Angels outfielder Bobby Abreu has an attitude of gratitude
Abreu was not a real happy camper last spring. After hitting .296 with 20 home runs and 100 runs batted in for the New York Yankees in 2008, Abreu, who turns 36 in March, went into free agency hoping for a four-year deal in the $50-million range.
The market, though, has not been kind to aging veterans. Abreu wound up signing a one-year, $5-million deal with the Angels just a few days before the start of spring training, but he used what he felt was a snub as motivation, hitting .293 with a .390 on-base percentage, 15 homers, 103 RBIs and 96 runs to help lead the Angels to the American League championship series.
Abreu's reward? He signed a two-year, $19-million deal with the Angels the day after the World Series ended last November. The contract includes a $9-million option for 2012 that vests with 550 plate appearances in 2011 or a combined 1,100 plate appearances in 2010 and 2011.
"Last year was a tough off-season, it was a long off-season," Abreu said. "This spring is different. I have a two-year contract. I'm happy for the opportunity with a team that really appreciates what you do. This spring, I have a different mentality. I'm ready to play.
"Last year I had a lot of thoughts in my mind because I didn't have a contract. I was sitting at home all winter waiting for the phone to ring. Sometimes it didn't ring. This off-season, the phone rang a lot."
-- Mike DiGiovanna
Photo: Bobby Abreu. Credit: Ben Margot / Associated Press