Abreu Goes to Arizona in Garland Trade

As had been rumored for some time, infielder Tony Abreu was sent to the Arizona Diamondbacks as the player to be named later in the trade that brought pitcher Jon Garland to Los Angeles on August 31.

The 24-year-old Abreu is a switch-hitter. He played in four games for Los Angeles this season. He spent most of his time in Triple-A and Double-A, hitting .292 for Chattanooga and .355 for Albuquerque to finish second in batting average (.336) between the two teams with 11 home runs and with 11 home runs and 53 RBIs.

He was also fourth in slugging (.541) and sixth in on-base plus slugging (.901). Abreu saw limited action early inn the year after missing the entire 2008 season, then broke out with the Isotopes.

The trade was held up because of a grievance the player filed against the Dodgers seeking back service credit for time spent on the disabled list in 2007.

A settlement was reached in which Abreu received an additional 30 days service credit and the difference in salary between his Minor League and Major League rate, a baseball source said.

Abreu had two brief stints with the Dodgers this year, appearing in six games. In 2007, LADugout.com and Dodgers Dugout listed Abreu as the club's No. 7 prospect, but that year he suffered a series of injuries that led to surgery for a sports hernia at the end of 2007 and surgery for torn hip labrum that cost him the 2008 season.

It seems as if Tony Abreu has been around for a long time, and that he must be approaching the magic age of 30, but the truth is, he was only 24 when the 2009 season opened.

He was being groomed as the heir-apparent to Jeff Kent at second base when the injury bug hit him multiple times after leading the Florida State League in hitting in 2005 (.327) and scorched the Pacific Coast League in 2007 for a .355 average.

   He's teamed with Chin-Lung Hu to form a smooth double play combination for four seasons and the thought as that the pair may well be the Dodgers double play combo of the future.

Abreu was named the winner of the 2007 Jim and Dearie Mulvey Award, which goes to the top rookie in camp during spring training. The youngster hit .340 with three homers and 13 runs batted in over 23 games while playing second and a good deal at shortstop in the absence of injured Rafael Furcal.

He started his professional career in 2003 with the Gulf Coast Dodgers at the tender age of 18. A smallish 5-9 and 165, he led the team with a .294 average and demonstrated his speed with five doubles and seven triples, earning a trip to Vero Beach for the final games of the season.

Moved up to Columbus in 2004, he hit .301 and demonstrated a little power, collecting 21 doubles, eight triples and eight home runs, his high-water mark in round trippers before 2009. He knocked in 54 and stole 16 bases. Again given a shot at Vero Beach in the final weeks, he nailed it, hitting .419 and hitting in 10 of 11 games.

He started in Vero in 2005 and had the best season of his young career, leading the Florida State League with a .327 average, whacking 23 doubles and knocking in 43 and was selected a FSL All-Star.

Grady Little employed him at shortstop when he was with the big club as a non-roster invitee in the spring of 2006. That, though, was caused more by a temporary shortage at that position rather than any notion that his future was there.

He added a solid year at Jacksonville in 2006, leading the Suns in hitting (.287) and hits (131), hit 24 doubles and had 56 runs batted in over 118 games. He worked his usual magic with Hu at short and delighted the appreciative Suns fans with their acrobatic double plays.

He opened the season with Las Vegas last year and was recalled on May 22 when Hong-Chic Kuo went on the disabled list. When Kuo came off the DL, it was Marlon Anderson who was designated for assignment, not Abreu.

Abreu was injured in July and ugly questions arose concerning the injury, or perceived injury, when he was optioned back to Las Vegas. Some suggested he was only pouting about being sent back to the minor leagues. The dispute about major league time and a differential in pay surfaced then.

Abreu rested at Las Vegas, was placed on the inactive list as a result of the dispute, then resumed playing in August and was a September call-up. He said he was never fully recovered and was reinjured Sept. 23 in Arizona while lunging for a ground ball after making a spectacular play behind second base, ending his season.

After the season, an examination discovered a significant strain in a muscle that connects to the pelvis and he underwent surgery in Philadelphia to repair a torn abdominal muscle. Dr. William Meyers, a specialist in sports hernia injuries, performed the surgery.

The young man will be missed but the swap for Jon Garland was a good one for the Dodgers and will be a good one for the Diamondbacks.

His record:

Estainslao Toni Abreu  br  tr  5-11  200
Born- November 13, 1984
Obtained- Signed as a free agent Nov. 17, 1984

year	team     ave   obp  gm    ab   r    h  2b 3b hr  bi  sb
2003	GCLg    .294  .358   45  163  30   48   7  5  0  20   9
	VBeach  .000  .091    3   10   0    0   0  0  0   0   0
2004	Colmb   .301  .326  104  359  50  108  21  8  8  54  16
	VBeach  .419  .435   11   43   8   18   3  1  0   3   4
2005	VBeach  .327  .356   96  324  54  129  23  7  4  43  14
	Jacksn  .250  .284   24   96  10   24   3  2  0   9   0
2006	Jacksn  .287  .343  118  457  66  131  24  3  6  55   8
2007	LVegas  .355  .399   54  234  48   83  22  5  2  19   5
	L.A.    .271  .309   59  166  19   45  14  1  2  17   0
2008  Did not play 
2009    Chatt   .292  .300   23   89  11   26   4  1  0   5   0
	Albq	.353  .452   54  236  36   77  18  3 11  53   3
        L.A.    .250  .455    6   11   8    0   2  0  0   1   0
---------------------------------------------------------------
 Minor total    .312  .351  321 2231 313  644 125 35 31 255  59
 Major total    .270  .397   65  174  19   47  14  1  2  18   0   

LA Dodgers Insider Top Stories