Recent speculation turned into reality when the Philadelphia Phillies inked Bobby Abreu to a minor league contract today. The agreement will be worth $800,000 if he makes the club out of spring training.
Number 53 left Philadelphia involuntarily, via a July 30, 2006 trade with the New York Yankees. At the time general manager Pat Gillick moved the two-time All-Star (2004, 2005) right fielder in order to give himself payroll flexibility. Abreu was scheduled to continue earning over eight figures at the time and wasn't seen as being the right fit for Gillick's roster revamp plans.
Abreu hasn't played in the major leagues since 2012. The soon-to-be 40-year-old (March 11) first appeared in the major leagues in 1996 with the Houston Astros. The owner of an .873 OPS has earned a combined total of $124.3 million in his 17-year major league career.
His currently encouraging offensive efforts for Leones del Caracas in the Venezuelan Winter League have obviously inspired confidence among the Phillies' top brass. Amaro and his advisers, which include Gillick, must collectively believe that Abreu has enough remaining left-handed bat speed to potentially serve as a veteran bench man.
Abreu has generated 1,474 of his 2,437 career major league hits in red pinstripes. If all goes well, the Venezuelan native might have at least one more productive season (albeit in a part-time role) left at the plate.