It’s one thing to be fired by the people you work for, and it’s quite another thing to give them a date to decide, but that’s what Bobby Abreu did when he signed a contract with the Philadelphia Phillies in January.
At that time, the two parties agreed to March 26 as the date the Phillies needed to decide Abreu’s fate. Perhaps seeing the handwriting on the wall, Abreu allowed the team to extend that date to March 30. Abreu was right the first time. The Phillies should say goodbye to him, the sooner the better. Maybe Wednesday would be a good day for that. Had Abreu knocked their socks off and the tore the cover off a baseball or two, he would have made the decision a hard one.
As it is, it’s really easy. Abreu has a couple of things working against him. He’s 40 and the team already is the oldest in baseball. He doesn’t play the outfield particularly well, and there’s really no place for a team in the NL to hide someone who can only be a late-inning pinch hitter.
All that said, Abreu has a .257 average this spring. Even in his earlier time with the Phillies, he has shown an aversion to the outfield wall, not a good trait for a defensive replacement. Tony Gwynn Jr. is 13 years younger with a .324 average this spring, and he should be the extra outfielder, not Abreu.
That much is pretty clear right now. Waiting around a few extra days to break the bad news to Abreu appears pointless.