While his bat is not worth much, Phillies outfielder Peter Bourjos’s glove and legs are.
I believe the majority of Philadelphia Phillies fans can agree that this team is nowhere near contention. They’re going to be a solid .500 team this year and fall a handful of games out of the second wild card spot.
Because of that and the fact they are building towards the future, they need to alleviate themselves of some of their trade assets.
While his bat is not worth much, Peter Bourjos’s glove and legs are. Bourjos has always been known as a low offensive/high defensive caliber player. His range factor in right field (Total number of outs participated in, divide putouts and assists by number of innings or games played at a position ((PO+A)/INN))) is higher than that of Bryce Harper or Jason Haywards.
What makes that statistic pop out even more is the fewer opportunities Bourjos has had compared to an everyday player like Harper.
He can simply make plays.
Second thing that makes Bourjos valuable is his ability to be a threat on the base-pads. While he hasn’t gotten the opportunity to show off his speed in 2016, the 29-year-old stole 22 bases in Los Angeles in 2011. He has the tools to make things happen and generate offense as a pinch-runner.
Now for the trade. The Phillies would send Peter Bourjos to the Baltimore Orioles for minor league pitcher John Means.
The Orioles would love to have a swiss-army knife of sorts like Peter Bourjos. They are dead last in MLB with eight stolen bases. They simply don’t have the tools to make that a factor in their games.
As a pinch-runner, Bourjos can come in when the Orioles are either down/up by a run or two and do multiple things. First he can get into a pitchers head by being the threat he can be. Second, he can steal second and put himself into scoring position. Finally, he can turn a base hit into an RBI and go from second to home with ease.
Defensively the Orioles would love to have Bourjos come off the bench as well. Mark Trumbo is a big power bat in their line up with 15 home runs already this season. But, he’s a liability in right field. His former teammate with the Angels Peter Bourjos can come into the game in the eighth or ninth inning with a lead to make the plays Trumbo can’t.
In 2008 the Phillies used to pull Pat Burrell out of left field and insert Jayson Werth or Eric Bruntlett to provide the defense Burrell couldn’t anymore. This is Bourjos’s role in Baltimore. He’s the So Taguchi/Eric Bruntlett for the Baltimore Orioles. The classic bench player every good team needs down the stretch to win an extra game or two when it matters in the standings.
You can not expect to get much for Peter Bourjos. He’s a 29-year-old corner outfielder who is hitting .200 with zero power capabilities. If the Phillies were in a different situation, they could take cash considerations or a player-to-be-named-later. Because of where they are as an organization they need to get quality pieces into the farm system.
The only way cash considerations would help is if they moved/released Ryan Howard and wanted help with the final year of his contract, but that is unlikely.
John Means was the Orioles 11th round draft pick in 2014 and is currently the 28th ranked prospect in the Orioles organization according to MLB.com. The 23-year-old right hander is currently in High Single-A with a 5-0 record and a 1.80 ERA in nine starts he has shown quality stuff.
In 50 innings pitched he has 54 strikeouts, 10 walks, and has allowed 43 hits.
The scouting reports on Means project him as a groundball pitcher, which is a plus if he ever makes it to Citizens Bank Park. The Orioles are pushing for him to be a starter, although a future in the bullpen is a possibility.
He also has a no-hitter on his minor-league resume from last season.
Here is the scouting report given by MLB.com on John Means.
"Means began his college career at Fort Scott CC (Kans.) before transferring to West Virginia, where he excelled for two seasons in the Mountaineers rotation before the Orioles made him their 11th-round Draft pick in 2014. Means’ success carried over into his pro debut and then into his full-season debut in 2015, when he made 27 starts between Class A Delmarva and Class A Advanced Frederick. The highlight of Means’ season came as a member Delmarva, when he fired a seven-inning no-hitter against Charleston on July 31.A 6-foot-3 lefty, Means uses his height to create downhill plane toward the plate, giving him a propensity for generating groundball outs with a 88-92 mph heater that bumps 93-94 mph. His slider, which flashes average at times, has some top-to-bottom tilt to it that gives it curveball-like action, and his changeup has the potential to be Major League average offering as well.Means is never going to miss many bats, but he knows how to get outs and rarely hurts himself with walks, evidenced by his 36 free passes in 138 innings in 2015. All in all, Means has the makings of a future back-end starter who could also serve as a solid lefty reliever if his breaking ball doesn’t improve."
You aren’t going to get a top prospect for Peter Bourjos or what he projects to be in Baltimore as a piece off the bench. You get what you can and hope the prospect can at least be a quality bullpen pitcher.
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The Phillies were able to claim Bourjos off of waivers from St. Louis, so it is not as if they gave up the farm for him or have him on a Ryan Howard type contract. His $2 million salary is easily flexible in todays game.
If Bourjos is moved, I would expect a return from Darin Ruf to play right field every day. Nick Williams, Roman Quinn, and Cornelious Randolph are not ready to make the jump into an every day starting line up in the major leagues, giving Ruf an opportunity to return.
If the Phillies feel they know what Ruf is and don’t want to waste their time with him, Cam Perkins from Triple-A Lehigh Valley could see time. He’s hitting .310 with four home runs.
Finally, the return of a healthy Cody Asche could mean Tyler Goeddel gets a look in right field. He has shown he has the arm strength to throw runners out from left field, so I do not worry about him transitioning to right. Asche can return to left field and get his at bats and Goeddel can be moved around to see what else he can do in a big league uniform.