The Angels and Indians are seriously discussing a trade that would send veteran outfielder Bobby Abreu to Cleveland, but there appeared to be a complication or holdup late Thursday, reports CBSSports.com Insider Jon Heyman. And thus a trade that seemed very likely earlier in the day is now somewhat less certain.
There were indications the sides were still debating the finances involved, namely Abreu's $9-million salary. Presumably, the Angels would have to pay the vast majority of his salary, but it's possible the sides were still discussing exactly how much money would be involved in the trade.
Indians minor-league outfielder Trevor Crowe was pulled from a game Thursday, and sources tell Heyman that Cleveland had a trade ready for Crowe, but later in the day he was told he may now be staying with the Indians. While it's uncertain the apparent switch regarding Crowe was related to the Abreu trade, it would be quite coincidental if it wasn't.
Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com quoted sources telling him an Abreu trade to the Indians was now "50-50'' to happen, and Heyman's sources suggest the trade should no longer be considered as close to happening, though it hasn't been ruled out.
Still, the Indians have a clear need.Michael Brantley, slated to be the Tribe's regular center fielder in Sizemore's absence, is battling a hamstring injury, and suffice it to say Shelley Duncan is stretched as an every-day left fielder. As well, current fourth outfielder Aaron Cunningham doesn't exactly inspire as a fallback option.
While the 38-year-old Abreu can't field or hit for power these days, he can provide decent on-base numbers from the left side: last season, Abreu hit .259/.366/.400 against right-handed pitching. That qualifies as "somewhat useful," so long as Abreu is never allowed to face a lefty in a high-leverage situation or patrol the outfield with a late-inning lead. Presumably he would platoon with Duncan in left.