Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Is Bobby Abreu A Keeper?

Bobby Abreu is a guy that we often think of as benefiting greatly from his presence in one of the strongest lineups in baseball as a member of the New York Yankees. With him likely not returning to the Yankees next season, does he retain his keeper value? There's actually a good amount of data on this, and the decision should be easier than you may realize.

Abreu was a 20-100-100-20 player last year (almost exactly), and hit .296. The previous season he had similar stats, with 16 HRs and 123 runs. The year before, again, very similar, with 15 HR and 30 SB. He's a career .300 hitter who has played in at least 150 games every season since he arrived in Philadelphia in 1998. He's as safe a bet for 15-100-100-15 as there is outside of the first round guys (A-Rod, Wright, Utley), and is a rare legitimate five-category producer.

Another bit of good news is that, being a productive veteran, he's going to command a substantial contract. That means he's most likely going to end up somewhere that's got a good lineup in place. It might not be "Yankee good," but he's not going to be hurting for protection or guys getting on base in front of him. The recent talk has been about the Rays; I'd definitely like him hitting behind Upton and in front of Longoria. If he doesn't end up in Tampa, he'll end up somewhere else with a team that's willing to spend money on a guy who will produce now, so most likely a team that's got the pieces in place to keep Abreu productive.

He's 34 years old, which might scare off some owners, but if you're at all planning on competing in the 2009 MLB season, you've got to hold on to Abreu. And if you're not, you need to put Abreu on the market. He deserves to be kept in medium-depth keeper leagues (6+ keepers per team).

2009 projected stats: .300, 110 R, 15 HR, 100 RBI, 20 SB

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