The Tampa Bay Rays have finally added the outfield depth they have been in search of all spring, as they have reportedly reached an agreement with the Chicago White Sox to acquire Peter Bourjos’s contract in exchange for cash considerations. Bourjos will not be added to the 40-man roster, at least not right away.
Bourjos, who will turn 30 at the end of March, is a major league veteran of seven seasons having spent the majority of his career with the Los Angeles Angels, but also with the St Louis Cardinals and most recently with the Philadelphia Phillies. In late January, the White Sox signed Bourjos to a minor league deal with invite to spring training.
As an Article XX(B) free agent, Bourjos was due a a $100,000 retention bonus today, and will have the right to opt out of his contract on June 1 if he doesn’t make the major league roster.
Over his seven seasons, Bourjos has accrued a total of 10.6 fWAR with his best year coming in 2011 where he accumulated over 4 fWAR.
Last season with the Phillies, Bourjos slashed .251/.292/.389 with 5 HR over 123 games, and his bat has not been above replacement level since 2013. On defense in 2016 he was primarily utilized in right field.
His defensive work is his calling card, even if that facet of his game was not up to Bourjos’s reputation last year.
The Rays must have seen something they liked in his potential.
Once he joins the Rays, he’ll compete with Mallex Smith for the Opening Day roster should Colby Rasmus begin the season on the disabled list.