Jun 6, 2012; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Kendrys Morales (8) celebrates with Los Angeles Angels center fielder Peter Bourjos (25) after running in a score against the Seattle Mariners during the second inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-US PRESSWIRE
Mike Trout slowly accrues more innings in CF than Peter Bourjos played all year. Trout is only 3 games (27 innings) behind Bourjos for the most innings played in CF by an Angel this season, 345 to 371. Vernon Wells has 46 innings there so far.
As popular a player as he has been, there is no question that Bourjos has been the player most marginalized by the exciting season Trout is having. Bourjos is a Trout-lite, hitting a hundred points lower, almost as fast and with a little but not as much power. Glove versus glove, though? Baseball Info Solutions claims that over 1,200 innings in CF (roughly 140 games, a full season) what Trout has done in 2012 so far would save 45 runs above an average fielder while Bourjos would save 26 runs above average. If that is even a little accurate, the one ace up Peter's sleeve is trumped.
With Mark Trumbo just 45 innings behind Vernon Wells for time played in LF by an Angel this season, 222 to 267, it is apparent that this crowded outfield can hardly hold any more. Torii Hunter is more than serviceable on offense and defense in the final year of a big contract. There is no conceivable scenario that Wells would return to a major role on the club, but if Albert Pujols and Kendrys Morales block Trumbo at 1B and DH, it seems the team would keep Trumbo in LF and hang onto Wells as a stellar fourth outfielder rather than release him.
Since Wells is virtually untradable because of his contract, it would appear that Bourjos and Kendrys are the players most likely to be traded from among the position players on the Angels. As far as 2013 is concerned, Kole Calhoun might make the jump to the bigs and jockey for position in the lineup and RF with Wells while T-N-T covers Left and Center.
It would appear that these two players could bring in a top pitcher, with maybe a marginal prospect added to the haul but not truly needed. With teams acquiring rental players at the deadline, the lack of a guaranteed draft pick (a feature of the new collective bargaining agreement) makes players who are free agents after the season a little less valuable to the acquiring team. Look for bigger names to go for less this year. While it is not exactly a sale at Ralph's, Bourjos is under team control thru the 2016 season and Morales has one year of arbitration left until he becomes a free agent. A team acquiring both would likely pay less than $7 million total for the pair in 2013.
The Angels minor league system has successfully graduated so many good major league players that it is running on empty this season. But the minor leagues could be left untouched on July 31 and a frontline pitcher still acquired for the 2012 stretch run.