But Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto, who spoke to him a couple of weeks ago, said the two-time All-Star hasn't communicated those sentiments to him or manager Mike Scioscia, and that the comments won't influence his approach with Abreu.
"I spoke to Bobby a little more than a week ago, I'd say -- a week, 10 days ago -- and walked through his current situation, and Mike has had very similar conversations," Dipoto said. "So, Bobby is aware of the circumstances, he's aware of the people on the roster. We do see a fit for Bobby on this club, he's aware of where that fit is. It's not something that we're going to play it [out] in the media. ... Whether it's an ultimatum that's been issued, he has no right to do that."
Abreu, coming off his worst season, turns 38 in March and isn't expected to arrive at Spring Training until Sunday, when the rest of the position players report.
Speaking in Spanish from Venezuela, he told ESPNdeportes.com: "I'm an everyday player, and can be in the lineup for a big league team. I'm not going to be on the bench knowing I can play. If the Angels don't have a set position for me, then the best thing they can do is trade me. It'd be the right thing to do. I'm not going to do anything sitting on the bench."
But preferring a trade is one thing. A club actually being able to make that happen is another.
Abreu is owed $9 million in the final year of his contract this season, and industry sources have told MLB.com there has been no outside interest in his services. The Angels were almost ready to send Abreu to the Yankees, in a deal that would've sent A.J. Burnett to Anaheim, but Burnett utilized his limited no-trade clause to void the trade because he didn't want to play on the West Coast.
Abreu is a career .293 hitter, with a .397 on-base percentage and 284 homers, but batted just .253 with eight homers in 142 games last year.
"There's nothing of the circumstance that forces us to make a trade," said Dipoto, who didn't want to comment on specifics of Abreu's trade value. "But I understand the competitor in Bobby. He's had a great career, and he continues to be a productive player. He wants to play."
The Angels would have to eat a considerable amount of money to move Abreu at this moment -- probably up to $8 million -- and because of that, the club prefers to hold onto him in the meantime, a separate source indicated.
The Angels are hoping Kendrys Morales can be a fit at DH, and Mark Trumbo can be an option at third base. If those two pan out, Abreu could be useful as a patient, experienced lefty bat off the bench who could get an occasional spot start.
"I expect Bobby to get playing time where he's going to contribute," Scioscia told reporters on Monday.
That day, Scioscia also said he's had "very candid discussions" with Abreu this offseason, and though he expressed the desire to play every day, Scioscia believes Abreu has tempered those expectations because of the potential the Angels have to win.
"I want to play, I want to help this team," Abreu told ESPNdeportes.com. "But if there's no place for me, then I want to play in another city."