The Indians: If Abreu, Why Not Damon?

Reports last night suggested that the Angels and Indians were working on a deal that would ship Bobby Abreu’s discontented soul to Cleveland. The deal has apparently fallen apart, and right now, it doesn’t look like Abreu’s going to get his wish to get out of Anaheim. However, Buster Olney raised an interesting question this morning:

Abreu and Damon are four months apart in age, so the Indians apparent willingness to acquire Abreu rules out the idea of Damon being too old for the Tribe. They’re also pretty similar players at this point in this point in their careers.

Abreu, 2011: .253/.353/.365, 104 wRC+
Damon, 2011: .261/.326/.418, 109 wRC+

Damon’s walk rate diminished quite a bit last year, but he’s been able to hold onto more of his power than Abreu has, so the differences mostly cancel out. If we go back and include data from 2010, the numbers get even more similar – Abreu’s wRC+ is 111 compared to Damon’s 109.

And, since Travis Hafner is taking up the DH role for Cleveland, defense needs to be a factor as well, as the Indians are shopping for a part-time left fielder. Damon still can’t throw a ball more than 30 feet without inspiring a round of laughs, but he’s certainly got more range than Abreu at this point, and would also be the better defensive option. Really, it’s hard to make a case for Abreu being a better option than Damon for 2012, especially given Abreu’s apparently belief that he’s still deserving of an everyday job. If you’re picking up a part-time outfielder, it might help if that guy understands that he’s a part-time outfielder, and isn’t going to whine to the press when he’s not in the line-up everyday.

The main difference between the two at this point might be cost. It’s pretty likely that the Angels were going to pick up almost all of Abreu’s salary to help facilitate him going away, while Damon might not be willing to play for something close to $1 million. But, the Indians have already shown that they’re willing to bring in a Damon-style player to fill a need, so if he’s interested in continuing his career, perhaps he should call up Chris Antonetti and see just what kind of offer they’d make him.

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Matt C
Guest
Matt C

I think it comes down to cost. Being a Tigers fan I vividly remember Damon’s wife saying that she didn’t want him going to Detroit because they weren’t “cosmopolitan” enough, and it basically took the Tigers paying way more than he was worth for him to come there. Granted he was a little more in demand 2 years ago than he was now and as bad as Cleveland is in terms of location it’s probably still better than Detroit it still may take alot of money for him to come to them than he is worth.

Matt C
Guest
Matt C

*alot more money for him to come to them than he is worth.

mikesavino85
Member
Member
Matt
Guest
Matt

Thanks for the link mikesavino85, nice contribution. Next time I’ll make sure to say that they had to pay him 30-35% more than everybody else was offering him because that is so much easier to say than “alot”.

James Gentile
Member
Member

yeah right, an imaginary creature…

so fake.

virginie
Member
virginie

I think the point was you’re supposed to say ‘a lot’ instead of ‘alot’, which is just as easy.

AJS
Guest
AJS

Yeah, because Tampa and St. Pete are so cosmopolitan. I think it’s clear Damon is willing to play wherever they will take him at this point.

SaberTJ
Member
SaberTJ

I see your point. But I’d imagine the weather/beaches etc are much more appealing.

Matt C
Guest
Matt C

True, but Tampa is much closer to Orlando where Damon lives(atleast he did at the time of the Tigers signing don’t know if he still does though) and has much better weather than Detroit and Cleveland. Also Tampa was a clear playoff team or atleast playoff contender where Cleveland likely isn’t.

Richie
Member
Richie

You married, AJS? And if you are, then happily bear in mind your wife likely is much lower maintenance than Mrs. Damon is.

Sandy Kazmir
Guest

They have a saying in Cleveland that has allowed the masses to not commit mass suicide. It goes, “At least we’re not Detroit.”

Matt C
Guest
Matt C

Yeah I’m from Metro Detroit but alot of my family is from Cleveland so they always say things like that and we bicker back and forth about what city is better. When we do I kinda feel like that lame old saying that everybody uses on the internet, “Arguing over the internet is like winning the Special Olympics, even if you win you’re still retarded.”

JG
Guest
JG

However, Detroit does have more than two buildings.

raf
Guest
raf

Yeah, but those bldgs are abandoned…

But seriously, I think it may be pride that’s keeping Damon from signing with the Indians (or anywhere for that matter). You would think that he would’ve gotten the message that he’s near the end of the line and the “big contract” isn’t waiting for him.

DavidCEisen
Guest
DavidCEisen

Obviously Damon has not seen this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZzgAjjuqZM&feature=relmfu

colin
Guest
colin

Downtown Detroit is actually a pretty nice place to be now-a-days as opposed to even a few years ago.

Carter
Guest
Carter

Hey don’t mock Detroit’s Renaissance. And speaking of Renaissance, the Renaissance center is like 5 buildings…which proves that there are more than 2 buildings which are not abandoned.

Anyways, Abreu/Damon are both decrepit now. Do the Indians really have no one in their entire minor league system who could possibly equal their production?

SaberTJ
Member
SaberTJ

As a Ne Ohioan I can say I have never heard this ever.

Eminor3rd
Guest
Eminor3rd

I’ve never been to Detroit, but Cleveland sucks.

Ronin
Guest
Ronin

I hate the traffic in Detroit area but their are a lot of upper class suburbs and Ann Arbor is definitely a high class city that is real close. I know that doesn’t compare to New York or Chicago (which I believe was Mrs. Damon’s preferance) but I would guess that the areas surrounding Detroit are nicer than Cleveland.