Abreu: Start or trade me

Posted: February 22, 2012

BOBBY ABREU appears to be the odd man out in the Los Angeles Angels' lineup, but he says he's not willing to settle for a bench role.

"I'm an every-day player. I can still be in the lineup for a major league team," Abreu, 37, told ESPNdeportesLosAngeles.com from his native Venezuela. "I will not be on the bench knowing that I can play. If the Angels don't have a position for me, then the best thing is to trade me. It would be the correct [thing] to do. I won't be able to do nothing sitting in the bench."

The former Phillies outfielder was used mostly as a designated hitter last year, but manager Mike Scioscia said Kendrys Morales will be the team's DH this year.

Abreu's demand apparently was news to the Angels, who tried to trade him and his $9 million contract in the offseason.

"It's not something Bobby approached me about," general manager Jerry Dipoto told ESPN LosAngeles. "It's not something he's driven through Mike Scioscia. At this point, it's a conversation between Bobby and a third party."

Last season Abreu batted .253 with eight home runs, 21 stolen bases and 60 RBI. He said he will report to camp this weekend.

Noteworthy * 

Yu Darvish arrived at the Texas Rangers' spring-training complex in Surprise, Ariz., and had his first bullpen session. Rangers manager Ron Washington said Darvish threw about 35 pitches. The Rangers committed more than $107 million to acquire Japan's top pitcher. The 25-year-old Darvish got a 6-year contract guaranteeing him $56 million, and Texas had to pay a record $51,703,411 posting bid to his former team, the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters.

* Reliever Juan Carlos Oviedo remains in the Dominican Republic, his travel restricted after he played under a fake name (Leo Nunez) for seven major league seasons, and the Miami Marlins are uncertain whether he'll join them for any part of spring training. Oviedo is working with the U.S. and Dominican governments to obtain a visa, Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said. The team's other pitchers reported for camp yesterday. Oviedo has a 1-year, $6 million contract with the Marlins, who might trade him if his immigration status is cleared up. They signed Heath Bell to replace Oviedo as their closer.

In other Marlins news, leftfielder Logan Morrison says the team is taking uniform No. 5 out of retirement so he can wear it as a tribute to his late father, who idolized a No. 5, George Brett. The number was retired in 1993 before the Marlins' first game in honor of Carl Barger, who was team president when he died in 1992. Barger's favorite player, Joe DiMaggio, wore No. 5

* As compensation for hiring team president Theo Epstein from the Red Sox, the Cubs sent righthanded reliever Chris Carpenter and a player to be named to Boston; the Red Sox will send a player to be named to Chicago.

* As he had hinted over the winter, Seattle manager Eric Wedge announced he will move Ichiro Suzuki from his traditional leadoff spot to No. 3 in the batting order.

* Atlanta righthander Tommy Hanson was diagnosed with a mild concussion after bumping his head when he blew out a tire on his way to spring training in Kissimmee, Fla.

* Retired Cardinals manager Tony La Russa says he has talked to commissioner Bud Selig about working for Major League Baseball.

* A season after Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon sent outfielder Sam Fuld to the mound to warm up for the sole purpose of giving a reliever extra time in the bullpen, Major League Baseball closed the loophole. The change will "prohibit a manager from sending his current pitcher out to warm up with no intention of having him pitch because a relief pitcher is not ready to enter the game."

* Former New York Mets clubhouse manager Charlie Samuels, 55, admitted he illegally owned more than $2 million worth of team memorabilia. Samuels pleaded guilty in a Queens courthouse to possessing stolen property and tax fraud. He is expected to get 5 years' probation.

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