There are always second chances in life, and in what seems to be the biggest surprise of the Phillies offseason, a second chance has been given to former Phillies All-Star Bobby Abreu. Abreu, who turns 40 this year, signed a minor league deal with the Phillies that gives him an invite to spring training and a chance to possibly make the club this season. The deal is worth $800,000 if Abreu make the opening day roster.
Of course, the news of this signing was met with an uproar by Phillies fans. Bobby Abreu never was liked by the Philly faithful. His cavalier way of playing the game and his often ridiculed lack of hustle are not things Philadelphia fans take lightly. But the biggest argument against this signing is the Phillies continue to make themselves older by signing another aging piece of the past.
A youth movement has been in the cards for Philadelphia for a few years now, yet the Phillies have continued to re-sign players such as Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Carlos Ruiz to contract extensions, as well as sign aging free agents Marlon Byrd and now Abreu.
Bobby Abreu has always been a good hitter. He could bring some plate discipline to a team in desperate need of it. His performance in the Venezuelan League gained the attention of many MLB teams, but Abreu chose to re-sign with his old club.
I’ve never been a fan of Bobby Abreu defensively, but if he can somehow bring some pop to the Phillies outfield, I do not see the move being a horrible one. The contract is only for $800,000, and Abreu could outplay such a low number. Realistically, I do not expect him to make the roster. I see this more as an example of an old employer bringing an aging guy in with hopes it might catch lighting in a bottle. Still, it’s sad to think the deal that will be talked about most for the Phillies this season is a contract that was offered to a player who didn’t even play in 2013.