Earlier this week, the Philadelphia Phillies decided to sever ties with Bobby Abreu. The 40-year-old Abreu has not played in the major leagues since 2012, and was attempting a comeback with the Phillies, who he of course spent eight-and-a-half seasons with earlier on in his career. Some are now wondering if the Detroit Tigers might be interested in Abreu, as they could currently use an extra left-handed hitting outfielder. However, the Tigers would be very wise to avoid him like the plague.
For starters, the Tigers already have a 37-year-old shortstop in Alex Gonzalez, a 39-year-old closer in Joe Nathan and a soon to be 39-year-old outfielder in Torii Hunter. The Tigers simply do not need another old guy, especially one who has not played in two seasons and has not even been a halfway productive player in four.
Abreu was hitting .244 with zero home runs in Spring Training games at the time of his release, which are essentially the same type of numbers that he was putting up when he was last seen in the big leagues. He does not have the ability to hit for much average or power anymore, and he no longer has the great speed he possessed during his younger days either.
He is also guaranteed to strikeout 100 or more times if played regularly, and there are serious concerns about his defensive abilities as well. Abreu has always had a great eye which is evidenced by his eight seasons with 100 or more walks as well as his .396 career OBP, but that would be about the only thing that he would bring to the table at this point in his career.
Instead of signing a 40-year-old outfielder who would do little but draw the occasional walk, the Tigers would be much better off giving the 23-year-old Tyler Collins a chance to play which they are seemingly planning on doing. Collins may be a little raw at this point, but he at least has the ability to drive the ball. Collins is already standing in scoring position when he is at home plate, as there will always be a chance that he could change the outlook of the game with one heroic swing of the bat. The same cannot be said for Abreu anymore.
The Tigers should also keep an eye on what the Los Angeles Angels decide to do with Brennan Boesch this weekend. If the Angels opt to cut Boesch, he could give the Tigers another option in left field and Detroit would likely welcome his return.
At any rate, Abreu does not make any sense for the Tigers. It would truly be a shock if Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski decides to take a flyer on him.