OK, I've had enough of the Joe Torre story. Two posts from me in the past day and a half is too much. He's gone, he'll be missed, now it's time to move on, for the Yankees and for this blog. The first topic I'm going to tackle in the post-Torre era is Bobby Abreu.The Situation:
The Yankees hold a $16 million team option on Bobby Abreu for 2008.
2007: 158 games, 605 at bats, 123 runs, 16 home runs, 101 RBI, 25 stolen bases, 84 walks, 115 strikeouts, .283 avg, .369 obp, .445 slg, .814 ops (+114 vs. league average), 6 outfield assists, 4 errors.
Behind the Numbers:
His final line is somewhat impressive, but it doesn't tell the tale of Abreu's season. He was atrocious in April and May (.208 avg in May), then he caught fire along with the team for the rest of the year. His walk totals are well-below his career average, but I think that has more to do with the best player in the universe batting behind him. It's actually pretty amazing he was able to walk 84 times to set up A-Rod. 16 home runs from your number 3 hitter usually isn't enough, but Abreu's patience and willingness to hit with two strikes fit perfectly between Jeter and A-Rod. His defense is average, at best. There were times when he and Melky Cabrera had communication problems, and it cost the Yanks a game or two, but he makes most of the plays (unless a wall is involved) and covers a decent amount of ground. He's an adequate right fielder in Yankee stadium.
I started with Abreu, because I think this is easiest decision the team has to make. There is no one waiting in the wings to replace him, and there is no one on the free agent market who would provide an upgrade. If Abreu was a free agent, he could command $16 million per year from someone else, so the price doesn't seem outrageous. The Yankees should, and will, bring him back for the final year of his contract. He'll be the number 3 hitter for another year, and then Robinson Cano will probably take over in that slot for the next decade.