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Could Phillies bring back Michael Bourn this winter?

Aug 3, 2012, 2:10 PM EDT

Michael Bourn Getty Images

In making their trades earlier this week, the Phillies showed they weren’t interested in paying Hunter Pence or Shane Victorino market value in 2013. Now they have three outfield spots in flux going forward, and while they’re hoping Dominic Brown can hold down right field, there’s already plenty of speculation that they might target free agent-to-be Michael Bourn to fill center.

Corey Seidman breaks it all down at, trying to figure out how much Bourn will command this winter and whether the Phillies could sign him and still fill other needs.

Personally, I’d pass on Bourn. He was a deserving All-Star this year, but a lot of that is his defense. Players with his offensive profile haven’t aged very well. Kenny Lofton might be the obvious comparable, but Bourn simply isn’t at his level. A career .275/.338/.369 hitter, he’s actually much closer to Luis Polonia (.294/.342/.369), Roger Cedeno (.275/.342/.374) and Tom Goodwin (.277/.340/.337) through age 29. Lofton was at .313/.379/.431 through his age-29 season.

If the Phillies could pay a premium to get Bourn to agree to a three-year deal, then he might be worth it. However, the guess here is that he’ll probably get five years from someone.

  1. drmonkeyarmy - Aug 3, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    I would argue that they didn’t want to pay Pence above market value…which he is likely to get in arbitration. If I’m the Giants, I’d be hesitant about paying that price too.

  2. stex52 - Aug 3, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    Bourn is one I hated to see Houston dump. I actually preferred seeing him stay to Pence, even though he has miniscule power. But that’s the reason he is gone. They knew he would be going for a big payday in 2013.

    Sure plays a great centerfield, though.

  3. ame123 - Aug 3, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    CF is a loaded position this winter. Hamilton, Bourn, Cabrera, Victorino, Pagan. I’d pay 4/60 for Bourn without hesitation.

  4. natstowngreg - Aug 3, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    Reserve your supply of Michael Bourn to the Nats rumors now. Don’t wait until the end of the season, when the demand will be greater.

    Would the Nats paying Bourn a ton of cash to lead off and play top-notch CF defense make sense? Hard to say, because we don’t know how big the deal would be. However, as long as the Nats are batting Danny Espinosa and Steve Lombardozzi leadoff, and playing Jayson Werth and Bryce Harper in CF, the rumors won’t go away.

    • delsj - Aug 3, 2012 at 2:43 PM

      You forgot to mention that he is also a Scott Boras client.

      • xmatt0926x - Aug 3, 2012 at 3:08 PM

        delsj, you took the words right out of my mouth. It’s well known that Nats GM Rizzo is Boras’ little bitch. Actually, that was even before he made Rizzo sign Werth to that horrific contract. My guess is that this winter boras tells Rizzo to sign Bourn to 6 years at about $12 million per year and then tells Rizzo to go get him a cutty and water.

    • someguyinva - Aug 3, 2012 at 4:20 PM

      Signing Bourn (or anyone) to play CF means letting LaRoche walk so that Morse can play 1B. Don’t know if LaRoche’s numbers this year are just him playing for his next contract or if there might be some real there there offensively, but he’s better defensively at 1B than Morse.

      Definitely need improvement in OBP at leadoff, though.

  5. illcomm - Aug 3, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    is be hesitant to pay that much. I’d rather just go with mayberry in center. Hamilton will be best value given his offfield issues

  6. orakpownd - Aug 3, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    Blah blah. Rizzo GM of the year.

  7. foreverchipper10 - Aug 3, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    As much as I want ATL to retain him I have a sinking feeling we will not. Although if we lose him I would not be upset if they ink Victorino to man CF.

  8. greymares - Aug 3, 2012 at 6:00 PM

    The Phillies will go after Bourne 1st. If not successful look for Victorino come back at a reduced price.

  9. djm426 - Aug 3, 2012 at 10:30 PM

    I’d love to see Bourne back in Philly. He a class act and good lead off guy

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