In dire need of OBP, the Angels have added a reliable left-handed bat in the form of a player who still, especially given his age (35), runs the bases fairly well.
Offensively, Abreu fits the Angels well. Defensively, well, let’s just hope that he’s a full-time DH (or as close to it as is practical); he’s brutal in the field.
One concern about Abreu is power. His power numbers have been on the decline in recent seasons, despite his playing in Yankee Stadium, a park which traditionally gives left-handed power hitters a home-run advantage.
Abreu is likely to get on base at an impressive clip (though his 2008 OBP of .371 was much lower than his career .405), but it’s hard to imagine Angel Stadium’s notorious “marine layer” allowing him to produce as many home runs for the Angels in 2009 as he did for the Yankees in 2008 (20).
Still, even a slightly declining Abreu, entering his age 35 season, will almost assuredly improve the Angels’ offense.
It’s hard to believe that the market for corner outfielders has fallen this far, but it’s also very likely that Abreu has chosen the Angels over the Mariners, for example, because he believes his chances of going deeper into the postseason are greater with the Halos.
We hope that Garret gets a proper tribute when he returns to the Big A; he’s earned it. He’s a class act and a legendary Angel regardless of what the new generation of Angel fan tends to think.