Peter Bourjos Is Not Available, Thank You

Phew. With uber-prospect Mike Trout just about MLB ready, teams have been checking on the availability of Angels incumbent centerfielder Peter Bourjos. GM Jerry Dipoto apparently got the memo that teams are allowed to have mutliple slick fielding gloves in the OF and plans on keeping Bourjos

“Peter Bourjos is a guy we’re going to hold,” Angels GM Jerry Dipoto told “He’s one of the better defenders in the league, a 0-to-3 (in years of service time). He’s a good player who fits in very well on a good team, makes our pitching staff better. We’re not that motivated to move him right now.”

Dipoto has a little bit of money tied up in pitchers Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson so having a good defensive outfield isn’t the worst idea. Unfortunately for the pitchers (and fans), Vernon Wells and Torii Hunter will be manning the corner outfield spots for far more time than Trout in 2012. Hunter is entering the final year of his 5-year, $90 million contract while Wells’ deal seemingly won’t run out until locusts and the Four Horsmen end the world.

The speedy Bourjos is widely regarded as one of the best natural centerfielders in the game but it was his offense that took a pleasant step froward in 2011. Bourjos hit 12 home runs and a .271/.327/.438 line in 552 plate appearances during his second season with the Halos. I sure wasn’t expecting a 4.3 fWAR (Fangraphs wins above replacement) for the 24-year-old which ranked him 20th among American League position players.

Even if the offensive production slips a bit as Bill James (.267/.317/.420) and ZiPS (.261/.309/.412) are projecting for 2012, Bourjos’ plus speed and plus defense will still have plenty of value from the nine-hole. I actually have a little more hope for his production considering Bourjos was a decent On Base Percentage guy in the minors. So sorry Texas and Wahington, Bourjos will be an Angel for the forseeable future.

Now, how to convince Wells to retire…

Tags: Mike Trout Peter Bourjos Vernon Wells

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