The blogosphere went nuts late Thursday night as rumors surfaced that the Cleveland Indians were in talks to acquire Bobby Abreu from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Jon Heyman reported that the two sides were “on [the] verge of” a deal, and Jon Paul Morosi learned that the Indians were also close to trading Trevor Crowe (though he could not confirm whether Crowe was part of the Abreu deal).
Things cooled down shortly after that; a source told Morosi and Ken Rosenthal that the odds of an Abreu trade happening were “50-50” as the teams negotiated how much the Angels will contribute to Abreu’s $9 million 2012 salary. Meanwhile, Heyman reported that the Crowe deal had fallen through, though it’s still unclear whether or not he was part of the Abreu trade.
If he came to Cleveland, Abreu wouldn’t necessarily be the Tribe’s starting left fielder. His plate discipline is as good as it ever was (13.3 percent walk rate last year) and he still has good wheels (21 steals), but his power pretty much abandoned him last year (.112 ISO) and he’s a true liability in the field. It’s not clear that he’d be a significant upgrade over Shelley Duncan or Russ Canzler. And, of course, Grady Sizemore should be back eventually.
The Indians presumably have some money to spend (though not as much as some people think), but the Angels would have to eat almost all of Abreu’s salary for this deal to be worth their while—especially if you haven’t completely given up on Crowe yet.
We’ll keep you posted as more information comes to light.
UPDATE: Heyman reports that the deal “fell apart.” The Los Angeles Times‘ Mike DiGiovanna says that trade talks “appear to be dead or have cooled considerably,” noting that Abreu will be in the Angels’ lineup in Friday’s spring training game.