LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Los Angeles Angels upgraded an offense
that had trouble scoring runs last season, agreeing to a one-year
contract with right-fielder Bobby Abreu on Wednesday.
Abreu will make a base salary of $5 million with a chance to push it above $6 million based on incentives, according to several media outlets. The AL West champions were expected to announce the
deal Thursday, pending Abreu's passing a physical Wednesday.
The 13-year veteran made $16 million with the New York Yankees
last season and was reportedly seeking a three-year, $48 million
deal as a free agent.
The 34-year-old Abreu, who batted .296 with 100 RBIs and 20 homers last season, joins Torii Hunter, Vladimir Guerrero, Juan Rivera and Gary Matthews Jr. in an outfield-designated hitter rotation. Rivera signed a $12.75 million, three-year deal in December. Matthews, in the third year of a five-year, $50 million contract, had offseason knee surgery after seeing his playing time cut in 2008.
With a .405 career on-base percentage and an ability to work deep counts, Abreu offers the Angels a patient left-handed hitter to bat ahead of righty Guerrero in a lineup that was 10th in runs scored in the American League last year. This season, he joined Barry Bonds and Rickey Henderson as the only players with 200 career homers, 300 steals and a .400 on-base average.
Abreu, who has a career .300 batting average with the Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies and Yankees, has stolen at least 20 bases in each of the last 10 seasons.
Abreu's value on the market was likely hurt by a crowded veteran
free-agent list that includes Manny Ramirez, Ken Griffey Jr., Jim
Edmonds and Adam Dunn, who reportedly agreed to a two-year deal
with the Washington Nationals on Wednesday.
Abreu's signing means Garret Anderson, who spent his entire 15-year career with the Angels, will likely not be re-signed.
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