[Note by Tommy Rancel, 07/02/09 2:39PM EDT ]Update: Just got confirmation the Rays have traded Abreu to the Indians for John Meloan. Meloan, the 2007 Double A reliever of the year (baseballamerica.com) was added to the Rays 40-man roster and will report to Durham.
Well, okay then.
I'm probably the biggest Winston Abreu fan around, and while I'm glad he's going to get a shot somewhere, I'm obviously saddened it won't be here. The thing is, the Rays were going to have to pass him through waivers this weekend anyways, and potentially lose him for absolutely nothing in return. Instead, they may get Meloan, who I'll discuss in a few. Abreu had an opt-out clause in his contract and would've bolted if the Rays didn't throw him on the 40-man roster and try sneaking him through, so really, Abreu's time with the club was limited any way you look at it. I guess you could make the case the Rays should've released Joe Nelson and given Abreu his spot.
Meloan was once a promising reliever with the Los Angeles Dodgers who moved to the Indians in the Casey Blake deal. He's had a bit of a rough go in Triple-A this season, mostly due to the homerun bug, and he's not really a prospect anymore. He throws a low-90s fastball and curve. He'll be placed on the Rays 40-man roster, but has options remaining. Meloan's career line in Triple-A is:
185 IP, 8.2 K/9, 4.6 BB/9, 0.8 HR/9
He's actually always been effective against lefties, sort-of like Joe Nelson, only with a slight favoritism towards groundballs mixed in. Given his track record, I think it's fair to say he'll probably be a middle reliever for the Rays at some point in the near future.
He's no Winston Abreu, but I guess that's the price for freedom. Go flourish Winston.