- Jerry Crasnick, ESPN.com MLB Sr. Writer
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Bobby Abreu has reached preliminary agreement on a one-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels, a baseball source said. The Angels expect to announce the contract once Abreu passes a physical exam, which was scheduled for Wednesday, and the team clears a spot on the 40-man roster.
It's believed that Abreu will make about $5 million in base salary, and there will be additional, undisclosed incentives that would bring the total value closer to the $8 million that Abreu was seeking.
Foxsports.com reported Tuesday -- and two baseball sources confirmed -- that the Angels will make room for Abreu by taking pitcher Nick Green off the 40-man roster.
The Angels signed outfielder Juan Rivera to a three-year, $12.75 million deal in December, but the departure of Mark Teixeira and Garret Anderson through free agency has left general manager Reagins with the flexibility to add a bat. Abreu, a .300 career hitter in 13 seasons with the Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees, would help upgrade an Angels lineup that ranked 10th in the American League in runs and OPS in 2008.
With a .405 career on-base percentage and an ability to work deep counts, Abreu offers the Angels a patient left-handed hitter to bat ahead of righty Vladimir Guerrero in a lineup that was 10th in runs scored in the American League last year. This season, he joined Barry Bonds and Rickey Henderson as the only players with 200 career homers, 300 steals and a .400 on-base average.
Abreu's financial aspirations have taken a hit because of the soft economy and surplus of left-handed bats available. Ken Griffey Jr., Jim Edmonds, Anderson and Luis Gonzalez are among the other veteran lefty hitters still looking for jobs.
It was believed that Abreu was seeking a three-year, $48 million deal after filing for free agency in November.
The Braves have also expressed serious interest in Abreu, but sources said Atlanta's budget is so tight that general manager Frank Wren would have to stretch to give him a $5 million salary.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, Cincinnati Reds, Chicago White Sox and New York Mets are among the other clubs that have been mentioned in conjunction with Abreu. But none of those teams advanced beyond the exploratory phase.
This year Abreu joined Barry Bonds and Rickey Henderson as the only players to amass 200 homers and 300 stolen bases while maintaining a .400 on-base percentage. Abreu is also one of five players with 100 RBIs and 100 runs scored in each of the past two seasons. The others: Chase Utley, Adrian Gonzalez, David Wright and Alex Rodriguez.
Jerry Crasnick covers Major League Baseball for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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