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Bobby Abreu accepts Dodgers’ assignment to Triple-A

Aug 9, 2012, 5:17 PM EDT

Bobby Abreu AP

Bobby Abreu is staying in the Dodgers organization after being designated for assignment last week, as Jerry Crasnick of reports that the veteran outfielder cleared waivers and has accepted an assignment to Triple-A.

Abreu was let go when the Dodgers acquired Shane Victorino from the Phillies to play left field and according to Crasnick he chose to stick around at Triple-A because of a likely September call-up to Los Angeles.

He came back down to earth following a fast start for the Dodgers and was also let go by the Angels earlier this season, but even at age 38 a .347 on-base percentage makes Abreu a potentially useful bench bat.

  1. dodger88 - Aug 9, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    Apparently Tony Gwynn, Jr has also accepted his AAA assignment.

  2. braddavery - Aug 9, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    I will never understand how players like Abreu, who even at a fraction of their former selves, are better than a ton of players currently on ML rosters, are unable to get and keep jobs in MLB. Is it because they still want to make good money and refuse to accept a low-paying wage?

    • mrfloydpink - Aug 9, 2012 at 5:46 PM

      Abreu has a fWAR of 0.1 and a bWAR of -0.4. So he’s pretty much, by definition, NOT better than a ton of players on current rosters. And in any case, how much money he wants is not an issue this season–the Dodgers (and 28 other teams who took a pass) only pay league minimum. The Angels are on the hook for the rest.

      • braddavery - Aug 9, 2012 at 5:56 PM

        WAR is an accumulative statistic. So of course, with only 209 plate appearances in 70 games with the Dodgers, his WAR will be low. He still was able to hit .251 with a .359 OBP in limited playing time. There are players currently starting in the Majors who are FAR less valuable hitters than Abreu. All I’m saying is, it’s crazy that a player like Abreu can’t find a team to play with and stick with substantial playing time. I mean, there are only 5 DHs currently in baseball with a higher OBP than Abreu’s .359.

      • mrfloydpink - Aug 9, 2012 at 7:05 PM

        You’re right that WAR is cumulative, but it’s not geometric. That is to say, if you want to estimate Abreu’s value if he had double the plate appearances, you just double his WAR. So, at his current rate, if he’d been given regular playing time (say 430 plate appearances), he’d have something like an fWAR of 0.2 and a bWAR of -0.8. Even if you argue that he’d be more consistent with more regular playing time, and you round those up a bit, it’s hard to see how he could possibly be worth more than half a win.

        The answer you’re looking for–why Abreu doesn’t get a regular, major league gig–is ultimately pretty easy to answer. Yes, his OBP is decent. But as much a believer in sabermetrics as I am, OBP isn’t everything. And as other have pointed out, it’s a pretty empty OBP. He has no speed, no pop, and no ability to play defense. Which translates into a crappy WAR, and also an OPS of .700. That’s shortstop territory, not regular DH territory.

        If nothing else, the fact that no ML team sees value in Abreu is indicated by two things:

        1. He was demoted by the DODGERS. This is a team that’s been using Tony Gwynn, Jr. all year.

        2. He accepted assignment to Triple A. If there had been a SNIFF from some other team, he would have asked for his release.

  3. taxed00 - Aug 9, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    That’s great about his OBP being higher than most DHs, can you tell me how many DHs have a higher OBP than SLG%?

  4. Ick McWang - Aug 9, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    His OBP may be high but generally teams sign a DH to mash, not to get on base with shallow outfield singles. A DH is supposed to hit for a OPS over .800, and he hasn’t touched that since ’09 and is currently sitting on .700 with the Dodgers. Factor in his paltry .593 in the beginning of the year with the Angels, and he is basically Jose Lopez this year, but 10 years older. And Lopez was just released 2 days ago.

    • braddavery - Aug 9, 2012 at 6:39 PM

      He also hasn’t had much regular playing time. That certainly affects his ability to get consistent. I’m not saying he’s amazing. My point is he isn’t all that bad and just needs a chance to play more. He’s isn’t “out of baseball” bad.

      • jrbdmb - Aug 9, 2012 at 8:18 PM

        29 other MLB teams beg to differ, or as said above Abreu would not have accepted the demotion to AAA. Also it seems as though most teams prefer a younger player with upside over a declining veteran for those last few spots on the roster.

      • braddavery - Aug 9, 2012 at 8:51 PM

        Clearly you are taking what I’m saying as meaning more than what was said.

  5. xmatt0926x - Aug 9, 2012 at 10:25 PM

    He must really really want to stay in the game. Here’s a guy that some think is a borderline Hall of Fame candidate, 15 or so years in the bigs, and he’s taking a demotion to triple-A? Wow.

  6. randygnyc - Aug 10, 2012 at 12:30 AM

    He’ll be back in a few weeks when the rosters expand.

  7. djm426 - Aug 10, 2012 at 6:48 AM

    As a phillies fan I can tell u y nobody wants abreu…he puts up the most empty numbers in history,n will hurt your clubhouse

  8. delawarephilliesfan - Aug 10, 2012 at 9:13 AM

    As a Phillies fan, I will say that is ridiculous.

    The 1999 Abreu had a little attitude (but just a little), ever since he has always been popular with teammates.

    Granted, everyone meets their sunset soem day, and perhaps he now has. But Abreu’s run with the Phillies was Power, Average, Speed, Defense and Nice Guy. I don’t know what team you were following

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