Sunday, July 30, 2006

NY Prospect Eric Duncan Tilts Bobby Abreu Deal

With the trade deadline only hours away, the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies were preparing to announce the trade of Phillies star right fielder Bobby Abreu, 32, to New York after the Phillies dropped a demand for prospect Eric Duncan as centerpiece of the deal. Duncan, 22, had been a pet of Yankees GM Brian Cashman after the New Jersey native was named Arizona Fall League MVP last year. While signed as a third baseman, Duncan is expected to be converted to a first baseman by the Yankees, as his cross-diamond throwing has been inaccurate. Full details were expected to be disclosed before the trade deadline lapsed at 4 p.m. Its consumation, after negotiations for more than eight weeks, represents a triumph over other clubs competing to win Abreu's services, most notably the Boston Red Sox. While talks intensified in recent weeks, Cashman has been scouting Abreu since spring training, and that may have influenced his decision not to pick up the option on Yankees right fielder Gary Sheffield's contract. The acquisition of Abreu likely leaves Sheffield, currently on the disabled list, as odd man out.