28-year old Tony Abreu first arrived to the big leagues in 2007 as a fresh-faced, 22-year old undrafted free agent out of the Dominican Republic. Since then, he has only appeared in 168 games for three different organizations, largely serving as a depth piece in the minors.
He would probably be an long shot to make any major league roster in 2013, which is to say that he might just do so with the San Francisco Giants in next season.
The team picked Abreu up off waivers today, looking to add to an infield mix in Spring Training that will see the former Royal compete for a bench role. There will be middle-infield prospects in competition with Abreu, like Ehire Adrianza and Nick Noonan – two 23-year olds who could very well represent the team’s middle-infield one day.
But it likely won’t be in 2013. The former is expected to get his first taste of AAA next season, while the latter is still trying to figure out his path to the majors with the Giants with Marco Scutaro in front of him, and won’t necessarily benefit from sitting on the bench as opposed to getting regular at-bats in the minors.
That’s where Abreu comes in. He’s neither young nor a prospect, but he does have major league experience filling in at second, short, and third base. With only Joaquin Arias backing up Brandon Crawford and Scutaro right now, Abreu provides the kind of on-field versatility and switch-hitting bat off the bench that seems to fit right into the Giants’ M.O. of building championship squads with role players.
Besides, his .293/.333/.439 triple-slash against RHP in 45 PA last year means that he might not be a total loss at the plate either. Consider Abreu an underdog in Spring Training – but not so different from the type that the Giants have filled out their rosters with before.