Angels release 38-year-old OF Abreu
CLEVELAND (AP) The struggling Los Angeles Angels released slumping outfielder Bobby Abreu on Friday night.
The 38-year-old, a two-time All-Star, had been relegated to part-time duty and was batting .208 in 24 at-bats for the last-place Angels (6-14).
Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia said highly regarded outfielder Mike Trout will be called up from Triple-A Salt Lake to replace Abreu on the roster.
Abreu, who is in the last season of a $27 million, three-year contract and is due $9 million this year, was given the news following a 3-2 loss to Cleveland, the Angels' fifth straight defeat.
With the signing of Albert Pujols to play first base, the return of Kendrys Morales from a leg injury and a glut of outfielders, Abreu was pushed into a back-up role for his 17th major league season.
"It was a tough situation," Abreu said. "The way that I was playing I knew I was going to be in my situation. I had to get ready for every opportunity. We talked about that in spring training so it was all good. It was no surprise."
Abreu is a lifetime .293 hitter, with 2,389 hits, 557 doubles, 284 home runs, 1,330 RBIs and 393 stolen bases. He previously played for Houston, Philadelphia and the New York Yankees.
"I don't think this is going to be a cure-all because there are other things we definitely need to come into play," Scioscia said.
Abreu remains confident he can help a big league team.
"Oh yeah. No doubt," he said. "I'm going wait and see what's going to happen. I'm going to keep working and be ready for whatever. I'm going to wait and see who's got the interest in me."
Abreu said he isn't bitter about being released and believes the Angels will soon turn their season around.
"I had a good time here with my teammates," he said. "I really enjoyed being here. This is a business. They have to do what they have to do. You've got no control over this.
"These guys are going to be good. They are having a tough time right now, but they are going to be OK. They're going to start winning some games. Every team goes through a slump, but they know how to get out of it."
During the last week of March, it was rumored that the Angels were close to trading Abreu to the Indians, but the deal didn't materialize.
"I guess there were a few opportunities to be traded and nothing happened," he said. "Let's see what's going to happen now."
Scioscia said he is eager to see if the speedy Trout can give the Angels' lineup a spark.
"This is a young, exciting player who's going to come up and hopefully start to come up," Scioscia said. "He's going to play."
Scioscia said Trout will join the team Saturday in Cleveland. Trout was batting .403 in 20 games at Salt Lake. He batted .220 in 40 games with Los Angeles last season, but in parts of four seasons in the minors is a .342 hitter with 108 stolen bases.
Updated April 27, 2012