Get any group of St. Louis Cardinals fans together long enough and they'll develop their own pet projects, irrational disgusts, and trade targets. For Viva El Birdos--well, there are too many to mention. But one of their(/our) favorite recurring trade themes involves the Cardinals sending the Angels some mid-range prospects in exchange for Peter Bourjos, their defensively otherworldly center fielder. After some news suggesting Bourjos would partially displace Mike Trout in center that pseudo-rumor seemed destined for a place in the trash next to those old Matt Cain-Chris Duncan fantasy trades. Then the Angels signed Josh Hamilton.
Hamilton isn't an iron man, or even a bronze man, but the move certainly puts Bourjos in a more prototypical fourth-outfielder role. So now Cardinals fans obsessed with his career 19 runs/year DRS average can think about him in a slightly less prototypical fourth outfielder role, as a member of an uneasy platoon with Jon Jay.
Bourjos's offensive performance to date only muddies his valuation. In 2010 and 2012, in part-time roles, he's looked awful, posting OPSes on the low end of .600 with sub-.300 OBPs. In 2011, as a starter, he hit .271/.327/.438 and showed power and offensively-useful speed, but it took him a BAbip of .338 to do it.
The Cardinals' solution to their fourth outfield problem will likely emerge out of free agency--they've been connected of late to Scott Hairston, a much different right-hander who can play center--but that won't keep VEB's commenters (and authors) from imagining the center field equivalent of Brendan Ryan getting 65 starts somewhere.