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Scioscia says he doesn't believe Bobby Abreu will be a distraction

February 22, 2012|By Mike DiGiovanna
  • Bobby Abreu celebrates his 1,300th career RBI back in July.
Bobby Abreu celebrates his 1,300th career RBI back in July. (Jeff Gross / Getty Images )

Reporting from Tempe, Ariz. — Angels Manager Mike Scioscia says he does not believe that Bobby Abreu will be a distraction in training camp after the veteran outfielder told an ESPNdeportes.com reporter that he would prefer to be traded if he doesn't have an everyday role.

"You don't get too many guys any more professional than Bobby, so I don't anticipate that being an issue," Scioscia said before Wednesday's workout, a day after Abreu made his comment. "I think if there are some issues, I'm sure that his agent will work through them with Jerry [Dipoto, Angels general manager]. Bobby's here, and he's going to help us win games, and that's what we're looking forward to."

The Angels can't guarantee Abreu a starting job, and they would prefer to keep him as insurance for the designated hitter spot in case Kendrys Morales doesn't return from a broken left ankle and Mark Trumbo has a setback in his return from a stress fracture in his right foot.

Abreu's age -- he'll be 38 in March -- his $9-million salary and declining skills will make it very difficult to trade him. Though he was among baseball's best all-around players for a decade, Abreu hit .253 with eight homers and 60 runs batted in last season and slumped badly in the second half, when he hit .215, including .179 in July and .200 in August.

With Torii Hunter, Peter Bourjos and Vernon Wells set in the outfield, Albert Pujols at first base and Morales and Trumbo likely to pick up many of the DH at-bats, Abreu's playing time could be squeezed considerably this season.

"Bobby wants to play every day, and he expressed that to me," Scioscia said. "I think what Bobby fears is that he's going to be a bench player and play once a week. I think there’s a range between playing once a week and playing seven days a week that I can definitely see Bobby playing."

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