I wrote last week there were three teams whose future would be dramatically affected by what happens this offseason. Those three teams were the New York Mets, the St. Louis Cardinals, and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
For the Angels, they are facing an offseason where their core group of players from years past and present were free agents to be. Chone Figgins, John Lackey, Vladimir Guerrero, and Bobby Abreu are all potential free agents.
With that many key free agents, the Angels have to figure out quickly, who is going to be part of their core group in the future.
Yesterday, the Angels made it clear who they want to be part of their core group for 2010 and for the future.
According to Ed Price at AOL Fanhouse, Bobby Abreu re-signed with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim yesterday. The deal is worth $19 million over two years with vesting option for 2012.
This was such a perfect fit for both Abreu and the Angels, that it was good business to get a deal done.
As we all know, Abreu took a discounted deal at $5 million to come to the Angels last year. For that $5 million all he did was hit .293/.390/.435 with 15 homeruns and 30 SB’s.
According to Fangraphs, Abreu’s value to the Angels last year was around $11 million. Thus making Abreu on of the best free agent bargains in baseball last winter.
But Abreu’s value to the Angels went beyond numbers. Abreu taught the Angels hitters how to be patient at the plate. He taught them how to work the count and how to look for their pitch more often.
Thanks to the Angels new found approach, the Angels led baseball with a .285 team batting average. Their team OBP also increased by 20 points from 2008 to 2009 (.330 to .350) thanks to Abreu.
Now the Angels have to figure out how to replace Figgins, Guerrero, and Lackey. Knowing how the Angels operate, I am confident in saying they will figure it out and make the best decision possible.
And one last note about this signing. Yesterday was a good day for Jason Bay and Matt Holliday. With Abreu now out of the way, Bay and Holliday are by far and away the two best hitters on the market.
Abreu’s signing only increases their leverage to teams who are looking for an offensive player.