Scioscia doesn't envision Abreu as 'bench player'
Speaking a day after Abreu said in a statement to ESPNdeportes that the Angels should trade him if he is going to spend most of his time on the bench this season, Scioscia spoke highly of the outfielder who will turn 38 on March 11, but stopped short of saying he will play every day.
"I don't think Bobby's going to be anything but a player who wants to come out here and wants to help us win," Scioscia said Wednesday. "Bobby and I have always spoken very candidly. He's a professional. I don't think there are many guys any more professional than Bobby."
"I'm an everyday player, and can be in the lineup for a big league team," Abreu told ESPNdeportes.com Tuesday. "I'm not going to be on the bench knowing I can play. If the Angels don't have a set position for me, then the best thing they can do is trade me. It'd be the right thing to do. I'm not going to do anything sitting on the bench."
Abreu hit.253 last year, his lowest average over a full season and only two points below his 2010 average. His on-base percentage was a respectable .353 last season, but well below his career OBP of .397 and his .390 OBP during a strong 2009 season, his first with the Angels.
Abreu also hit only eight homers with 60 RBIs last year, a steep dropoff from 2010 when he had 20 homers and 78 RBIs.
Scioscia insisted that there will be plenty of playing time for Abreu.
"I certainly don't see him as a bench player, but I definitely see him as getting value in playing time," Scioscia said. "How much it's going to be ... there are a lot of guys competing for at-bats, we know that. I don't think Bobby would be valuable playing him once or twice a week. We would have to play him more than that and there are certainly ways to get a lot of guys into the lineup to where they're contributing.
"I think what Bobby's fear is that he's going to become a bench player that's going to play once a week. I think there's a range in there between playing once a week and between playing seven days a week that I can definitely see a role in Bobby's playing."
It's been reported that there is not a lot of interest for Abreu because of his contract that will pay him $9 million this season. Any deal involving Abreu would likely involve the Angels paying part of his contract or taking a bad contract back in return.
On Wednesday, Scioscia pointed to Abreu's second-half struggles last season. After a solid June in which he hit .325, Abreu hit .179 in July and .200 in August.
"If you're referring to Bobby's case, you're not about whether a guy's production diminishes or not, you have to look at what the guy can do." Scioscia said. " Bobby's still is a very, very productive player in some important areas. He still gives you a terrific at-bat up there.
"If there are issues, his agent is going to work through them with [Angels General Manager Jerry Dipoto]," Scioscia said. "Bobby's here and he's going to help us win games."
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