Abreu deal would be a boost to all, but especially Bobby

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The trade of the Bobby Abreu from the Angels to the Indians would benefit everyone involved --- if it happens -- and that includes Abreu himself.

There appeared to be a holdup over money late Thursday, but for the sake of all the parties, let's hope they can work it out.

The deal, which looked close to happened in mid-day Thursday but is now somewhat less certain -- would help Cleveland, which has a paucity of outfielders following the injury to longtime Indian Grady Sizemore. It would help the Angels since it was clear Abreu no longer fit on the roster once Kendrys Morales showed he was healthy and ready to be the starting DH. The Angels have Mark Trumbo in reserve, as well, so they are plenty deep, and it is hard to imagine how Abreu would get any at-bats there.

The deal, if it happens may benefit Abreu most of all, though, since he was not ready to adapt to a deep bench role and wants to play two to three more years to enhance his Hall of Fame chances. This is the last year of his contract, so he needs to show he has something left, and he wasn't going to be able to do that with the Angels.

Cleveland has been planning to start Shelley Duncan in left field, though they were trying hard to add a bat. The Indians preferred a righthanded hitter and a player who could play some center field, but they mostly needed a bat. Abreu fills that need. He hasn't exactly lit it up in spring, starting four for 46, but he knew pretty much from the start of spring that he didn't fit on the Angels.

The deal presumably also would need commissioner's approval before it is finalized, as the Angels surely would be sending the bulk of Abreu's $9-million salary to Cleveland. How much is the question the Angels and Indians still must answer.

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