Non-tender candidate Bourjos claimed by Phillies

Non-tender candidate Bourjos claimed by Phillies

ST. LOUIS -- Outfielder Peter Bourjos, who never quite found traction during two seasons with the Cardinals, was claimed off waivers by the Phillies on Wednesday.

Bourjos is a second-time arbitration-eligible player, and the Cardinals were nearing Wednesday's 10:59 p.m. CT deadline to tender contracts to such players. Without an obvious fit for Bourjos moving forward, the Cards were content in letting him go.

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Bourjos joined the organization in November 2013 as part of a four-player deal that sent David Freese to the Angels. At the time, Bourjos was projected to be the team's next starting center fielder, though he never did seize that role. Over two seasons, Bourjos hit .218/.292/.342 over 519 plate appearances.

His most substantive contributions came as a late-game defensive replacement and pinch-runner. Bourjos wasn't likely to have a much greater role in 2016, either, with outfielders Matt Holliday, Jon Jay, Randal Grichuk, Stephen Piscotty, Brandon Moss and Tommy Pham returning. The Cardinals also continue to court free-agent right fielder Jason Heyward.

This move comes the same day the Cardinals traded backup catcher Tony Cruz to the Royals for Minor League infielder Jose Martinez. Cruz, like Bourjos, was a non-tender candidate.

The Cardinals tendered contracts to four arbitration-eligible players -- Moss, Trevor Rosenthal, Matt Adams and Seth Maness -- before Wednesday's deadline, but opted not to do so with reliever Steve Cishek.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.