Peter Bourjos Rumors

Angels In Contact With Tigers About Rick Porcello

The Angels have been in contact with the Tigers about Rick Porcello, reports Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com. The Pirates, Padres, Rangers, Phillies, Twins, and Royals also have interest in the right-hander, though Knobler says Detroit doesn't have interest in Pittsburgh closer Joel Hanrahan.

Drafted 23rd overall in 2007, the 23-year-old Porcello zoomed to the big leagues after just one season in the minors. He owns a 4.55 ERA with 5.0 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 120 starts and 691 2/3 innings. His 52.3% ground ball rate helps make up for the lack of strikeouts. Porcello earned $3.1MM in 2012 and projects to earn $4.7MM in his second trip through arbitration this winter. He's a Super Two and will be eligible for free agency after 2015.

The Tigers re-signed Anibal Sanchez a few days ago, rounding out a stellar front-four that includes also Justin Verlander, Doug Fister, Max Scherzer. Porcello and Drew Smyly are the front-runners for the fifth starter's spot. The Angels have acquired Tommy Hanson and signed Joe Blanton this winter, but they're still looking for rotation depth behind Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson.


Angels Likely To Trade Outfielder

The Angels have a surplus of outfielders following their agreement with Josh Hamilton, and there’s reason to believe GM Jerry Dipoto will make a deal to balance out his roster. The Angels are “very likely” to trade an outfielder such as Peter Bourjos or Mark Trumbo for a pitcher, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). Depending on the return, either player could be moved. Trumbo seems less available than Bourjos, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter).

The Mets seem like a natural trade partner for the Angels given their willingness to listen to offers for R.A. Dickey and their need for outfielders. However, it doesn't sound as though Trumbo or Bourjos would be an ideal fit in a deal for Dickey based on reports out of New York yesterday.

Both Bourjos and Trumbo will remain under team control through 2016 and won't be arbitration eligible until after the 2013 season. Earlier today, Dave Cameron of FanGraphs explained that Bourjos closely resembles Cameron Maybin and suggested he’d be a worthwhile pickup for a team in need of a center fielder.


Olney On Hamilton, Tigers, Angels, Bauer

Michael Bourn, Nick Swisher and the 2013 Angels will all benefit from Josh Hamilton's recent agreement with Los Angeles, ESPN.com's Buster Olney writes. However, Mike Scioscia, Torii Hunter and the Mariners probably won’t benefit from the deal, according to Olney. Here are some more reactions to the deal, and a look at the impact it will have. Now for some more of Olney’s notes from around MLB…

  • The Hamilton deal was made over the head of the Angels' baseball operations department, Olney reports (on Twitter).
  • Rival general managers had correctly predicted Anibal Sanchez would sign with the Tigers, Olney writes. The Tigers have made it known for weeks that they'd be willing to listen to offers for Rick Porcello, according to Olney. It now seems as though Porcello has become a trade candidate.
  • Peter Bourjos drew lots of trade interest in the first few weeks of the offseason, Olney reports. While Bourjos could be moved, the Angels have told teams they're keeping Mark Trumbo.
  • The Diamondbacks had talked to other teams about deals involving Trevor Bauer before this year's trade deadline, Olney reports.


Fallout And Impact Of The Josh Hamilton Signing

Here's the latest on how Josh Hamilton's agreement with the Angels will affect several other players and teams all around the league, including how close some other teams came to signing the free agent slugger themselves…

  • The Rangers have told Geovany Soto he'll be their everyday catcher in 2013, but ESPN's Buster Olney wonders if the Rangers could now pursue free agent backstop A.J. Pierzynski.  Also from Olney, rival evaluators are speculating that the Rangers might now be the best fit for Nick Swisher (both links are to Olney's Twitter account).
  • The Mariners "badly wanted" Hamilton, which means the Angels disappointed two of their AL West rivals today, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter).  MLB.com's Greg Johns hears that the M's were heavily courting Hamilton and "had strong hopes" he would sign with them.
  • The Red Sox had interest in Hamilton but weren't willing to offer a contract longer than three years, reports WEEI.com's Rob Bradford.
  • The Phillies were similarly not interested in Hamilton at such a high price, writes Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.  Hamilton's signing could increase interest in other free agent outfielders like Swisher and Cody Ross, thus possibly pricing the Phillies out of the market and forcing them to turn their attention to acquiring pitching instead.
  • The Marlins could reverse their stance on trading Giancarlo Stanton, opines MLB.com's Joe Frisaro, if the Rangers are desperate to add another big bat and were willing to offer Jurickson Profar or Mike Olt in a deal.  Frisaro also thinks Miami could be a trade match with the Angels as Peter Bourjos "has been on the Marlins' radar for a while."
  • Fangraphs' Dave Cameron breaks down the value of Mark Trumbo, Kendrys Morales and Bourjos both to the Angels and on the trade market.
  • Bourjos, for his part, tells MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez that he wants to remain in Anaheim and enjoys being an Angel, though he also wants to be an everyday player.
  • ESPN's Keith Law doesn't see Hamilton providing much value in the last two years of his contract, though his signing "makes more sense" if the Angels trade some roster depth to fill the holes in their rotation.  Law also notes that Michael Bourn appears to be running out of suitors, and speculates that Bourn could look for a one-year deal now and then look for a big multiyear contract next winter.
  • Early today, we looked at rumors concerning the possibility of the Angels and Mets working out a trade involving R.A. Dickey.

MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith also contributed to this post


R.A. Dickey Rumors: Thursday

Josh Hamilton’s deal with the Angels will affect the market for many players, including Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. Here are the latest Dickey-related rumors, starting with the possibility of a trade to Anaheim…

  • The Angels have shown interest in Dickey, Yahoo's Jeff Passan reported today (on Twitter).  
  • However, the Angels were not the team that jumped back in on Dickey earlier this week, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports (on Twitter).
  • Mark Trumbo to the Mets is unlikely, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reports (on Twitter). ESPN.com's Buster Olney reports that the Angels have said they are keeping Trumbo (on Twitter).
  • Newsday’s Marc Carig reports that Trumbo or Peter Bourjos would not be a fit in a trade for Dickey (Twitter link).

Phillies Rumors: Hamilton, Fowler, Ichiro, Michael Young

The latest buzz on the Phillies, courtesy of Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com

  • GM Ruben Amaro told reporters he's more likely to land his center fielder through free agency than trade.  Salisbury says Michael Bourn doesn't appear to fit the team's profile, while they're lukewarm on a Shane Victorino reunion.  A corner player like Cody Ross could work.  
  • Amaro made a thinly-veiled reference to the one difference-maker on the market, understood to be Josh Hamilton.  The GM skirted the question as to whether he is pursuing Hamilton.  Salisbury considers it a long shot.

Earlier updates:

  • Though the team has some interest in the major free agent center fielders, they're also eyeing Dexter Fowler and Peter Bourjos as potential trade targets.  Bourjos is projected to start for the Halos, however.  The Phillies and Rockies have discussed Fowler, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  He notes that the Rockies would want pitching in return.
  • There has been some communication between the Phillies and Ichiro Suzuki's camp, though it's unclear who reached out.
  • The Phillies have interest in the Rangers' Michael Young for third base, but they'd need Young to approve the trade and the Rangers to pick up part of the tab.  Young, 36, is owed $16MM in 2013, though part of his salary is deferred.

Marlins Could Pursue Center Fielder

The Braves just added a high-profile center fielder, and the Phillies and Nationals have also been connected to the top options available, but those aren’t the only NL East teams exploring the outfield market. The Marlins also need a center fielder and “would love” to acquire Peter Bourjos from the Angels, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). However, a deal for Bourjos remains unlikely, so the club could pursue a free agent such as Nate McLouth.

Justin Ruggiano hit .313/.374/.535 in 320 plate appearances while playing all three outfield positions this past season and he represents one internal center field option for Miami. The 30-year-old responded to Rosenthal’s tweet and explained that the Marlins don’t need to acquire a center fielder. “I got this,” Ruggiano wrote. Giancarlo Stanton and Juan Pierre project as Miami’s corner outfielders. 

If the Mets non-tender Andres Torres as expected tomorrow, they’ll also be in the market for a center fielder. New York will presumably pursue multiple outfielders this offseason, though the Mets are expected to look for bargains instead of spending at the top of the market.


Angels Notes: Wells, Hunter, Bourjos, Pujols

A swap of bad contracts may be the Angels' best way to move Vernon Wells, opines MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez, who lists a few other players with bloated deals that could be acquired in exchange for the remaining two years (and $42MM) on Wells' contract.  Even when taking on the likes of John Lackey, Chone Figgins or Barry Zito, however, the Angels would still have to cover the difference on Wells' deal.  Gonzalez addressed some other offseason possibilities for the Halos in a reader mailbag….

  • Gonzalez predicts the chances of Torii Hunter re-signing with Los Angeles "lean slightly toward him coming back," though the Rangers and Yankees should be interested in the veteran outfielder.  Gonzalez predicts Hunter will end up with a one- or two-year contract worth around $9MM per season.
  • If Hunter is re-signed, Peter Bourjos could become expendable and would attract attention from several teams in need of center field help.
  • The Angels could be better served finding a closer through the trade market than through free agency, Gonzalez opines.  He also thinks the Halos should look to add a left-handed reliever.
  • The Angels' 2013 payroll should be $10-$15MM lower than last season's $159MM total.
  • "The similarities have long been unmistakable" between Alex Rodriguez and Albert Pujols' contracts, Gonzalez writes.  While Pujols' numbers have been declining over the last few seasons, there are reasons that Pujols (33 next season) could age more gracefully than Rodriguez, whose future as an everyday player for the Yankees is in question at age 37.

Rangers, Dodgers Pursuing James Shields

The Angels aren’t the only team in pursuit of James Shields. The Rangers and Dodgers have also made the Rays trade offers for the right-hander, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports.

The Rays are saying they’d move any pitcher except David Price and Matt Moore, but Shields is the most likely one to be traded, Knobler tweets. The Angels have discussed a package that includes center fielder Peter Bourjos and catcher Hank Conger. However, they were rebuffed when they offered Bourjos for Shields, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports.

Shields earns $7MM in 2012 and his contract includes club options for 2013 ($9MM with a $1.5MM buyout) and 2014 ($12MM with a $1MM buyout). Shields, the third-place finisher in last year's AL Cy Young voting, has completed at least 200 innings in every one of his five full seasons. The 30-year-old has a 4.39 ERA with 8.5 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in 131 1/3 innings so far in 2012. 


Rays, Angels Have Discussed James Shields Trade

The Rays and Angels have talked about a deal that would send right-handed starter James Shields to Anaheim in exchange for outfielder Peter Bourjos and catcher Hank Conger, and possibly right-hander Ervin Santana, a source tells Tim Kurkjian of ESPN.com.

The deal is complex because of the money involved, the source tells Kurkjian, which accounts for Santana's possible inclusion. Santana makes $11.2MM this season with a $13MM club option for 2013. He can become a free agent at season's end with a $1MM buyout.

Shields, 30, could be locked up through 2014 and is considered quite affordable. He's owed $7MM this year with a $9MM club option for 2013 and an $11MM club option for 2014.

Bourjos, Kurkjian reports, would be a likely replacement for B.J. Upton, whom the Rays plan to allow to walk as a free agent this offseason. Conger, meanwhile, was once a pretty well regarded prospect, and the Rays have been rumored to be seeking a catcher.