If Bobby Abreu was “on the verge” of being traded to the Cleveland Indians Thursday night, as was reported by CBSSports.com, it was news to the Angels outfielder, who was in camp Friday morning and is in the lineup for Friday’s exhibition game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Tempe Diablo Stadium.
“I don’t know what’s going on,” said Abreu, who was also reportedly close to being traded to the New York Yankees in January. “I don’t think too much [of the trade rumors]. I don’t really look at what’s going to happen. I’m here. I’m happy. I don’t control what’s going to happen.”
Abreu hadn’t spoken to General Manager Jerry Dipoto as of Friday morning. According to one source familiar with talks but not allowed to speak publicly about them, talks between the Angels and Indians “fell apart,” probably over how much of Abreu’s $9-million contract the Angels would assume.
Abreu’s potential role with the Angels seems to shrink with every weak at-bat—he’s hitting .087 (4 for 46) this spring—and every hit by Kendrys Morales, who is 10 for 16 with two homers and is poised to take over the Angels’ designated hitter role after missing 1 1/2 seasons because of a broken left ankle.
Abreu said in February he preferred to be traded if he wasn’t going to be an everyday player. Manager Mike Scioscia told Abreu he would get 400 plate appearances, but with Morales returning and young slugger Mark Trumbo available to play corner outfield and DH, there is little need for Abreu.
Asked Friday if he thought he would get 400 plate appearances with the Angels this season, Abreu essentially ducked the question.
“Well, one of the things I’m doing now that’s more important is getting myself ready for the season so that when I do get opportunities to play I can do my best,” Abreu said. “Honestly, I just want to get ready for the season.”
Abreu is 38 and in decline, but he said his body feels fine, his legs are in shape and that he feels good physically.
“I know these are not the results everyone is looking for, but that doesn’t matter to me,” Abreu said. “What matters is that I’m feeling fine, I’m seeing the ball good and having no problems.”