DETROIT -- It was December 2009 when Peter Bourjos, months removed from his fourth season in the Minors, first saw his name on the ESPN crawl as part of a potential trade. It was for then-Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay. Before the Phillies grabbed him, Bourjos was rumored to be on his way to Toronto -- along with teammates Joe Saunders and Erick Aybar, reports indicated -- and Halladay was headed for the Angels.
Since then, Bourjos' name in the rumor mill has been a regular occurrence.
"Every year it feels like my name's been out there," the 25-year-old outfielder said prior to Monday's series opener against the Tigers. "I don't think the Angels ever put it out there. It's just rumors. I think it's probably less than one percent of every rumor out there that actually comes true."
Can one finally come true this time around, though?
The Angels are searching for pitching, and Bourjos, currently without an everyday role, is one of few chips who may bring back a quality arm, be it in the rotation or the bullpen. This week should go a long way toward deciding how desperate the Angels are for starting pitching, with the struggling Ervin Santana facing the slugging Tigers and Rangers, and Dan Haren making a rehab start and possibly returning by Sunday.
This week may decide how willing the Angels are to include Bourjos in a deal.
"I just want to play baseball, that's it," Bourjos said. "Whether I'm playing baseball here -- hopefully I am -- or somewhere else, at least I'm getting to do that.
"Hopefully I can play my whole career here, but I know that it doesn't happen too often where a guy plays his whole career in one spot. So I think you've already prepared yourself. You know that that's a possibility, whether you want to be out there or not."
General manager Jerry Dipoto has vehemently downplayed any desire to trade Bourjos, who has a lot of upside and is a big part of their long-term plans. If the right package comes along, he'll surely consider it. But it seems highly unlikely that the Angels would trade him for a rental like Zack Greinke or Cole Hamels unless they were confident they could re-sign them.
"I can't speak for Jerry," an industry source said, "but I doubt he would give up four more years of cost control [with Bourjos] for 10 starts."
Since the start of May, Bourjos has had a hard time cracking an outfield that features Mike Trout, Torii Hunter and Mark Trumbo, starting only 24 of 67 games (including Monday). But Bourjos is one of the fastest players in baseball, is among the best defensive center fielders out there, has upside offensively and is under club control through 2016.
For the next two weeks, teams will surely be interested.
Whether Dipoto takes the bait is another question.
"Obviously, you want to play, and hopefully next year that's a possibility here," Bourjos said. "You can't read the future. I can be in the same situation somewhere else. That's where I'm indifferent about it. I can get traded and be in the same spot I am here. That's why, whatever happens, happens."
Iannetta progressing, throws to bases
DETROIT -- Catcher Chris Iannetta, out since undergoing right wrist surgery on May 11, threw to bases at Comerica Park on Monday, part of the final step before progressing toward a rehab assignment and finally returning to the Angels' lineup.
This time around, though, he'll be extra cautious.
The last time Iannetta threw to bases, in early June, he sustained a strained right forearm that prolonged his stint on the shelf for several more weeks. The reason, Iannetta believes -- trying to do too much, too soon.
"I feel close," Iannetta said. "The actual dates and times, it's up to the training staff, [manager Mike Scioscia] and [general manager Jerry Dipoto], what they're comfortable with. Obviously, we were really aggressive the first time. A lot of that had to do with trying to push it as fast I can because I felt good and I wanted to do it.
"Now it's a matter of just being safe. You don't want to come back for a week and be in trouble, or go out on a rehab assignment like I did the last time and not be ready. It makes more sense to be a little more conservative for a couple days here."
Iannetta only threw to the edge of the grass in front of second base, but he feels if he can do that, he can throw all the way through. Still, he'll have to repeat the exercise a few times before being cleared for a Minor League rehab assignment.
The Angels aren't taking any chances.
"He had a good workout today," Scioscia said. "He's just not quite where he needs to be."
Wells targeting rehab assignment this weekend
DETROIT -- The Angels are eyeing a weekend rehab assignment for Vernon Wells.
Wells, out since May 21 due to surgery on his right thumb, has been doing full baseball activities and will continue to do so throughout the week. By this weekend, the Angels plan on being able to send him to the Minor Leagues, where manager Mike Scioscia estimates he'll need at least seven to 10 games before being deemed ready to return to the active roster.
Then comes the fun part -- deciding where, and when, to play him.
Dan Haren, on the disabled list with a stiff lower back, pitched five innings for Class A Inland Empire on Monday night, giving up two runs on seven hits and no walks while striking out two. He threw 65 pitches, 44 for strikes.
After their 8-6 loss to the Tigers, the Angels optioned infielder Andrew Romine to Triple-A Salt Lake in order to make room on the roster for Tuesday starter Garrett Richards.
Mark Trumbo hit his team-leading 25th home run on Monday, giving him five homers in his last seven games.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.