On Friday, the St. Louis Cardinals announced a four-player trade with the Los Angeles Angels in which they acquired outfielders Peter Bourjos (pronounced BORE-jus) and Randal Grichuk in exchange for third baseman David Freese and relief pitcher Fernando Salas.
Bourjos, 26, is a career .251 batter with 24 home runs, 18 triples and 89 RBI in 354 games, all with Los Angeles. He has stolen 41 bases in 54 attempts, including a career-high 22 in 2011. The right-handed hitting Bourjos is considered to be a Gold Glove caliber defender, having made just seven errors in over 2,500 innings played.
The 6-foot-1, 185-pound native of Scottsdale, Arizona ranked among American League leaders in triples (11-T1st), bunt hits (17-2nd) and infield hits (38-4th) during the 2011 season. Since then, his challenge has been to remain healthy, playing in 101 games in 2012 and 55 this past season.
Bourjos hits right-handed pitchers and left-handed pitchers equally (.703 OPS versus .706). At worst, he should play in centerfield against left-handed pitching, a weakness of incumbent centerfielder Jon Jay.
Arbitration-eligible, Bourjos has three more seasons under team control before potentially becoming free agent eligible following the 2016 season.
Grichuk is a 22-year-old outfielder, the Angels’ first round selection (24th overall) in the 2009 draft, taken one pick ahead of Mike Trout. The native of Rosenberg, Texas was the Halos’ sixth-ranked prospect prior to this season according to Baseball America.
The right-handed hitter has played right field and some center in the minors. He spent 2013 in the Texas League, playing against Springfield. With Arkansas, Grichuk hit leadoff and smacked 22 home runs (sixth in the TL) plus drove in 64 with an OPS of .780.
Grichuk was just added to the Angels’ 40-man roster this week to protect him from the Rule 5 draft.
Salas spent much of 2013 at Triple-A Memphis, having been passed by other pitchers in the Cardinals relief hierarchy after logging 24 saves in 2011.
Like Salas, 2011 World Series hero Freese was arbitration-eligible and due for a raise. He will likely be replaced at third base by Matt Carpenter, with rookie Kolten Wong the apparent front-runner to take over second.
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