Conventional wisdom says the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have a log jam of outfielders/designated hitters on the roster and that someone needs to go. For starters, Vernon Wells is not going to be a candidate to be moved. Torii Hunter; the heart and soul of the team, now settled in right-field is also staying. Lest we forget the addition of superstar Albert Pujols to the lineup.
The Angels could move young outfielders Mike Trout, Peter Bourjos or even first baseman Mark Trumbo, but that would likely be a mistake unless a young franchise-type third baseman came in return.
This leaves us with Bobby Abreu. Obviously the one who is on the outside looking in. Mark Trumbo is settled in at first (and will see time at third). Peter Bourjos reported that Kendrys Morales looks "very impressive" taking swings in Tempe, AZ.
While Abreu did have a down season in 2011, there are questions coming into camp that could put Abreu back in the starting lineup.
Health - Mark Trumbo did finish the season with a stress fracture in his right foot. Plus we see what happens when you try to count on Kendrys Morales' return.
Contracts - Abreu is due $9mm in 2012. His contract will be hard to move. On the flip side, Mike Trout's Major League clock has started. It makes sense for the Angels to start the season with Trout in the minors. This would make Trout a "Super Two" arbitration player, giving the Halos an extra year of service time from their future star.
For Angels General Manager Jerry Dipoto moving Abreu for a reliever makes a lot of sense; but if he is true to his word that on-base percentage will be a bigger focus. Abreu should stay.
Off the bench, especially in the post-season Abreu could be a useful weapon for Mike Scioscia. His on-base skills have not diminished, Abreu also rang up 30 doubles with 21 steals.
A thin bench is not something your want from a "championship caliber" ball club. Depth is what helped give the Angels their first World Series title ten years ago. Jerry Dipoto should keep Abreu and provide Mike Scioscia with the same luxury he had in 2002.