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Peter Bourjos could be available for a song

At least it's true if you believe the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

At the risk of beating it to death, I'm still very much interested in the idea of the Minnesota Twins pursuing Peter Bourjos of the St. Louis Cardinals. If you've just found Twinkie Town or haven't visited in a while, allow me to get you up to speed on the handful of times we've mentioned/expressed our undying love and admiration for a guy who is arguably the game's best defensive center fielder.

We're going to talk about Bourjos one more time tonight, but I'll try to be brief. Jeff Gordon (not the NASCAR driver) was going over St. Louis' options for pitching in the wake of the news that they are in the market for another starter. In fact, 98% of the article is about pitching. But there's also this line that's almost throw-away.

Perhaps he could make a minor deal, since outfielder Peter Bourjos seems to have more value as a trade chip than as a late-inning defensive replacement — the role he finished in last season.

A minor deal? For Bourjos? Who has more value as a trade chip than he has in his current role with the Cardinals? Not to put too fine of a point on it, but sign me up.

What I believe Gordon is implying, or at least what I'm inferring from just a few words, is that a middling or back-end/insurance type of starting pitcher could net an interested team the Cardinals' elite defensive center fielder. There's every possibility that this isn't the case, but what if it is? Shouldn't every team that needs help on defense just pick a pitcher up off of the pile, drop him into a massive sling shot, and fling him to St. Louis?

Bourjos can't hit a lick. He's a .247/.304/.388 hitter. Yet in spite of accruing negative offensive value in 2014 he still managed to post a value of 1.6 fWAR in 294 plate appearances. He's that good. He converts 97% of the outs that should be made between 60 and 90% of the time; he converts 82% of the outs that should be made between 40 and 60% of the time. (See Inside Edge's fielding metrics at FanGraphs.)

Edit: Thanks to Steve Adams, for pointing me in the direction of this article:

Even before Cardinals center fielder Peter Bourjos, a defensive replacement, rushed in to make a diving catch in the seventh inning of Sunday’s 4-1 win over Colorado, a veteran major league scout had said, “Peter Bourjos is the best center fielder I’ve seen in my 38 years of professional baseball.”

The scout was a former pitcher and also a former front office executive, so his words have credence. Blazing speed, vast range, arm strength and arm accuracy were some of the skills the scout ticked off as major attributes for Bourjos


Suffice for Cardinals manager Mike Matheny to say, “(Bourjos) just makes it look easier than what it is. He loves to go out there and make those kinds of catches.

“He’s a plus-defender who can be a game-changer. He’s one of the best I’ve ever seen.”

If Minnesota's front office really wants to make a commitment to improving the pitching in 2015, and if Peter Bourjos is somehow available for Mike Pelfrey and two million dollars (or any of the Twins' fringe-type starters on the 40-man roster), then for the love of all that is good and holy - just make it happen.