The Angels announced that they have selected the contract of outfielder Peter Bourjos. He’ll take the club’s remaining open 40-man roster spot.
As he closes in on his 32nd birthday, Bourjos returns to the place he broke into the majors and found his most notable success. When he was shipped out of Los Angeles in the 2013-14 offseason, he had a track record of approximately league-average hitting with quality glovework and baserunning. Bourjos compiled 8.2 rWAR in just 1,136 plate appearances with the Halos.
Things have soured since. In the intervening seasons, Bourjos has mustered a meager .229/.286/.366 batting line in 1,152 total plate appearances. While his other skills seem largely to be intact, that’s just not enough bat to create many opportunities.
Bourjos came into camp battling for a reserve role or a spot on the depth chart in Triple-A. As it turns out, his strong showing and the Angels’ injury situation have conspired to open the door for significant playing time at the start of the year. Bourjos popped three long balls and slashed .288/.339/.558 in 56 plate appearances this spring; Justin Upton is headed to the injured list along with several other outfield options.
It’d make quite a bit of sense for the club to add a left-handed-hitting, complementary outfield piece. Free agent Denard Span is a match on paper but wouldn’t be ready to go at the start of the season. It’s likelier that the club will look into low-cost players who lose camp battles with other teams. Brian Goodwin stands out as a hypothetical possibility, with others sure to join him in the coming days.