Peter Bourjos Is Still a Solid Trade Chip for the Los Angeles Angels

Paul Francis Sullivan@@sullybaseballChief Writer IJuly 28, 2012

ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 19:  Peter Bourjos #25 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim  hits a RBI sacrifice in the first inning against the San Francisco Giants at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on June 19, 2012 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

When the Angels made their trade for Zack Greinke the other day, they somehow managed to keep outfielder Peter Bourjos in the system.

The Angels parted with highly regarded shortstop prospect Jean Segura and pitchers Ariel Pena and Johnny Hellweg. Baseball America considers all three to be among the top ten prospects in the Angels system, so clearly the Brewers feel that they got more in this deal than if they let Greinke walk via free agency.

It is odd that they did not insist on Bourjos in the deal. The outfielder who has speed and great defense also has two and a half years of big league experience at age 25. He pushed Torii Hunter to right field while leading the league in triples last season.

With the Angels outfield crowded with two MVP candidates in Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo along side a hot Torii Hunter, Bourjos is a wonderful luxury for the team. A pinch-running, defensive replacement fourth outfielder giving the team remarkable depth.

But Vernon Wells and his albatross of a contract are now off of the disabled list. He has accepted, according to the Orange County Register, a smaller role with the team. However, Bourjos' role on the team will be diminished even more.

How often will the Angels need a defensive replacement?

In the trade rumors before the Greinke deal, Bourjos' name would come up. According to MLB Trade Rumors, Bourjos was a key component in a potential James Shields trade. And according to Danny Knobler of, the Angels were willing to part with Bourjos for a solid reliever.

There is a lot on the line this year with the Angels. They have set their goal to win it all this October. Beyond that, they know that Albert Pujols helping to deliver a title to Orange County would help pay for his massive deal through marketing and merchandising. And the new stars of Trout and Trumbo could keep the Angels relevant for years to come in the wake of a title.

They patched a hole in their rotation and now they need bullpen depth. And they still have a huge chip. A team with a veteran reliever could do worse than solving their center field position for the foreseeable future with a player of Peter Bourjos' caliber.

Keep an eye on the Angels. They are not done yet.