Bourjos not distracted by trade rumors

Bourjos not distracted by trade rumors

Bourjos not distracted by trade rumors
DETROIT -- It was December 2009 when Peter Bourjos, months removed from his fourth season in the Minors, first saw his name on the ESPN crawl as part of a potential trade. It was for then-Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay. Before the Phillies grabbed him, Bourjos was rumored to be on his way to Toronto -- along with teammates Joe Saunders and Erick Aybar, reports indicated -- and Halladay was headed for the Angels.

Since then, Bourjos' name in the rumor mill has been a regular occurrence.

"Every year it feels like my name's been out there," the 25-year-old outfielder said prior to Monday's series opener against the Tigers. "I don't think the Angels ever put it out there. It's just rumors. I think it's probably less than one percent of every rumor out there that actually comes true."

Can one finally come true this time around, though?

The Angels are searching for pitching, and Bourjos, currently without an everyday role, is one of few chips who may bring back a quality arm, be it in the rotation or the bullpen. This week should go a long way toward deciding how desperate the Angels are for starting pitching, with the struggling Ervin Santana facing the slugging Tigers and Rangers, and Dan Haren making a rehab start and possibly returning by Sunday.

This week may decide how willing the Angels are to include Bourjos in a deal.

"I just want to play baseball, that's it," Bourjos said. "Whether I'm playing baseball here -- hopefully I am -- or somewhere else, at least I'm getting to do that.

"Hopefully I can play my whole career here, but I know that it doesn't happen too often where a guy plays his whole career in one spot. So I think you've already prepared yourself. You know that that's a possibility, whether you want to be out there or not."

General manager Jerry Dipoto has vehemently downplayed any desire to trade Bourjos, who has a lot of upside and is a big part of their long-term plans. If the right package comes along, he'll surely consider it. But it seems highly unlikely that the Angels would trade him for a rental like Zack Greinke or Cole Hamels unless they were confident they could re-sign them.

"I can't speak for Jerry," an industry source said, "but I doubt he would give up four more years of cost control [with Bourjos] for 10 starts."

Since the start of May, Bourjos has had a hard time cracking an outfield that features Mike Trout, Torii Hunter and Mark Trumbo, starting only 24 of 67 games (including Monday). But Bourjos is one of the fastest players in baseball, is among the best defensive center fielders out there, has upside offensively and is under club control through 2016.

For the next two weeks, teams will surely be interested.

Whether Dipoto takes the bait is another question.

"Obviously, you want to play, and hopefully next year that's a possibility here," Bourjos said. "You can't read the future. I can be in the same situation somewhere else. That's where I'm indifferent about it. I can get traded and be in the same spot I am here. That's why, whatever happens, happens."