Peter Bourjos Brings Familiarity, Competition to Phillies Outfield
“[The familiarity] factored in for sure, probably most notably because I think very highly of Peter Bourjos the person and that is something that I’ve been talking about since I first started here six weeks ago, which is the importance of building an environment,” Klentak said via a conference call with reporters.
Bourjos was a non-tender candidate for the Cardinals coming off a year where he batted just .200 with four homers and 13 RBI across 195 at-bats for St. Louis but Klentak wanted to make sure the Phillies got their hands on him before he was able to hit the open market by agreeing to a one-year, $2 million contract.
One of the reason they wanted to make sure they got him in the found was Klentak's relationship with him from their time in Los Angeles.
“I happen to have first-hand knowledge of knowing Peter," Klentak continued. "Knowing what a great human being he is, and how he fits into a roster. From my perspective, yes, my history with him was important, but I haven’t been with him for the last few years he was in St. Louis, so we’re relying on the information that we have here at our disposal.”
With Bourjos on board Klentak has added a nice piece to the outfielder, especially defensively where he is one of the best center fielders in the game. Bourjos, Odubel Herrera, Aaron Altherr and Cody Asche could be a four-man rotation in the outfield.
If Bourjos can get back to the level of play he displayed in 2011 where he hit .271 with 12 home runs, 22 stolen bases, 26 doubles and a AL leading 11 triples, the Phillies could have a fun battle in spring training both in center field and at the top of the lineup.
Mike Trout's emergence in Anaheim was one of the reasons that Bourjos began to struggle, the skilled defender played the same position as Trout and eventually was sent to St. Louis. The Phillies hope adding a defensive player like Bourjos can help their pitching and if he can rekindle his offensive game, the Phillies may have found a nice inexpensive piece for 2016.