ESPN's Jayson Stark wrote:Is Abreu Yankee-bound?
Jul 29 - The odds are becoming greater that Abreu will be moved before the deadline, and the Yankees are the most likely match for a trade, reports ESPN.com's Jayson Stark.
The Phillies and Yankees spoke about Abreu all day Friday and into the night, discussing different variations of a deal that would send the outfielder to New York.
The two teams are looking at other options Saturday that could include a package for Abreu and pitcher Cory Lidle or just for Abreu. The Phillies want both big-league talent and prospects in return, especially reliever Scott Proctor, whom they could eventually convert into a starter
The Phillies have backed off in their demand for either top pitching prospect Philip Hughes or outfield prospect Jose Tabata and instead would settle for other prospects, like third baseman Eric Duncan or pitcher Tyler Clippard.
Abreu is set to make $15 million in 2007, and he also has a $16 million option on his contract for 2008.
According to ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney, the Yankees' internal debate about picking up Abreu, who has an option year and a no-trade clause, is that it could cost them $37 million if they pick up his option. They are said to be trying to decide if they want to spend that money.
Market Report wrote:MARKET REPORT
There are still dollar signs to sort out, no-trade clauses to be waived and prospects to be settled on. But it sure looks as if Abreu is moving his act to the Bronx sometime in the next day and a half. And all indications Saturday night were that pitcher Cory Lidle is going to ride that Metroliner along with him. The Phillies and Yankees spent many waking hours Friday and Saturday trotting a thousand different trade options out there. But in the end, the one that seemed to work best for everyone was the option that is going to relocate Abreu and Lidle 100 miles to the north, for a package of three or four of the Yankees' best prospects not named Phillip Hughes or Jose Tabata. The two teams were said to be whittling a list of eight or nine names to a group they could settle on. But while that whittling process wasn't over late Saturday, it was believed that two names the Phillies had targeted were the Yankees' highly regarded No. 1 pick a year ago, shortstop C.J. Wilson, and 6-foot-5 power arm Steven White. That was a price the Yankees could easily live with, however, especially since they're going to owe Abreu close to $37 million over the next 2½ years. The Yankees were the one team in the Abreu hunt that always believed that, in the end, the Phillies' best option would be to clear every dollar in his contract off their debt sheet. So while other teams listened to Abreu's money demands and turned in other directions, the Yankees waited the Phillies out. Finally, on Friday, the Phillies lowered their talent requests -- and the deliberations began. The Phillies tried dangling Abreu alone and didn't feel they were getting enough back. They tried packaging him with pitcher Jon Lieber, who is owed another $10 million through 2007 himself. But the Yankees felt taking on another chunk of cash that large entitled them to offer even less than they would for Abreu alone. So the Phillies substituted Lidle for Lieber, and that apparently made the puzzle pieces fit. No matter how happy the Phillies may be to lop Abreu's money off their I.O.U. list, they also knew they couldn't march up to the podium after trading a player like this and say, "We just saved $20 million on our car insurance." They had to get real players back who could allow them to save face and restock their system. And including their best available starting pitcher was the move that made that happen. So by late Saturday night, there seemed to be only one significant question left: When would they all be stepping to that podium?
Lidle, but far more importantly, Abreu. That would be nice, real nice. Not saying this is anything but a rumor, but it does sound like things are moving towards the deal going down. He'll be expensive, but worth it in my opinion. Sheffield would be out the door when his contract is up, which is when? Next year? That's fine we me, frankly. Abreu has a lot more left in the tank, a lot more. And he doesn't bring with him the attitude. I love Sheff for what he's capable of, but he really does piss me off sometimes with the whining about his contract. Regardless, if the Yanks can pick him up without sending away Hughes, rock on.