Phillies Media Relations
Outfielder Bobby Abreu became the highest paid player in Phillies history when he agreed to a $64 million, five-year contract extension that could be worth a total of $78 million, General Manager & Vice President Ed Wade announced this morning.
The average annual value (AAV) of Abreu's five-year deal is $12,800,000, which ranks 18th in all of baseball, ahead of Andruw Jones' $12.5 million AAV and just below the $13M AAV of Chan Ho Park and Mike Piazza. If Abreu's sixth year option is exercised, it will raise the AAV to $13M, equaling Park and Piazza. With the MVP escalator provision in Abreu's contract, he has a chance to take the AAV of his free agent years to $14M, which would equal Shawn Green.
"Our stated objective has been to keep the core of this club together for a long time," said Wade. "Signing Bobby is a clear indication that what we say is what we mean. We signed Mike Lieberthal to a deal prior to the 2000 season that bought out his free agency, and that was the first move we made toward keeping this group together. And, moving forward, we plan to make the same types of commitments to the players who we want to be a big part of our team now, when we get to the new ballpark, and beyond.
"Phillies fans should clearly view this as a statement as to how committed we are to our core players," continued Wade.
"Peter and Ed Greenberg, Bobby's agents, worked extremely hard to help get this deal done. We had our first meeting in December during the Winter Meetings in Boston. Ruben (Amaro Jr.) and I visited Bobby last month in Venezuela. Pete and I have been in active negotiations on this contract since January 15. These deals don't happen overnight, and we were happy to get it done."
The 27-year-old right fielder is in the final year of a three-year contract he signed March 18, 2000. He was eligible for free agency after the 2003 season.
The deal includes a $3,000,000 signing bonus and year-by-year guaranteed contracts that total $62,000,000: Year
2003 $8.5 million
2004 $10 million
2005 $12.5 million
2006 $13 million
2007 Salary $15 million
The Phillies also have an option for a sixth season (2008) at $16,000,000 or a $2,000,000 buyout.
In addition, the contract includes numerous award bonuses and salary escalator provisions should Abreu finish in the top three of the National League Most Valuable Player Award voting.
Abreu hit .289 last season with 48 doubles, 31 homers, 110 RBI, 118 runs scored and 36 steals. Among National League leaders, he tied for third in walks (106), finished fourth in doubles and stolen bases, tied for ninth in runs, extra-base hits (83) and outfield putouts (11). He has increased his doubles and home run production in each of the last six seasons.
His 83 extra-base hits were the most by a Phillies player since Hall of Famer Chuck Klein had 103 in 1932.
Abreu became the first Venezuelan and first player in Phillies history to reach 30 steals and 30 homers. He was also the first Phillie since Sherry Magee (1910) to drive in over 100 runs and steal over 30 bases.
Abreu is a .307 career hitter for his five-plus big league seasons.
Originally signed by the Houston Astros, the Phillies acquired Abreu from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for shortstop Kevin Stocker following the November 18, 1997, expansion draft.