April 21, 2012; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels center fielder Peter Bourjos (25) goes after a hit in the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE
• Bourjos Chatter: Not long after rumors of the Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Angels having "preliminary" talks about a potential trade for LA outfielder Peter Bourjos surfaced late last week, the usual denials came out in the press. FOXSports.com's Jon Morosi wrote Friday that "major league sources" were telling him, "The Nationals and Angels have had preliminary discussions about a trade that would send center fielder Peter Bourjos to Washington." CBSports.com's Danny Knobler too confirmed, in an article by his colleague at CBS, Matt Snyder, that LA and D.C., "... have [had] some discussions regarding a trade of center fielder Peter Bourjos," though Mr. Knobler noted that, "... the two sides talked about a swap in the winter, but when the Nationals approached Los Angeles in the spring, they were rebuffed."
Angels' GM Jerry DiPoto told Los Angeles Times' beat writer Mike DiGiovanna, as quoted on Twitter (@MikeDiGiovanna) that as he had said previously when rumors about Bourjos came up, "'We are not actively shopping him or looking for a fit for him. We believe he's an asset for us.'"
Though Bourjos, who has a .196/.258/.286 line with two doubles, one home run, four walks and 17 K's in 22 games and 65 plate appearances this year, hasn't played much lately, in a follow-up article entitled, "Angels GM shoots down latest Peter Bourjos trade rumors", the Angels' general manager explained to the LA Times' writer, "'We’re going to explore all opportunities to get him where he needs to be. 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.'" MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez too wrote this weekend, in an article entitled, "Bourjos not rattled as trade rumors swirl" that a source, "... told MLB.com the club plans on keeping the speedster on board, and that a Bourjos-to-Nats trade is as unlikely now as it was in the offseason -- when reports suggested the Angels would ship him to Washington, D.C., for starter John Lannan."
• Speaking of Lannan...
The 27-year-old left-hander had a strong start at Triple-A Syracuse this past Friday, giving up eight hits, two runs and two walks in 8.0 IP, over which he struck out four. In seven starts this year, the Nats' 05 11th Round pick is (3-3), with a 5.31 ERA, a 4.23 FIP, 15 walks and 22 K's in 39.0 IP. CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler suggested in an article last week that the Nationals might actually be better off dealing Chien-Ming Wang, who's getting toward the end of his rehab assignment, and will force the Nationals to make another tough rotation decision as soon as he's ready for major league action. Wang's making a noon start today for Triple-A Syracuse, after giving up eight hits and two runs in 7.0 IP in which he threw 89 pitches, 61 of them strikes while inducing twelve ground ball outs in his first start with the Chiefs last Wednesday.
"The Nationals may have more luck interesting teams in Chien-Ming Wang," Mr. Knobler wrote last week, adding that with the succes the Nationals' pitchers have had so far, "... there's no room in the rotation right now for either Lannan or Wang," though it goes unmentioned in the article that Washington may eventually need pitching if there are any injuries (or when Stephen Strasburg's shut down later this year) and Wang, as a free agent signing, can't be dealt until June 16th (Without his approval? Not sure if the rules changed w/ the new CBA.) Boston Globe writer Nick Cafardo wrote this weekend in his, "Sunday Baseball Notes" column that the Nationals' pitching depth might be a problem, but it's also a powerful motivational tool, noting that though the Nats, "... would rather deal lefty John Lannan... teams appear more interested in Wang, who has rediscovered that hard sinker. The Nationals are creating a nice competition on their staff, as Wang and Lannan could push the other five."
Nats' GM Mike Rizzo has stated repeatedly this winter and throughout the Spring that you can never have too much pitching. With the injuries the Nats have dealt with thus far, will they take chance of dealing either pitcher? Is there any way Ross Detwiler's losing his spot in the rotation to the returning Chien-Ming Wang?