According to the report, the Phillies have been given the go-ahead to lift the outfielder’s no-trade clause for any deal involving the Yankees, Mets or Red Sox. They have focused their negotiating efforts on the Bombers.
Abreu’s no-trade clause has reportedly been the big obstacle in negotiations, but now that hurdle has apparently been cleared. Originally, it was reported that Abreu would only lift his no-trade if his $16 million club option was picked up though 2008.
This latest story indicates the Yankees might be sending reliever Scott Proctor and prospects to the Phils in exchange for Abreu and pitcher Jon Lieber. There are some who believe the 29-year-old right-hander could be converted into a starter, even though he hasn't pitched in that role since the minor leagues. As for the prospects, it is reported that GM Pat Gillick has backed off his demand for the Yankees’ top two prospects, pitcher Philip Hughes and outfielder Jose Tabata. One name that was mentioned in previous reports is 22-year-old third baseman Eric Duncan, a player who’s seemed destined for Philadelphia for the past two seasons. Duncan struggled in an earlier stint with Triple-A Columbus, but is hitting well in Double-A Trenton (.272 BA, 10 HR, .915 OPS).
Other teams, including the Mets, have reportedly backed off on Abreu, whose numbers have steadily diminished over the past month. Most glaring is a lingering power outage. Abreu has not homered since June 13 and has only 14 longballs since last all-star break.
For the season, Abreu is hitting .277 with 8 homers and 88 strikeouts. He is third in the league in on-base percentage with a .427 and is 12th in the NL in runs created, according to Hardball Times.