Abreu was WAY out of shape in 2003. He really got his act together going into the 2004 season, showing up at camp in the best shape of his life (30 pounds lighter than in the previous season). That loss of weight and gain in discipline is enough for me to continue to believe that he will be a top stolen base threat.
I think looking at the manager factor, especially when we still do not fully understand how things will change, is an act of over-analysis.
Abreu has been batting in front of Thome a lot the last few years. Thus, I do not see that factor, if it does in fact end up being the case - Abreu hit 5th for a fair amount of last season - , taking away from his stolen base totals.
I still do not think there has been an adequate, logical argument for why Abreu's steals will drop dramatically. It seems like many people are dancing around the topic and floating on utility reasoning, rather than dissecting the originally proposed question.
Mike Pelfrey > Matt Garza