"I didn't get mad or anything like that," said Abreu when asked about his reactions to the rumors. He insists that he understands the Phillies' position and that they're just looking to improve the club. Abreu also said that he was never asked about the possibility of waiving his no-trade clause, but would also understand if the team would ask him about that. "If they do that, they're just trying to improve the team," reasoned Abreu.
As for the Phillies, they insist that there was never anything close to a deal to send Abreu anywhere during the off-season, but GM Pat Gillick did admit that Abreu's name came up. "What they (other clubs) had didn't interest us," admitted the Phillies GM. "We never got to that point," explained Gillick when asked if the Phillies considered asking Abreu to waive his no-trade clause.
Hopefully, both sides are happy with how things played out during the off-season and Abreu can look to help fill a leadership role on the club. Jim Thome was a clubhouse leader, but with him now in Chicago, the Phillies will look to players like Abreu, Pat Burrell and Chase Utley to take over as team leaders. The Phillies may have also found a clubhouse leader in center fielder Aaron Rowand, who they got in the Thome deal. Rowand has been outspoken this winter about what it takes to win and he speaks with experience, having come from the World Champion Chicago White Sox.