The Angels say center fielder Peter Bourjos is not on the trading block. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles…)
ARLINGTON, Texas — Washington has long coveted Peter Bourjos, but the Angels, despite a FoxSports.com report late Thursday night that they’ve had "preliminary discussions" with the Nationals about a deal, do not seem eager to trade the speedy center fielder.
“We constantly field calls about players, but we are not actively shopping Peter Bourjos or looking for a fit for him," Angels General Manager Jerry Dipoto said. "We believe he’s an asset to us."
The Angels are not quite sure what to do with that asset. Bourjos, who is hitting .192, was not in the lineup Friday night for the 10th time in 12 games, having lost his job to leadoff batter Mike Trout.
Since Bourjos is still a developing player -- he’s 25 with a year and a half of big league experience -- would he be better off going to triple-A Salt Lake to play every day in hopes of finding the stroke that helped him hit .271 with 12 home runs, 11 triples and 26 doubles last season?
"We’re going to explore all opportunities to get him where he needs to be," Dipoto said. "The minor leagues are an option for any player, but as of now, we feel we’re a better team with Peter. He’s better than any extra outfielder we have."
Bourjos was first linked to the Nationals in trade rumors last season, and there was heavy speculation about a possible trade over the winter.
"Where there’s smoke, there’s fire -- there’s got to be something to it, right?" Bourjos said. "But I haven’t heard anything more than what’s out there."
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