I'm usually the guy defending Bobby Abreu.
As was reported in today's Sun, the Phillies are willing to accept Rodrigo Lopez and a mid-level prospect for either Abreu or Pat Burrell.
As a Phillies fan, Abreu is a guy who fans have been divided on for years. As the trade deadline approaches, it looks like general managers are the same way.
He puts up great numbers every year (batting .287 with a .439 OBP and 61 RBIs this season) even though his power numbers have gone down considerably (8 homers). Year in and year out, he is among the league leaders in walks, and he sees more pitches than almost any batter in the league.
On the flip side, Abreu has the reputation among fans as a guy who never gets the big hit, but that is sometimes more Philly fans being Philly fans than reality. He is batting .333 with runners in scoring position and .323 with runners in scoring position and two outs. However, in the late innings of close games, Abreu is hitting .216. From a fantasy standpoint, Abreu is one of the best in the league as he has 20 stolen bases to go along with the numbers I mentioned earlier.
Then there's his defense. He has to be the worst defensive player to ever have won a Gold Glove. While Abreu has a good arm, the rest of his repertoire is questionable. Fans have gotten on him for not diving for balls, and he often approaches the wall as if it were made of some toxic substance. That is one of the reasons Aaron Rowand got such a warm reception from fans when he slammed his face into the fence earlier this season. It was something they weren't used to seeing. If you're one of the fans who rides Miguel Tejada for not running full speed on ground balls, you might want to hold off on purchasing your Abreu jersey when and if this deal goes down.
Overall, the trade would be a steal for the O's. ESPN.com's Jayson Stark released stats for the period between the 2005 All-Star break and the 2006 All-Star break. Guess which American League pitcher has compiled the most losses and given up the most hits over that time? That's right. Rodrigo Lopez. For the Orioles to get Abreu for an average starting pitcher and a mid-level prospect would be outrageous. I know the Phillies are trying to dump salary, but somehow I don't think that is the type of move that is going to get fans back in the seats.
As for Burrell, he is a frustrating fantasy player. He looks like an All-Star one week and looks like he just got called up from Triple-A the next. His numbers this season are very respectable: .262 with 20 homers and 64 RBIs. I had him on my team earlier this season but got rid of him because he was too inconsistent. Burrell is batting .240 with runners in scoring position and .122 with two outs and runners in scoring position. He is also below average defensively.
The bottom line is if salaries didn't matter, this deal would be a good one for the O's. They would be filling a hole in the outfield and giving up an average pitcher. Don't Orioles fans want to see the young hurlers in the rotation anyway? You tell me.