According to Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com, Angels center fielder Peter Bourjos could end up being traded this winter if the Angels re-sign free-agent OF Torri Hunter.
With the obvious Mets need for a centerfielder, just about any rumor of an available centerfielder automatically has the Mets attached to them, but that doesn’t make it so.
When you ask yourself what would the Angels want for Bourjos, the answer would be very similar to what the Mets would want for Ike Davis. Neither team is simply going to give those 25-year old players away. You could argue that Bourjos will warrant more simply because he play a higher skill position plus is still a year removed from arbitration and will earn the league minimum. Ike Davis is expected to earn $2.5 million in his first year of arbitration this season.
My question is how much more valuable is Bourjos than Angel Pagan who will be a free agent and won’t cost the team any prospects to acquire?
Peter Bourjos, CF
Angel Pagan, CF
With a career OBP of .301 and 208 strikeouts in 851 at-bats, Bourgos doesn’t strike me as the type of player that fits the mold of an Alderson-type player. He has some speed, but his stolen base rate, which is much worse than Pagan’s, suggests a very undisciplined player on the base-paths. Nobody knows how willing the Angels are with regard to trading Bourgos, but they regard him very highly and they won’t simply give him away. When the Angels traded for Zack Greinke, Bourjos was a deal-breaker and the team was unwilling to trade him. A Baseball America Top 100 prospect, and an Angels Top 5 prospect for three years, he was always billed as a defensive star with a .300 bat and speed to spare. While he’s lived up to his defensive billing, the same can’t be said for his speed and offensive game.
I don’t have to rehash everything about Angel Pagan, but even in Pagan’s 2011 season, the one that got him ousted, he was better than what Bourjos produced this year as he suffered from a hip injury that is still unresolved.
Bourjos is at best, an unknown quantity, but one that the Angels will require much for. Pagan will not cost you K-New and most likely Josh Edgin or Bobby Parnell too. Bourjos will. Pagan costs you money, and in three of his last four seasons he ranked among the top ten offensively among centerfielders.
Bourjos at this point looks like another dead out in a Mets lineup that is already full of dead outs. His slight defensive upgrade over Torres doesn’t seem worth the price to me.
I’m not saying lets go after Pagan, I’m saying lets not go after someone worse than Pagan. The whole point in getting rid of Pagan was to upgrade at centerfield. Bourjos’ numbers are more in line with a typical Andres Torres season and I don’t see the logic in giving up prospects or a key bullpen piece to acquire someone like that. And that’s what the Angels are reportedly looking for in return.