12:04pm: Bourjos will earn a $1.45MM base salary if he makes the big league roster with the Cubs, MLBTR has learned (Twitter link).
11:57am: The Cubs have agreed to a minor league contract with outfielder Peter Bourjos, reports Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link). The Dishman Sports Group client will be invited to Major League Spring Training and vie for a reserve job with the reigning NL Central champs.
Bourjos, 30, spent the 2017 season with the Rays and appeared in 100 games, hitting .223/.272/.383 with five homers and five steals in 203 plate appearances. A fleet-footed veteran known for his outfield range, he drew positive marks for his glovework both in center field and in right field last season with Tampa Bay.
Overall, Bourjos hasn’t matched the .271/.327/.438 slash he posted in a promising 2011 season with the Angels, but he’s a career .241/.298/.382 hitter that brings a glowing +37 Defensive Runs Saved and +48.3 Ultimate Zone Rating to the table in 4007 1/3 innings of center field work in the Majors (albeit with much of that positive working coming prior to 2014 hip surgery).
He’ll head to Spring Training and hope to land a backup job in an outfield mix that includes Albert Almora Jr., Jason Heyward and Kyle Schwarber. Both Ben Zobrist and Ian Happ figure to be in the outfield mix for the Cubs as well, giving Bourjos a pair of switch-hitters with whom to compete. Bourjos has more experience in center field than anyone else on the Cubs’ roster, though, and he’d make for a useful right-handed pairing with Schwarber or Heyward should the Cubs see fit. He struggled against lefties earlier in his career but has hit them at a .278/.320/.406 pace over the past couple of seasons.