• The Productivity, Durability & Consistency Of Abreu

    Posted by on January 18th, 2009 · Comments (13)

    Jerry Crasnick wrote this at ESPN.com a month ago, but, I didn’t see it until Friday when my print version of Baseball America showed up in the mail. It’s some interesting stats on Bobby Abreu:

    In any number of categories, Abreu stacks up against players who have been All-Star fixtures, made speeches in Cooperstown and been hailed among the game’s all-time greats:

    This year Abreu joined Barry Bonds and Rickey Henderson as the only players to amass 200 homers and 300 stolen bases while maintaining a .400 on-base percentage.

    Abreu is one of five players with 100 RBIs and 100 runs scored in each of the past two seasons. The others: Chase Utley, Adrian Gonzalez, David Wright and Alex Rodriguez.

    His run of six straight 100-RBI seasons is third-longest among active players behind Rodriguez and Pujols.

    In 2008, Abreu amassed 35 or more doubles for the 10th straight year, tying the record held by Colorado’s Todd Helton. Hall of Famer Tris Speaker is next on the list with nine straight 35-double seasons, and he did his best work during the Woodrow Wilson, Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge administrations.

    Abreu has the longest-running streak of 20-steal seasons in the game, with 10. Jimmy Rollins, Ichiro Suzuki and Juan Pierre are next in line with eight.

    Abreu is currently working on a streak of 11 straight seasons with 150 or more games played. The only big leaguers with longer streaks are Willie Mays, Billy Williams, Pete Rose and Cal Ripken Jr.

    So in the areas of productivity, durability, consistency of performance and popularity in the clubhouse, Abreu has it covered. The only thing left on his agenda is finding a job.

    Back on November 4, 2008, about Abreu, I wrote:

    After auto-piloting an OPS of .781 during the first half, Bobby Abreu went on a salary drive with an OPS of .930 in the second half (for the Yankees in 2008).

    Abreu is no longer the player he was in 2004. But, his production in 2009 should match his rate of the last two years.

    However, he wants a three-year deal this off-season.

    Now that Xavier Nady is in Yankeeland, I don’t see New York giving Abreu three years. Expect Abreu to sign somewhere and bat in the middle of the order…like he did in New York…at least for one more season.

    He very well might sign with the team who wanted Manny Ramirez the most…but just missed getting him as a free agent. And, since, reportedly, Manny may wait until January to sign a deal, Abreu may have to wait a while for his next contract.

    And, I still stand by those comments. Abreu will get a deal for 2009 – somewhere – and be an above-average offensive performer while also being a defensive liability in the field. And, I could see him going to a team like the Dodgers if they don’t re-sign Manny. Or, maybe Abreu goes to a team like the Giants if they don’t, say, trade for Xaiver Nady or Nick Swisher.

    But, under no circumstances do I want to see Abreu return to the Yankees in 2009.

    The Yankees of 2005-2008 were not in the same class as the Yankees of 2001-2004. (And, the Yankees of 2005-2008 were no where near the same class as the Yankees of 1998-2000.) Yankees fans, in the last eleven years (under Brian Cashman) have seen their team go from a World Series winning crew (1998-2000) to a team that wins 100 games a year and then chokes in the post-season (2001-2004) to a team that cannot win 100 games and who gets bounced from the playoffs in the first round and can barely manage a win in October (2005-2008).

    Hey, let’s face it. What’s been going on in Yankeeland the last four years has not been working. It’s time for new blood. The team elected not to make a change at the top this off-season. So, cleaning out the players is the only thing left. Therefore, after watching Bobby Abreu for the last three years in the Bronx, it is time to say good-bye…and move on from there.

    Comments on The Productivity, Durability & Consistency Of Abreu

    1. Raf
      January 18th, 2009 | 2:21 pm

      The Yankees of 2005-2008 were not in the same class as the Yankees of 2001-2004. (And, the Yankees of 2005-2008 were no where near the same class as the Yankees of 1998-2000.)
      ———-
      Looks like fangraphs disagrees with you..

    2. Joseph M
      January 18th, 2009 | 2:26 pm

      This is the blogging equivalent of a grand slam. It’s not Abreu’s fault but what has been out on the field the last few years hasn’t worked. I’m not interested in a short term deal or anything else, it’s time to turn the page. I’d unload Matsui if I were the Yanks. I know the promotional value in Japan but I don’t care. I’m not looking to get anything of value back and I’d be willing to send some dollars along to help cover his salary.

    3. Raf
      January 18th, 2009 | 7:32 pm

      It’s not Abreu’s fault but what has been out on the field the last few years hasn’t worked.
      —–
      Due to injuries. It happens.

    4. BOHAN
      January 18th, 2009 | 10:34 pm

      ankees fans, in the last eleven years (under Brian Cashman) have seen their team go from a World Series winning crew (1998-2000) to a team that wins 100 games a year and then chokes in the post-season (2001-2004) to a team that cannot win 100 games and who gets bounced from the playoffs in the first round and can barely manage a win in October (2005-2008).

      Are you saying that its Cashman’s fault? If you are then your nuts. Cashman is a big reason why they had the dynasty from ’96-’00. If you want to blame it someone when it came to who they signed it was Steinbrenner’s fault. He’s the one that told Cash to go after these big name players. Otherwise i completely agree with this blog. New blood will bring New Dynasty. Mark my words.

    5. January 19th, 2009 | 12:58 am

      […] To Let Go…  /  The Productivity, Durability & Consistency Of Abreu  /  Odds and […]

    6. January 19th, 2009 | 9:31 am

      ~~Cashman is a big reason why they had the dynasty from ‘96-’00.~~

      Brian Cashman became Yankees G.M. on February 28, 1998. And, yes, the Yankees did win rings in 1998, 1999 and 2000. However, when Cashman took over as the head man in charge, the following players were already on the team: Bernie Williams, Mariano Rivera, Paul O’Neill, Derek Jeter, Tino Martinez, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada, Mike Stanton, David Cone, Ramiro Mendoza, David Wells, Joe Girardi, Jeff Nelson, Chad Curtis and Darryl Strawberry.

      This group of Yankees was added to the team by Stick Michael and Bob Watson. It was they, and not Cashman, who built a powerhouse entity (via this cadre of players) who went on to win three rings from 1998 through 2000 – and which benefited Brian Cashman when he took over for Watson in 1998.

    7. butchie22
      January 19th, 2009 | 12:25 pm

      Steve, thanks for adding Stick and Watson’s names on the list, you beat me to the punch. Cash Man did get Knoblauch and had a role, but the heart, soul and foundation of that Dynasty team was Stick and Bob W hands down. From what Stick had said on Mike and the Mad Dog a few years back they weren’t really listening to him anymore. Talk about the inmates running the asylum in the Bronx…….

    8. butchie22
      January 19th, 2009 | 12:37 pm

      One more thing, Abreu is a very consistent and productive player But is he a winning player? A lot of Philly fans chided him when he was in Cheesesteakville, because he was “soft and didn’t like walls”. Well we definitely saw the “I hate walls” part here, no doubt. I wouldn’t mind him on a one year deal, because of his production but nothing beyond that.

    9. Raf
      January 19th, 2009 | 12:39 pm

      However, when Cashman took over as the head man in charge, the following players were already on the team: Bernie Williams, Mariano Rivera, Paul O’Neill, Derek Jeter, Tino Martinez, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada, Mike Stanton, David Cone, Ramiro Mendoza, David Wells, Joe Girardi, Jeff Nelson, Chad Curtis and Darryl Strawberry.
      ——————-
      Yep.

      Pettitte and Rivera choked away the 2001 WS, Rivera choked away the 2004 ALCS, Big game pitcher Wells was reacquired and got shelled in 2002 and his back gave out in 2003.

      I’d have a hard time believing that all these players, along with guys like Kevin Brown, Gary Sheffield and co that played on WS winning teams, all of a sudden forgot how to win.

      And they need to trade Wang, that f’n bum. Got shelled in the 07 ALDS. Joba too, because he can’t pitch around bugs. Posada too, because he can’t play defense.

    10. January 19th, 2009 | 3:38 pm

      ~~Pettitte and Rivera choked away the 2001 WS, Rivera choked away the 2004 ALCS, Big game pitcher Wells was reacquired and got shelled in 2002 and his back gave out in 2003.~~

      I’ll give you Pettitte and Mo in 2001. Rivera in 2004? What, no Gordon or Quantrill, or Brown or Vazquez, all Cashman players? If those guys didn’t suck in ’04, then Mo’s off the hook. Wells in ’03? Wasn’t it Cashman who brought him back – or, at the least, allowed it to happen by not having other starters where Big Stein would then have no place to put Wells? How about Weaver in the WS? Didn’t Cashman trade for him?

    11. Raf
      January 19th, 2009 | 7:47 pm

      Rivera in 2004? What, no Gordon or Quantrill, or Brown or Vazquez, all Cashman players?
      ——-
      Rivera was handed leads in gms 4 & 5, and gave them both up. Mo was supposed to do a job, and he didn’t do it. I mean, he’s a champion, he knows what it takes to win, right? So what happened?

      Wells in ‘03? Wasn’t it Cashman who brought him back – or, at the least, allowed it to happen by not having other starters where Big Stein would then have no place to put Wells?
      ——–
      Wells went 15-7 in 2003, tossing 200+ innings. He did the same in 2002, going 19-7, I don’t think anyone had a problem with that. Up to game 5, he had already pitched through the ALDS & ALCS without incident.

      Why would you bump Wells from the rotation?

      Other starters?
      Mussina-Pettitte-Clemens-Wells-Weaver, with Contreras having started a handful of games in 2003.

      In the postseason, who gets a start before Moose, Pettitte-Clemens-Wells?

    12. January 19th, 2009 | 10:20 pm

      ~~Why would you bump Wells from the rotation?~~

      What I was saying…

      You blame Wells for losing the 2003 WS. I say that Cashman is the reason why he was on the team – one way or another. Either Cashman brought him back, or, if it was Stein who brought him back, then it’s Cashman’s fault that there was an opening in the rotation where Stein could plug Wells after he signed him.

      So, if you want to blame Wells for losing the 2003 WS, then blame Cashman for Wells being on the team…that’s all.

    13. Raf
      January 19th, 2009 | 11:36 pm

      The point was that there are a bunch of totally random events in the postseason. I’m not assigning blame to anyone. Much of what I wrote was written glibly, as I don’t see the Yankees punting Rivera, Posada, Chamberlain, Wang, etc, etc. But imagine if the Yanks punted Rivera after the 97 (OMG HE TeH SUKK, WE WANT WETTELAND!!11!!!1), 01 or 04 postseasons. Punting Pettitte after the 01 season. It doesn’t make sense. Any player’s worth comes during the regular season. Anyone can get hot during the postseason, there are years of evidence to that fact. Ricky Ledee (.243 career) is NOT a .600 hitter (1998 WS), Billy Hatcher (.264 career) is NOT a .750 hitter (1990 WS), and anyone who builds a team around what a player can do in the postseason, is setting themselves up for disappointment.

      You’re missing the point, contorting yourself to blame Cashman. Wells was doing fine during the 2003 season and postseason, right up until game 5. Wells was a good acquisition the both times he was a Yankee. I’d sign him again. Whether there was a hole in the rotation or not is irrelevant, as the organization has shown that they will sign a pitcher no matter how many arms are on the staff. It happened with Irabu, it happened with Duque, it happened with Contreras, it happened with Weaver, Neagle, etc, etc, etc.

      Back to the point about the playoffs, if you tell me in 2001 that the Yanks are up 3-2, going to AZ with Pettitte and Clemens in the hole, if you tell me that in game 7 of the 2001 WS that Rivera’s on the mound, in the 9th with a lead, I’d say there’s a very good chance the Yanks would win.

      If you tell me in 2004 that the Yanks are up 3-0 with Duque-Mussina-Lieber-Brown in the pipeline, I’d say there’s a very good chance the Yanks would win. Hell, you tell me Rivera’s on the mound in the 9th 3 outs away from advancing to the WS, I’d say there’s a very good chance the Yanks would win.

      Jeff Weaver threw one good inning against tougher hitters than the one he faced in Alex Gonzalez. Even so, the series is tied @ 2 with Wells-Pettitte-Mussina in the pipeline. I like the Yanks’ chances.

      Same with any other season. What are the odds that Wang sucks two starts in a row? How many blocked pitches has Posada blocked? It just so happens he failed twice in a crucial situation. Yes, the same Jorge Posada who was on the “Dynasty Yankees;” did he forget how to block a pitch?

      It doesn’t make sense.

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