Thursday, April 17, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Phillies still like Angels outfielder Peter Bourjos

The Phillies may have locked up Marlon Byrd to deepen their outfield, but that hasn't stopped them from considering other options, including an Angels outfielder - but no, not the one you want

Ruben Amaro said, even after signing Byrd, that the Phillies' search for outfield help may not be over. That explains their interest in the Angels' Peter Bourjos, a 26-year-old righty with a .251 career batting average and .704 OPS.

Ken Rosenthal writes how the Phillies have "long coveted" Bourjos, though the absence of a deal being struck in the past few years indicates that it's unlikely.

Bourjos had a shriveled 2013 season, sitting out due to injury more often than not. He successfully appeared in 55 games, but by early September, the Angels shut him down for good so that he could have a pin inserted in his broken right wrist. This was after a left hamstring strain in late April.

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  • But Bourjos' numbers have made him valuable in the past. Even this injury-riddled season saw him play in 40 games of the season's first half, hitting .333 with an .849 OPS. In June he was hitting .370 before a wayward pitch against the Astros found his wrist.

    In 2010, Bourjos was labeled the "fastest baseruner" and "best defensive outfielder" of the Angels' farm system by Baseball America, leading to an August call-up. 2011 was his statement year, during which he hit .271/.327/.438 and led the league in triples (11). In the seasons following, with a blossoming outfield in L.A. featuring Mike Trout, Josh Hamilton and Mark Trumbo, the Halos seemed to have enough versatility to trade one of their lower profile pieces, and Bourjos' name naturally came up.

    His speed and defense allows him to easily handle a center field assignment, but his injuries have started to pile up, despite his younger age. Bourjos would bring skills to an outfield that could use them specifically, especially to counteract the more cumbersome Byrd. However, the Angels' desire for young, cheap starting pitching does not make the Phillies their ideal trade partner.

    Theoretically, Kyle Kendrick could be offered, and rumor has it the Phillies are okay with shopping Domonic Brown as well, or even Ben Revere, as they would be receiving a player to replace him. But in the end, if the Phillies did indeed have to concoct some sort of three-team hijinks to acquire Bourjos, they would most likely be overpaying for a career .251 hitter.

    Justin Klugh Sports
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