Sox, who are interested in Tom Gordon, probably can’t offer what the Phillies need.
From what I gather from this chatter, there is a good chance that "Standing Pat" will have an easy time living up to his nickname. Though I would also like to throw in a bit of conjecture myself: with Shea Hillenbrand’s dismissal by the Blue Jays yesterday, perhaps Gillick might find in him a new third baseman. Just a thought, since it seems at the current time, that might be the best move the Phillies could make.