02/22/12 1:30 PM EST
Scioscia responds to Abreu's trade demand
But in reacting to Abreu's public comments on Wednesday morning, Scioscia expressed his belief in two things ...
1. He can establish some sort of middle ground with Abreu, where maybe he isn't playing every day, but isn't rotting on the bench, either.
2. Comments aside, Abreu won't be any sort of a distraction when he arrives to the club's Spring Training facility on Sunday.
"I don't think Bobby is going to be anything but a player who wants to come out here and wants to help us win," Scioscia said. "How much playing time he gets, we don't have a crystal ball. We certainly have more depth now than we've had in a long time. But I don't think Bobby would be valuable playing once or twice a week. He would have to play more than that. But there's certainly ways to get a lot of guys in the lineup to where they're contributing."
The outfield was already set. Now, the Albert Pujols signing has left the designated hitter spot cluttered, with Mark Trumbo (also learning third base) and Kendrys Morales (recovering from a broken left ankle) there to fill the role.
Speaking in Spanish from Venezuela, Abreu told ESPNdeportes.com: "I'm an everyday player and can be in the lineup for a big league team. I'm not going to be on the bench knowing I can play. If the Angels don't have a set position for me, then the best thing they can do is trade me. It'd be the right thing to do. I'm not going to do anything sitting on the bench."
Abreu's $9 million contract and his declining numbers last year -- he continued to draw walks frequently, but batted just .253 with eight home runs -- has made it very difficult for the Angels and general manager Jerry Dipoto to move him.
"Bobby is aware of the circumstances, he's aware of the people on the roster," Dipoto told MLB.com Tuesday. "We do see a fit for Bobby on this club, he's aware of where that fit is. ... Whether it's an ultimatum that's been issued, he has no right to do that."
At worst, Scioscia still sees value in Abreu as an experienced, patient lefty bat off the bench who can get an occasional spot start.
The problem remains that Abreu believes he can contribute more.
"Bobby and I have always spoken very candidly," Scioscia said. "I think Bobby, he's a professional. He's going to go out there and you don't get too many guys any more professional than Bobby. So I don't anticipate that being an issue. I think if there are some issues, I'm sure that his agent [Peter Greenberg] will work through [them] with Jerry. Bobby's here, he's going to help us win games, and that's what we're looking forward to."
Greenberg did not return calls seeking comment.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.