The Bourjos Conundrum

3/24 UPDATE:

The Cubs released OF Peter Bourjos prior to the 12 PM (Eastern) deadline on Saturday.



An Article XX-B MLB free-agent who signs a minor league contract at least ten days prior to MLB Opening Day and then is either not released by 12 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day prior to MLB Opening Day or added to an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) or MLB 60-day Disabled List by 12 PM (Eastern) on MLB Opening Day will automatically receive a $100,000 retention bonus, and the player can unilaterally opt-out of the minor league contract on June 1st if he has not been added to an MLB Active List (25-man roster) or an MLB Disabled List by that date.

Peter Bourjos,OF

So, the Cubs need to decide by mid-day Saturday what they want to do with Peter Bourjos. 

Here are their choices:

They could just release him and forget about him.

Or they could release him and then (if he agrees) re-sign him to a different minor league contract (because it would be signed less than ten days prior to MLB Opening Day, there would be no retention bonus or automatic player opt-out). The new contract would not likely include a retention bonus but it could include an earlier player opt-out date (the Cubs did this with Munenori Kawasaki a couple of years ago). 

Or they could assign him to Iowa and pay the retention bonus and deal with the player opt-out when it gets closer to June 1st.

Or they could add him to their MLB 40-man roster (and Opening Day 25-man roster).

The problem with adding Bourjos to the MLB 40-man roster (and Opening Day 25-man roster) is that it will be difficult to send him to the minors if his spot on the 25 is needed at a later point in time. Bourjos does have minor league options available, but once he is added to the 40 Bourjos must give his consent before he can be optioned or sent outright to the minors. And this is NOT the same thing as having the right to elect to be a free-agent if sent to the minors. He has that, too. It's just that the Cubs can't even attempt to send him to the minors unless he gives his consent. So if the Cubs add Bourjos to the 40 and find out later that they need his spot on the 40 (or even just on the 25), they would have to either release him (and be on the hook for his $1.4M major league salary) or trade him (if anybody is interested)... unless he consents to a minor league assignment (not likely).

Last year the White Sox signed Bourjos to a minor league contract prior to Spring Training, and once they decided he wasn't a fit on their MLB 25-man roster, they traded him (and his Article XX-B rights) to the Tampa Bay Rays. And Bourjos ended up spending the entire 2017 season in MLB with the Rays. Perhaps something like that could happen again this year.  


Joe seems to love Bourjos. I dont know why that is his thinking. 

what's not to like about a guy who's put up a .231/.288/.366 line in the past 4 seasons over 1100+ PA? besides, he makes jason heyward look good. hell, even if people like his speed he sure isn't showing it this spring. he seems even slower than he's been in his recent past. he's not slow, but he's not a burner. it's hard to tell whether they need a "5th OF'r" because happ/almora are covering CF, and there's a slew of corner OF options to cover the expected regulars. also, there's technically no "speed guy" on the bench even if bourjos is a weak version of speed off the bench. there's a lot going in different directions of whether he's possibly useful or not.

I believe I can answer that question: He wouldn't be that useful--not useful enough to be worth adding to the 40-man right now. Almora, Happ, and Heyward can all play CF. Zobrist and Bryant are also available to play LF and RF. If there's no AAA coverage for CF in case of injury/injuries, go get someone who's been released / waived and also release Bourjos and see if you can re-sign him, as AZ Phil notes, to a minor league contract.

And you didn't even mention Schwarber. No ABs for Bourjos.

Hannemann seems like he’s done enough this spring to be viewed as a reliable CF option if it comes to that. Would require a 40 man spot but the Cubs wouldn’t have to give him one until he was needed. If adding Bourjos wouldn’t cost Butler, I’d be ok with it. But even though Butler probably isn’t going to be anything great, I’d say the chance that he can put it together is worth letting Bourjos catch on with another team.

Theo could hire him as an Assistant to an Assistant? He could work for Murton.

Carrie says 8 relievers.

Maddon confirms 8 relievers, would seem to rule out Bourjos making the team.

#Cubs Maddon says they'll go with 8 relievers

tim and brad say 8 relievers

Tim beat me to it. What I get for going to the trouble of formatting with the quote function.

Randy Rosario won’t be one of the 8. Sent to minors today. 


Carrie Muskat‏ @CarrieMuskat

Theo and Jed got revenge on La Stella. Video with Rizzo narrating it ended with message, "Good luck in Iowa." #Cubs


f'n straight up savage. btw, in his next AB he hit a ground rule double.

Quite a change in the perception of TLS versus his behavior last year.

Patrick Mooney @PJ_Mooney

Source: Going with eight-man bullpen, #Cubs are releasing Peter Bourjos as the veteran outfielder intends to look for a big-league job after a strong spring.

"Madison Bumgarner suffered a fractured pinky finger on his left hand after being hit by a comebacker in Friday's Cactus League game."


out 6-8 weeks.

That really sucks. Meanwhile, Kershaw has pitched 21 innings this spring. Gave up zero runs.

Injuries happen, sometimes randomly as in the course of competition, sometimes not like doing something recreationally that is simply stupid. Baum is a true talent and is in the last two years of his option based contract at a current bargain of $12M. Baum is out 8 weeks then rehab and then prep, July 1?  SF Giants are now down two SP'ers who eat innings, Samardz out till beginning of May. Wonder if they might want to make a move on Butler? 

"The Bourjos Conundrum" has concluded.

he's signed a MLB deal with the braves.  good for him.  he got a chance to show he's "worth it" and it paid off, even if it's with a team that won't get him a ring (barring insanity levels of unexpected).

Gonzo says Bourjos is now a Brave.

1yr/1m...MLB contract. neat.

Bourjos the Brave.  Sounds familiar.  Early season of Game of Thrones or else Monty Python.

Recent comments

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  • Charlie 3 hours 31 min ago (view)

    Lol at Nico getting nominated for riding the bench a lot.


  • crunch 5 hours 30 min ago (view)

    RF Jason Heyward, SS Javier Baez, 2B Nico Hoerner, 1B Anthony Rizzo, C Willson Contreras, and Ps Kyle Hendricks and Alec Mills gold glove finalists


  • bradsbeard 9 hours 25 min ago (view)

    Thank you, sir! Sounds like a nice get for the Cubs, and a good project for (what's left of) the new development infrastructure. 


  • Arizona Phil 10 hours 15 min ago (view)

    There have been some holes in the AZIL east-side schedule, with one team canceling games last week (although they are back playing this week) and another canceling game this week due to CoViD-19 issue, so the other teams (like the Cubs) are making up some of the "lost" games with intrasquad and in-house "sim" games. 


  • Arizona Phil 11 hours 9 min ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: From what I have seen of Jacob Wetzel so far (BP, fielding practice, base-running drills, sim games, AZIL games, and yesterday's intasquad game), I would say he looks like a football running back playing baseball in that he has a high motor and plays with a bit of an edge.

    He has a thick body but he also has plus speed (very much like a football running back in that respect), he runs the bases aggressively, makes hard contact, has HR power, a decent arm, maybe can use some work in the outfield as far as tracking balls. 


  • bradsbeard 1 day 31 min ago (view)

    Phil, curious if you've seen enough of Jacob Wetzel to offer an initial scouting report. Just from watching some prep video he looked pretty strong and fairly athletic (HS football player and all). Impressive numbers albeit in community college, but he was a division 1 recruit before that so he's pretty intriguing to me. 


  • KingKongvsGodzilla 2 days 22 hours ago (view)

    AZPhil, thank you for these updates! It's a nice little pick me up during this dumb year. If you have anything to say on Yohendrick Pinango, Joel Machado, Rafael Morel, or Richard Gallardo, I would love to hear it! Thanks again!


  • crunch 3 days 8 hours ago (view)

    jim hickey new nats pitching coach.


  • bradsbeard 4 days 2 hours ago (view)

    Several non-prospects ate up spots as well. Ultimately wish they had given a few more Rivas types a shot there. 


  • tim815 4 days 3 hours ago (view)

    Only 60 spots in SB. Others benefited more from the time.


  • crunch 4 days 6 hours ago (view)

    not phil, but i think everyone is holding off on his potential ceiling until he gains enough weight to not look like someone you want to buy a sandwich every time you see him.

    big upside if his skills can strengthen as he builds his body.

    too early for a solid comp, but i wouldn't feel uncomfortable throwing ian happ's name around (bit better arm than happ, though).


  • bradsbeard 4 days 7 hours ago (view)

    Me too. Thought it was weird he wasn't in South Bend at all. 


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 4 days 12 hours ago (view)

    I am very, very intrigued by Rivas. If the DH is unfortunately here to stay, he's a prime candidate for that and give Rizzo a day off 1B here and there. If no DH, hopefully he is a passable OF. Big believer in his hitting ability


  • Hagsag 4 days 15 hours ago (view)

    Phil, do you think Chris Morel is the real deal?


  • tim815 5 days 4 hours ago (view)

    Blue and Red DSL instructs rosters. No Brayan Altuve.


  • crunch 5 days 7 hours ago (view)

    yup, they're gonna try.  starts in about a month.