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Rumor Mill: Twins interested in Cardinals OF Peter Bourjos

There is some speculation out of Minnesota that the Twins are interested in St. Louis Cardinals centerfielder Peter Bourjos.

But, with the release of Redbirds reserve outfielder Shane Robinson Tuesday, I wonder if St. Louis can afford to part with Bourjos.

If starting centerfielder Jon Jay were to be injured, the subtraction of Bourjos would press Randal Grichuk into duty at a position he's played very sparingly in the major leagues. While he has expressed a desire to go someplace where he could be a starter, Bourjos would give St. Louis a lot of flexibility as a reserve because he can play all three outfield slots well.

That's something the Birds will need with Jason Heyward's struggles against lefty pitchers. There could be situations late in games where a dominant lefty reliever comes in to face the newest Cardinal and St. Louis manager Mike Matheny will want to pinch hit. It could also come in handy if the Cardinals are nursing a lead late in games and want to replace left fielder Matt Holliday with a stronger defensive player.

It's too much to ask Grichuk, who is still establishing his bat at the major league level, to be an irreplacable part of the team for an entire season. He may have a great season. Or he may have to go back to Class AAA at some point to work on his hitting. And prospect Steven Piscotty is in the same position. He's a possibility at the MLB level in 2015. But not a sure thing.

The Cardinals are reported by ESPN to be shopping for an elite starting pitcher and they need someone who can bat righthanded and play first base. But the Twins aren't going to give up one of their best pitchers for Bourjos. And the Cardinals don't want first baseman Joe Mauer's giant contract for the kind of production he puts up lately: .277 with four homers in 2014. He'll make $92 million over the next four years.

At this point, Bourjos has more value to the Cardinals being on their roster than he would if he was traded.