The 18-year veteran, Bobby Abreu, is another former All-Star who would conclude his terrific career with the New York Mets. He was only a two-time All-Star but one of the most consistent players of his generation. Abreu is one of six players with at least 250 home runs and 400 stolen bases, the other five members are either in the hall of fame or belong to the Bonds family.
#OTD in 2014, Bobby Abreu stole his 400th career base.
— Mathew Brownstein (@MBrownstein89) May 30, 2020
It seemed that there was nowhere else for a 40-year old Abreu to play, after taking 2013 off. He ended up playing in the Venezuelan winter league, where he hit .322 and landed a minor league contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies released him right at the end of Spring Training and signed with the Mets on the last day of March.
Journey Through the Minors
Most veterans with Abreu’s career would not have accepted the minor league route. He embraced it and hit over .300 and earned his way back to the big leagues when the Mets traded Ike Davis. Though his defense and power were far off from his earliest days, he still could put together a quality at-bat.
Abreu was used mostly as a pinch hitter/designated hitter but did not adjust to the role well. He only had five hits in 39 at-bats as a pinch hitter and went 1-for-11 as a DH. Whenever he played the field, he looked like the Abreu of old in the batter’s box. He slashed .318/.406/.447 over 101 plate appearances when he played the field.
— Mets Home Run a Day (@MetsHRADay) May 29, 2020
His defense was on pace to rank at the worst of his career, which prevented him from seeing more playing time in the outfield. Also, sharing right field with Curtis Granderson made things tougher for Abreu to see playing time, but luckily Granderson was still versatile enough to play center along with left field.
Oldie But a Goodie
Mets fans also got good memories out of Abreu. They got to witness his final home run and stolen base of his career, which put him at 400 stolen bases for his career. Abreu also had a classic staredown on back-to-back check swings after Mike Everitt called him for a swing on the first one.
Bobby Abreu played most of his career with the #Phillies. He finished with the #Mets, the Phillies biggest rival. Even Mets fans knew they had watched the end of a Hall Of Fame career and gave him a standing ovation. #MLB #AbreuHOF pic.twitter.com/FLE9OGWwU6
— Ryan (@Fishpot22) January 12, 2020
All of this allowed Abreu to gain the respect of Mets fans. Despite playing his best years with the rival Phillies, he received a nice ovation when he finished out his final game with a base hit in 2014.
His path to the hall of fame is a long one, as he only received 5.5% of the vote in 2020. Abreu has a higher WAR than recent hall of fame inductees Mike Piazza and Vladimir Guerrero. Even if he does not get in, he still deserves more consideration and more support.