GLENDALE, AZ – The Chicago White Sox have reportedly agreed to a deal that will send outfielder Peter Bourjos to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for cash considerations, according to Dan Hayes of CSN-Chicago.
Rays have agreed to acquire Peter Bourjos from #WhiteSox for cash, according to two baseball sources.
— Dan Hayes (@DanHayesMLB) March 28, 2017
In a shocking move, the White Sox have traded away their star center fielder for loads of cash. Well, not really.
Peter Bourjos was having a nice little spring after White Sox General Manager Rick Hahn acquired him to provide some outfield depth, as he’s slashing .313/.340/.521 so far. However, being a veteran, it didn’t make much sense to give him the spot in center field while younger players were sitting on the bench or in the minors. But just a few weeks ago, Charlie Tilson went down with a foot injury, and it seemed as if Bourjos would assume the center field position.
Now, it looks like another young player moves up the ranks in the White Sox depth chart: Jacob May. May, who is hitting .339 in Arizona this spring, while earning an .886 OPS, has impressed after years of minimal development as a prospect. At age 25, it seemed this year might be his last shot to earn a roster spot, and he has played with that sense of urgency thus far.
With multiple fantastic defensive plays showcasing his prowess in the outfield, May has a chance to be a very well-rounded starter if his hitting keeps up. His only competition might be Leury Garcia, who also is performing well this spring. However, May is younger and a higher-touted prospect, so it seems like until Tilson returns, the job is May’s.
When Tilson does return, May is likely to be ousted out of his starting position, barring a truly excellent few weeks to start the season off. You never know though. This Bourjos trade may have made room for an emerging star. On the flip side, Bourjos has MLB experience for a reason, and Hahn might be regretting the extra width of his wallet if Bourjos continues his spring level of play in Tampa.
And what are the Sox to do with the money they now have? Although it shouldn’t be much, maybe around $1.5 million, it’s likely to be more than what the Sox signed Bourjos for. The extra dough could be used to woo a top free agent in a couple years. Or maybe not, but either way, there’s no negatives that come with money.
If the money does end up being more than the $1.35 million the Sox were going to pay Bourjos, then it’s just another example of Rick Hahn being a smart and savvy GM.