With names as diverse as Ryan Madson, Curt Schilling, Brad Lidge, Dan Plesac, Ricky Botallico, Doug Glanville, Mickey Morandini, Chris Coste, Kevin Stocker, John Kruk and Mitch Williams all being connected to the Phillies this off-season, one has to wonder if yesteryear is once more?
Of course, Madson is the only active player among the last paragraph's list who is actually being considered as a potential major league roster addition. The other names have simply been mentioned as potential candidates to fill an open broadcasting slot, due to recent telecast changes that were made as a result of the new Comcast cable deal.
Abreu, who will turn 40 in March, was originally selected by the Houston Astros in the 1990 amateur draft. The Tampa Bay (then Devil Rays) Rays took picked Abreu in the 1997 expansion draft and then immediately dealt him to the Phillies for Stocker.
Number 53 played eight-plus solid years in Philadelphia before Pat Gillick dealt him to the New York Yankees on July 30, 2006. That stated “payroll flexibility” was part of an ongoing roster revamp that ended with Lidge striking out Rays' Eric Hinske on October 29, 2008.
Abreu hasn't played in the majors since 2012. His encouraging offensive efforts for Leones del Caracas in the Venezuelan Winter League can't be considered definitive proof that the 17-year veteran will be able to make an effective return to the North American baseball scene in 2014. But, it's reasonable to believe that a spring training opportunity might be offered by more than one team.
The possibility for an Abreu reunion is reasonable because of general manager Ruben Amaro, Junior's known desire to add a left-handed bench bat.