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Rays strike deal to get outfielder Bourjos

MLB.com @wwchastain

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Rays have acquired outfielder Peter Bourjos from the White Sox for a player to be named or cash considerations.

Bourjos, who will turn 30 on Friday, was battling for a job as a non-roster invitee at White Sox camp. He was batting .313 in Spring Training through Monday. The Rays will likely utilize Bourjos as a backup center fielder, with Colby Rasmus expected to begin the season on the disabled list.

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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Rays have acquired outfielder Peter Bourjos from the White Sox for a player to be named or cash considerations.

Bourjos, who will turn 30 on Friday, was battling for a job as a non-roster invitee at White Sox camp. He was batting .313 in Spring Training through Monday. The Rays will likely utilize Bourjos as a backup center fielder, with Colby Rasmus expected to begin the season on the disabled list.

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"It looks like an opportunity to hit against some lefty pitching, and come off the bench," said Bourjos during a phone interview Tuesday afternoon. "Whatever the team needs me to do, I'm ready to go."

Known for speed and defense, Bourjos played in 123 games for the Phillies last season, batting .251/.292/.389 with five home runs and 23 RBIs. He is a career .243/.300/.382 hitter over seven big league seasons with the Angels, Cardinals and Phillies.

"Right now I don't think anything is set in stone with Pete," said Rays manager Kevin Cash when asked about Bourjos' status. "Obviously the right-handed outfield bat. A guy who can really defend. I like the way our outfield could be shaping out with Colby on the DL, a combination of Steven Souza, Mallex Smith, Peter Bourjos out there to help Kevin Kiermaier a little bit. It's a pretty good outfield."

Bourjos said the news that he was headed to the Rays didn't come as a shock.

"I felt like the way the winter was going that the Rays were a spot where I might end up," Bourjos said. "Then some trades and signings happened, and it didn't work out. So it's not too much of a surprise because they showed a lot of interest earlier in the winter."

Bourjos feels like he's in a good place.

"Knock on wood, I feel really good," Bourjos said. "Swing feels like it's in a good spot. I feel healthy. So hopefully continue what I've been doing here and put together some good at-bats the next three days."

Bourjos said he will arrive in Florida on Tuesday night.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

Tampa Bay Rays, Peter Bourjos