GM, Scioscia hold another meeting with Abreu

GM, Scioscia hold another meeting with Abreu

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto and skipper Mike Scioscia held another closed-door meeting with disgruntled slugger Bobby Abreu on Saturday morning, this time to address comments that appeared in a Venezuelan newspaper in which Abreu once again seemed skeptical about his role.

Speaking to reporters later, though, Scioscia called the quotes "just recycled stuff from a month ago" and said it's "not an issue."

Dipoto declined to go into specifics.

"I'm not going to get into a public spat," he said. "Bobby understands the situation and we've been very open in discussing it. I'll leave it at that."

Prior to arriving at camp, Abreu told ESPNdeportes.com he'd prefer to be traded if he wasn't an everyday player. Those thoughts seemed to temper the day he reported, when Scioscia and Dipoto reiterated in a meeting that Abreu could see semi-regular playing time and may get something in the neighborhood of 400 plate appearances this season.

But on Friday, Abreu was quoted in the Venezuelan publication Lider en Deportes as saying: "I've learned not to have much confidence in these people, but I hope they live up to what they told me. How long am I going to have to continue proving to people what I am, and what I'm able to do? At times it's like the work one does doesn't get appreciated."

The first sentence of that quote could no longer be found on the website the following day.

Abreu added that splitting time between the corner-outfield spots and designated hitter has altered his preparation for the season, "because I'm not used to that."

"Definitely, this has been a weird situation, because before, I came here to prepare and already knew the situation," he told the publication in Spanish.

"I can't answer to Bobby's comments," said Dipoto, whose signing of Albert Pujols created the uncertainty Abreu is dealing with. "They're his. They're his thoughts, they're his feelings, if he made them, if he did not."

Asked about why he felt it was important to meet with Abreu, Scioscia said: "I think you just always want to get an understanding of what's happening with every player. It's not an issue."

Abreu stayed back at the Angels facility in Tempe while the Halos played the Rangers at Surprise Stadium and wasn't available for comment. But the 38-year-old slugger told MLB.com on Monday he's looking to play three more years, is not worried about his slow start to Spring Training and his mentality about his role is just fine.

"My mentality is the same," he said then. "Every time that I get my at-bats, I'll just try to do my thing. I just want to go there and produce and help the team win."

The Angels have been looking to trade Abreu, but his $9 million salary -- coupled with a market where several aging sluggers are still looking for work -- has made it unlikely. They could release him, but would then be on the hook for his entire salary before knowing whether Mark Trumbo can pan out at different positions and if Kendrys Morales will be healthy.

As the spring has gone on, though, Abreu's opportunities for playing time have seemingly lessened.

Trumbo has looked pretty good at third base, and started his first game in right field on Saturday, while Morales hit his first home run on Friday and started at DH in his third straight Cactus League game.

Abreu has just four hits in 33 at-bats this spring.

"He hasn't had a great spring," Dipoto said, though he added: "I don't think we were expecting him to come in here bouncing around like a 24-year-old. It's one of the nuances of having played 16 years in the big leagues, is it takes a little bit more time, but you trust the veteran's ability to prepare himself. That's what we're doing -- we're trusting the veteran's ability to prepare himself."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.