Wire Taps: Rumors Of Washington Nationals' Interest In The Los Angeles Angels' Peter Bourjos Surface Again.

April 14, 2012; Bronx, NY, USA; Los Angeles Angels center fielder Peter Bourjos makes a running catch against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Farrell/The Star-Ledger via US PRESSWIRE

Before Jayson Werth sustained a broken left wrist late in the finale of the Washington Nationals' three-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies last weekend, Boston Globe baseball writer Nick Cafardo reported in his weekly Sunday morning column that 28-year-old Minnesota Twins' outfielder Denard Span, whose name has been mentioned in connection to the Nats' search for an outfield bat since last July, "... remains on Washington’s radar, but with Nationals closer Drew Storen on the DL, a deal is on hold for a while."

CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler mentioned the Twins as one of three teams (along with the Red Sox and Tigers) that the Nationals have talked to in an attempt to trade one of their starters, writing Thursday in an article entitled, "Nationals would deal Lannan or Wang, but money (and stats) make it difficult", that the Nats are still trying to trade John Lannan, while suggesting it might be easier for the team to deal Chien-Ming Wang.

Late Thursday night, FOXSports.com's Jon Morosi wrote, in an article entitled, "Sources: Nationals, Angels have talked about Bourjos", that "major league sources" told him, "The Nationals and Angels have had preliminary discussions about a trade that would send center fielder Peter Bourjos to Washington." The FOXSports.com reporter, who writes that, "It’s not clear how far the Nationals-Angels talks have advanced," says the Nats are one of four teams to have inquired about the availability of the Angels' 25-year-old, '05 10th Round pick, whose, "... playing time has fallen considerably since the arrival of prospect Mike Trout." Mr. Morosi, like the Globe's Mr. Cafardo, says that any potential deal might wait until Drew Storen returns from the DL, since the Angels, "... would prioritize a relief pitcher in any deal for Bourjos," and the, "The Nationals will be more comfortable parting with a reliever once Storen or [Brad] Lidge is back."

The Nationals have reportedly inquired about Bourjos before...

... with the Boston Globe's Mr. Cafardo, among others, reporting back in February that the Nationals were continuing to search for an outfielder as they had since the previous season, with Bourjos, "... still prominent on the Nationals’ wish list for center fielders." The problem, which Mr. Cafardo acknowledged after having previously reported on what sources were telling him about the Nats' interest in the Angels' outfielder, was that there was little motivation for Los Angeles to trade the center fielder unless they were overwhelmed with an offer.

Bourjos finished his first full season in 2011 with a .271/.327/.438 line, 26 doubles, 11 triples and 12 HR's in 147 games and 552 plate appearances over which he had a .989 fld%, a +8.1 UZR/150 and was worth +4.3 fWAR. The Angels, Mr. Cafardo wrote at the time, "... want big value back if they’re trading him." While LA's outfield's crowded, with Mike Trout knocking at the door then and in the majors now, Mr. Cafardo wrote at the time that 36-year-old Torii Hunter is, "... in the final year of his contract, [and] there is room to keep both Bourjos and Trout." Has their desperation for bullpen help changed the Angels' thinking since then as FOXSports.com's Mr. Morosi suggests? Bourjos is off to a slow start this year with a .192/.259/.288 line, two doubles and a home run after 21 games and 61 plate appearances.

CBSSports.com's Matt Snyder and Danny Knobler too are writing this morning, in an article entitled, "Nats, Angels had 'preliminary' talks about Bourjos trade", that Mr. Knobler's sources have confirmed what FOXSports.com's Mr. Morosi has heard. "The Angels and Nationals have had some discussions regarding a trade of center fielder Peter Bourjos," Mr. Snyder writes, citing previous reports by Mr. Knobler that say, "...the two sides talked about a swap in the winter, but when the Nationals approached Los Angeles in the spring, they were rebuffed. Perhaps things have changed now, due to the awful start for L.A.?"

D.C. GM Mike Rizzo, of course, told reporters after the Werth injury this week that the Nationals weren't looking for a trade to make up for the absence of the 32-year-old outfielder, telling reporters, as MLB.com's Bill Ladson (@washingnats) wrote on Twitter, that, "Instead of making a trade for offense, Mike Rizzo is hoping that players like [Xavier] Nady and [Roger] Bernadina can step up during Werth's absence."

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