Abreu situation with Angels getting messier; good solution hard to see

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Bobby Abreu situation with the Angels is getting ugly early. With no real playing time likely available to him, it might be for the best for the Angels to simply release Abreu -- although, they'd almost surely want to wait to make sure returning star Kendrys Morales is healthy and ready to contribute first.

Abreu was called into manager Mike Scioscia's office this morning following Abreu's unflattering remarks regarding Scioscia's rather optimistic prediction that he could find 400 at-bats for Abreu, Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reported. It is hard to see how Scioscia will get him anywhere near that number, especially if Morales remains healthy, and Abreu voiced that opinion to a Venezuelan newspaper, apparently upsetting Scioscia.

"I've learned not to have much confidence in these people, but I hope they live up to what they told me,'' Abreu said to Billy Russo of Lider en Deportes "How long am I going to have to prove to people what I am, and what I am able to do? At times it's like the work one does doesn't get appreciated, but here I am and we'll continue to fight.''

Abreu's agents the Greenberg brothers said his comments were taken out of contaxt. In any case, Abreu is obviously quite frustrated and unhappy about his situation. He should, however, recall that the Angels did let his option vest at $9 million for this year, be thankful for that and try to be patient. It's not easy for him because he surely wants to earn a new contract to try for 3,000 hits (a long shot as he has 2,384) and the Hall of Fame (not out of the question considering his overall career numbers). His skepticism is understandable, but he should give it a little more time to see how it plays out first.

Morales, who hasn't played in a game that counts since May of 2010 after suffering a severe lower leg injury in an unfrtunate celebration, has looked pretty good since returning Thursday. But Abreu can also see that young impressive power hitter Mark Trumbo would also appear to be well ahead of Abreu on the depth chart at the moment (though the switch-hitting Morales and Abreu are the only two middle-of-the-order lefty bats in the Angels' impressive lineup).

So it does look at the moment like Scioscia's 400 at-bat prediction appears at least very optimistic. Scioscia is famous for his public optimism, like last spring when he questioned a mid-March report suggesting Morales might not be ready for the start of last season. As it turned out, Morales not only wasn't ready for the start of the season, he missed the entire season.

This time Morales looks like he might make it, and the public optimism regards Abreu instead.

If Morales proves to be healthy over the next few weeks, it might just be for the best for all parties involved for the Angels to release Abreu. With a $9 million salary, there'd be no chance to trade him. But if he's on the market and employable for a new teams for the minimum salary, he should get a job even in a tough market for 38-year-old DH/OFs. The Yankees, for one, might make some sense if Raul Ibanez continues to struggle.

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