White Sox trade veteran outfielder to Tampa Bay before end of Spring Training. The South Siders outfield depth gets thinner after trade.
The number of players attempting to win the starting center field job for the Chicago White Sox is now down to two. According to Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago, the Rays acquired veteran outfielder Peter Bourjos for cash considerations late Monday night.
An interesting move made by the Sox as Bourjos was indeed one of three players in line to start in center field for the Sox in 2017. Along with Jacob May, who has not made his debut in the big leagues, and currently injured Charlie Tilson who has only two career at-bats, Bourjos appeared to have the most likely chance to win the job out of spring training.
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Bourjos, 29, is a career .243 hitter who could have provided speed and great defense in center field for Sox. He was having a very sold spring training as well. Bourjos hit .313 with 3 RBI’s in 48 at bats.
A Park Ridge, Ill. native, Bourjos was looking to find a place to call home after being with three different teams in the past three years. Now after the acquisition by Tampa Bay, that makes four.
It is fairly clear now that May will be starting in center field for the Sox on Opening Day. The aforementioned Tilson will be in a walking boot due to right foot discomfort and is projected to return back to baseball activities in late May. This gives a great opportunity for 25 year old White Sox prospect Jacob May to showcase his abilities and possibly impress the White Sox enough to keep him around as the center fielder for the future.
As for Bourjos, he will be a fourth outfielder for a middling Tampa Bay Rays ball club. With gold glover Kevin Kiermaier in center, Bourjos will most likely platoon with Kiermaier as he struggles mightily against left-handed pitching.
This trade officially solves the mystery as to who will start in center field on Opening Day. Goodbye Bourjos, welcome to the South Side May.