The Nationals and Angels have had preliminary discussions about a trade that would send center fielder Peter Bourjos to Washington, major-league sources told FOXSports.com.
The Royals, Diamondbacks and Blue Jays also have checked on the availability of Bourjos, sources say.
It’s not clear how far the Nationals-Angels talks have advanced, but the fit is evident: The Angels have a surplus of outfielders, and Bourjos’ playing time has fallen considerably since the arrival of prospect Mike Trout. The Nationals could use another outfielder to help them through the sudden (and possibly long-term) absence of Jayson Werth.
Apart from the acute circumstance of Werth’s injury, Washington general manager Mike Rizzo has been trying to acquire a long-term center fielder for months. Bourjos, 25, would match that description.
The Angels, tied for the most bullpen losses in the American League, would prioritize a relief pitcher in any deal for Bourjos. That is problematic for Washington in the near term, with closer Drew Storen and alternate closer Brad Lidge on the disabled list. The Nationals will be more comfortable parting with a reliever once Storen or Lidge is back.
Storen, though, won’t return anytime soon. The Nationals believe July is a best-case scenario for him, after he had surgery to remove a bone chip from his right (pitching) elbow.
The Angels may scan the market for catchers, too, after Thursday’s news that Chris Iannetta will miss six to eight weeks after undergoing right wrist surgery. Iannetta sustained the injury when he was hit by a pitch the night he caught Jered Weaver’s no-hitter.
-- Jon Paul Morosi