On the surface, it was a questionable move when the New York Mets first signed outfielder Bobby Abreu to a minor league contract. After all, he’s 40 years old, and even if he can still hit in the big leagues, he’d be better suited to play in the American League where he can be a designated hitter and not be a defensive liability. But the Mets promoting Abreu is the right move for the team to make at this point in time.
The Mets signed Abreu at the recommendation of hitting coach Dave Hudgens, who managed Abreu this winter in Venezuela, and Abreu proved during his time with the Mets’ triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas that he can still hit. In 15 games, Abreu hit .395 with four doubles, one home run and nine RBIs all while walking more times than he struck out.
Abreu has a clause in his contract that allows him to opt out if he’s not in the big leagues by the end of April, and there was no way the Mets could allow someone hitting close to .400 in triple-A to just walk away from their organization. So promoting Abreu and giving him a chance in the big leagues was inevitable, and there’s no sense in letting Abreu waste quality at bats in the minors when he could be taking those at bats at Citi Field. After trading away Ike Davis, the Mets have an opening on their bench for a lefty with some pop, which means that now if the perfect time to bring up Abreu.
Even in his old age, Abreu still has some power in his bat, not to mention the patience and plate discipline that the Mets covet, making him a perfect fit for the team. Furthermore, with a relatively young roster, having a veteran like Abreu in the clubhouse can’t hurt.
Other than optioning Andrew Brown to triple-A, the Mets lose nothing by promoting Abreu and giving him a chance. If it doesn’t work out, it’s a quick fix and the Mets can quickly move on without him. But considering the state of the Mets’ offense, they could use all the help they can get and need to try anything with a chance of working.