CLEVELAND -- The Angels and Bobby Abreu parted ways Friday night when the 38-year-old outfielder was released following a 3-2 loss to the Cleveland Indians, but Manager Mike Scioscia doesn’t think the game has seen the last of the 17-year veteran.
“I don’t believe it’s the end for Bobby,” Scioscia said Saturday. “One thing he really has is a passion for the game. If he gets in a situation where he can get some playing time and perform at a little higher level, by the time it’s said and done, this guy is going to get Hall of Fame consideration.”
Abreu, a native of Venezuela, is one of four players with at least 500 doubles, 250 home runs and 350 stolen bases. The others are Barry Bonds, Rickey Henderson and Craig Biggio. Abreu is the only player in major league history to log 20 homers, 20 stolen bases and 40 doubles in a season five times.
A two-time All-Star, Abreu has 2,389 career hits, 284 homers, 1,330 runs batted in and a .397 on-base percentage. He also mentored young Angels such as Maicer Izturis and Erick Aybar on the art of plate discipline after his 2009 arrival.
“Bobby is a terrific person -- he’s funny, smart, he loves the game and he plays hard,” Scioscia said. “We’re definitely going to miss that aspect.”
After a superb 2009 season, in which he hit .293 with a .390 on-base percentage, 15 homers and 103 runs batted in, Abreu slipped to .255 with 20 homers and 78 RBIs in 2010 and .253 with eight homers and 60 RBIs in 2011.
The signing of Albert Pujols and return of Kendrys Morales reduced Abreu to a bit role this season, and with the offense needing a spark, the team had little choice but to release Abreu when it promoted 20-year-old outfielder Mike Trout from triple-A Salt Lake on Friday night.
“There’s not really any bitterness -- it’s just a tough situation here,” Abreu said. “I’m going to wait and see what happens. I’m going to talk to my agent, make some calls, see who’s interested. I’m going to keep working and be ready.”