Where will Michael Bourn play?
Michael Bourn to … whom?
As the dominoes fall, Bourn and his super-agent Scott Boras are fighting an uphill battle. If I was a betting man, I would place my MLB bet online with Seattle sweeping him up. Just like if I would look to bet on super bowl online, I would bet on the 49ers. So, therefore, don’t trust my bets because in the end, it’s a gamble. (See what I did there?)
Anyways, I’m sure Bourn wasn’t expecting this during his first free-agent experience, and he’s probably upset that he didn’t at least entertain negotiations with the Atlanta Braves before the 2012 season ended. To be honest, I don’t think the Braves had any intention to sign Bourn before the season ended because they really wanted Upton, who is a speed-and-power player, while Bourn is a speed-only guy.
In fact, many suitors are turned away from shelling out $16MM a year to a guy who’s primary asset is his legs. Especially given that he’s 30 years old. Why would you want to give a guy who relies so much on his legs, who’s in the latter part of his career, a huge contract over several years? Why? What was Boras thinking?
It makes me laugh, and also happy, that the Braves didn’t give him the money he wanted and to see him still out there on the free agency market. I doubt he’ll land a deal higher than Upton received from Atlanta, but it is Boras we’re talking about here. He can get a team to overpay when no one else wants the player — just like he did with Andruw Jones in Japan. Jones didn’t even top the Mendoza Line, but somehow Boras got a team in Japan to offer him $3MM plus. Yeah, I know.
The fact that many teams went after their center field needs via trade has got to be disheartening to Bourn. He’s a proud player, and he’s probably feeling pretty low right about now. Every contender has filled their CF needs. His only chance of playing for a contender would be to sign for a significant one-year discount. I’m sure a team like Seattle, who keeps telling everyone they have money to spend, could afford him and are interested. Would he actually go there? He preached last year and the year before how important playing for a contender was. I mean, wouldn’t you after playing for the Astros all those years?
There’s also talk about him heading to the Yankees. But if New York signs Ichiro Suzuki (and it looks promising), I doubt they would entertain Bourn. Plus, they claim they are in a money-saving mode.
Where else can he go? Let’s look at all the options:
Baltimore – He wouldn’t even start there.
Boston – Signed Victorino and also have Jacoby Ellsbury.
Tampa Bay – They have a guy they call superman … so no.
Yankees – Ichiro will be signing soon, and they have Brett Gardner.
Toronto – Melk Man will be patrolling there.
Tigers – Just signed Torii Hunter.
White Sox – Alejandro De Aza (who?) patrols there. He’s a similar player to Bourn and is a hell of a lot cheaper.
Royals – Could fit. But they have prospects who can fill the position for much cheaper. Lorenzo Cain comes to mind.
Indians – Shin-Soo Choo mans the position but is on the trade block. If he’s traded, perhaps they could be in play.
Twins – Only if the price drops will they get involved.
Athletics - Plethora of prospects and don’t have the budget.
Rangers – Could be a fit if Josh Hamilton doesn’t re-sign. But, my bets are on Hamilton.
Angels - Apparently have a few good prospects in the outfield there.
Mariners – Seems the most logical.
Nationals – Traded for Span.
Braves – Signed B.J. Upton.
Phillies – Traded for Revere.
Mets – I guess they would have the money but why would he sign there? Also have serviceable prospects for much cheaper.
Marlins – Same as the Mets. They have the money, but the Marlins have decent prospects for that position who are the same player as Bourn.
Reds – They have Drew Stubbs and are the team looking to trade for Choo.
Cardinals – Carlos Beltran in check.
Brewers – Carlos Gomez in check.
Pirates – Some guy named Andrew McCutchen.
Cubs – David DeJesus in check.
Astros – No money.
Giants – Signed Pagan.
Dodgers – Carl Crawford will be back.
Diamondbacks – Don’t have the dough to reel him in, and they have serviceable players in check.
Padres – Cameron Maybin.
Rockies – Carlos Gonzalez, AKA CarGo.
So, where do you see the most logical fit?