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Abreu eager to return to baseball with Phillies

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CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Bobby Abreu is back because he said he still loves to play baseball, and because he thinks he can help the Phillies win.

The Phillies signed him in the offseason to a Minor League contract, which is worth $800,000 if he makes the big league roster. He is a strong candidate to make the roster as the Phillies need a left-handed bat off the bench.

Abreu, who turns 40 next month, played for the Phillies from 1998-2006.

"I know I'm not the same when I was 25, 26, but I'm still fine," he said. "I can still hit. I can still steal bases, run the bases pretty good."

Abreu did not play in the big leagues last season, so this is a comeback attempt. Asked why he would want to come back as a reserve outfielder after spending most of his career as an everyday player, he said, "I want to keep playing the game. I want to be a part of a team. Also, to come off the bench -- we've talked about that. It's not a problem for me. I just love to play the game. I know i can still play. To have this opportunity right now, it's fun."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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