Thoughts on Bobby Abreu, Marlon Byrd Back With Philadelphia Phillies

Photo Courtesy – Rich Pilling (Getty Images)

Out of all the offseason moves the Philadelphia Phillies are making this year, two that seem to be attracting a lot of attention involve Marlon Byrd and Bobby Abreu.

On November 12th, the Phillies and Byrd agreed to a two-year, $16M deal. Although many people are questioning why the Phillies signed Byrd, this move may prove beneficial if Byrd can manage to stay healthy. Last season, Byrd put up career numbers hitting .291/.336/.511 with 24 homers and 88 RBI for the New York Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates.  If he can manage to duplicate last season, or at least put up numbers close to these, it will pay off for the Phillies.

Yes, $16 million seems like a lot of money for a 36-year old that got caught using performance-enhancing drugs a couple years back, but that amount isn’t even close to what Nelson Cruz would have wanted. If worst comes to worst and Byrd is a bust, the Phillies are only stuck with him for two years. The amount of money they are saving gives the Phillies more room to work with when it comes to closing deals with other players. Byrd is scheduled to start in right field.

The second move that Ruben Amaro, Jr. made was signing Abreu to a non-guaranteed minor league deal for $800,000.

The Phillies desperately needed a left-hand bat off the bench and they hope that Abreu can fill this void. Assuming that he hits the ball well in spring training, he should be on the roster for the Phillies this season. Also, the fans will not have to worry so much about Abreu’s lackadaisical play in the field. Abreu should not expect to see much playing time in the field as he was signed for his work at the plate.

One thing that he is known for around the league is his excellent patience at the plate. He is good at working the count and getting pitchers to throw a lot of pitches to him. This could be especially crucial in the late innings of a close game.

However, how well can someone hit after being out of baseball for a whole year? This, along with many other questions can only be answered in one way, and that is to wait and see.


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