|2006 Chachi #3|
Last week, the Phillies unexpectedly announced the signing of outfielder Bobby Abreu to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. You may remember Abreu as one of the outfielders on the 2005 All Veterans Stadium team. The soon-to-be 40-year-old patrolled right field for the Phillies between 1998 and 2006 before being unceremoniously dealt to the Yankees for a handful of prospects that never went anywhere. Ironically enough, Abreu's departure marked a turning point for the organization, as the young core of Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins took over and led the team to five straight division titles.
And now Abreu is back. It's unclear how he fits into the Phillies plans right now, but his red hot run in the Venezuelan Winter League (.322 with 28 RBIs) was enough for the Phillies to bring in Abreu for a try-out. After leaving the Phillies, Abreu played with the Yankees, Angels and Dodgers up through the 2012 season. He sat out all of last year, which makes the team's decision to bring him back even more puzzling. Soon after Abreu was signed, I noticed that outfielder Dave Sappelt had been removed from the list of non-roster invitees on the team's website. My guess is that Abreu's arrival made Sappelt's chances of making the team even more difficult, and so he and the team parted ways.
Prior to the Abreu signing, infielder Ronny Cedeno was invited to spring training as well. The nine-year veteran split time with the Astros and Padres last season, hitting .242 in 89 games.
Also brought into the fold was pitcher Chad Gaudin. The right-handed pitcher appeared in 30 games last season with the Giants, starting 12 of those games. He went 5-2 with a 3.06 ERA and he's expected to compete for the fifth spot in the Phillies' 2014 pitching rotation.
Player (position) - 2013 Organization - Last Major Baseball Card Appearance
1. Shawn Camp (rhp) - Cubs/Diamondbacks - 2012 Topps Update #US238 (Cubs)
2. Leandro Castro (of) - Phillies - 2010 Topps Pro Debut #84 (Phillies)
4. Clete Thomas (of) - Twins - 2010 Topps #441 (Tigers)
7. Jeff Manship (rhp) - Rockies - 2010 Finest #141 (Twins)
8. Tony Gwynn, Jr. (of) - Dodgers - 2012 Topps #284 (Dodgers)
9. Lou Marson (c) - Indians - 2013 Topps #443 (Indians)
10. Sean O'Sullivan (rhp) - Padres - 2011 Topps Update #US89 (Royals)
11. Jesse Biddle (lhp) - Phillies - 2013 Bowman Draft Top Prospects #TP-6 (Phillies)
12. Maikel Franco (3b) - Phillies - 2013 Topps Heritage Minors #158 (Phillies)
13. Ken Giles (rhp) - Phillies - None
14. Mario Hollands (lhp) - Phillies - None