In an effort to boost the team's offense, the Los Angeles Dodgers have signed veteran outfielder Bobby Abreu to a one-year contract.
At this stage of his career, Abreu, 38, is best utilized as a Designated Hitter. However, because the DH is not an option in the National League, General Manager Ned Colletti envisions a different role for the Dodgers' latest acquisition.
“Bobby has consistently performed throughout his career and brings his winning experience to the clubhouse,” said Colletti. “He gives us a left-handed bat off the bench and will also see time in the outfield. He has been a very good hitter throughout his career, he knows how to work a count and has been a run producer.”
Indeed, Abreu's benefits to the club figure to be twofold. First, Abreu brings a veteran stick with power off the bench, and should get an occasional spot start now and then. On those days when he starts, Abreu will provide some much-needed protection to Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier.
Second, Abreu's patient approach at the plate could be something the team's young players might learn and incorporate into their own games. During his stint with the Angels, Abreu's willingness to take pitches rubbed off on the rest of the team, leading to increased offensive production.
Abreu has a .293 career batting average with 557 doubles, 284 home runs, and 1,330 RBI in 2,255 games in 17 Major League seasons with the Astros (1996-97), Phillies (1998-2006), Yankees (2006-08), and Angels (2009-12).
Abreu is one of just four players in MLB history with more than 500 doubles, 250 home runs, and 350 steals, joining Barry Bonds, Rickey Henderson and Craig Biggio.
The two-time All-Star, Gold Glove Award recipient (2005), and Silver Slugger honoree (2004), ranks among the active leaders in games played (7th), runs scored (7th), hits (7th), walks (3rd), doubles (2nd), extra-base hits (6th), steals (6th), and on-base percentage (.397, 9th).
Moreover, Abreu has been quite durable, as he has not been on the disabled list since 1997.
Abreu was let go earlier this season by the Los Angeles Angels on April 30, after batting .208 (5-for-24) with three doubles and five RBI in eight games.
In addition to signing Abreu, the Dodgers optioned infielder Justin Sellers to Triple-A Albuquerque.
By Staff of The Daily Sports Herald and news services