Those discussions eventually fizzled. However, on Friday in Cleveland, following the Angels' 3-2 loss to the Tribe at Progressive Field -- Los Angeles' fifth straight defeat -- the club released the 38-year-old Abreu.
With the Angels (6-14) off to their worst start since 2002 and frustration building, the club deemed it the right time to recall top prospect and speedy outfielder Mike Trout, whom manager Mike Scioscia said will play right away.
"Right now, there are some parts of our club that we need to get moving forward," Scioscia said. "I don't think this is going to be a cure-all, because I think there are things that we definitely need to come into play.
Scioscia said Trout will man left and center field. With Torii Hunter sure to receive daily playing time, that leaves one outfield spot to split among Vernon Wells, Mike Trumbo and Peter Bourjos.
"[Trout] is a young, exciting player that's going to come up and hopefully start to contribute to things that we need to move forward with in our team," Scioscia said. "He's going to play. He's got versatility."
Abreu, a two-time All-Star, said he wasn't shocked by the decision.
"It was a tough situation," he said. "The way that I was playing over here, I knew that was going to be the situation. I just have to be ready for every opportunity. We talked about that before Spring Training, so it was all good. It was no surprise."
Abreu added that the Angels gave him no specific reason for the transaction. He hopes to latch on with another team as soon as clubs display interest.
"It's sad because I had good times with my teammates," said Abreu, who signed with the Angels in February 2009. "I really enjoyed being here. This is business. You have to do what you have to do. I have no control over this. Now I'll just wait to see what's going to happen. I'll just be working and ready for whatever."
Abreu played in just eight games this season, accumulating five hits in 24 at-bats for a .208 average. In 142 games last year, he batted .253 with eight homers and 60 RBIs.
Abreu said he has no ill feelings toward the Angels and that he expects the club to bounce out of its early-season funk.
"The guys are going to be good," he said. "They're having a tough time right now, but they're going to be OK. They're going to get it back on track and start winning some games. This is tough time. Everybody goes through a slump, but they know how to get out of it."
The Angels are hoping Trout provides a spark.
In his first tour of the Major Leagues, Trout, the club's first-round selection in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, hit .220 in 40 games with the Angels last season. The 20-year-old has hit .342 in four Minor League seasons and leaves Triple-A Salt Lake with a .403 average in 20 games this year. He has 108 steals in 286 career Minor League games.
"We'll see if we can add a little energy, get some spice," general manager Jerry DiPoto said. "He's been off to a great start. We just had to shake it up a little bit."