Skip to content

Phillies lose out on B.J. Upton; will they turn to Michael Bourn?

Nov 28, 2012, 6:34 PM EDT

Michael Bourn AP

Michael Bourn was undoubtedly a stronger player than B.J. Upton in 2012, yet something surprising happened when free agency opened earlier this month; Bourn’s most recent team, the Braves, and his original team, the Phillies, both made Upton the priority in talks.

Did it have to do with the price tag? Bourn was seeking more money, but the figures were so astronomical with both that it hardly seemed likely to make all of the difference. Upton just got $15.05 million per year for five years from the Braves. Bourn was asking for a sixth year, but he never figured to do much better than the $75 million that Upton got.

It’s all really curious to me. I see Upton as the significantly better bet going forward, but I wasn’t really expecting the Braves or especially the Phillies to view it the same way. Upton is two years younger, which makes a real difference. Bourn, though, is the better fielder and the better leadoff candidate. Upton also has a reputation for not always hustling. No one seems to view him as a bad guy overall, but his head doesn’t always seem to be in the game. Bourn has no such reputation.

Anyway, most suspect the Phillies will now turn to Bourn. And maybe they will. Still, I don’t think they would have been all over Upton like they were if they were eager to pay Bourn’s price. They might mix in a changeup and target the less pricey Angel Pagan instead. They also haven’t ruled out bringing back Shane Victorino, though Victorino needs to get a whole lot more realistic about his salary demands first.

Bourn will still get his big payday, but now I suspect he may have to settle for a bit less than Upton got, whether it’s four years and $60 million or five years and $70 million.

Latest Posts
  1. Mariners re-acquire Kendrys Morales from Twins for Stephen Pryor

    Jul 24, 2014, 2:51 PM EDT

    Kendrys-Morales-Twins Getty Images

    Kendrys Morales had a good first week for the Twins after sitting out the first two months of the season and then signing a one-year, $7.5 million deal in June, but he’s been horrendous since then while hitting .209 with one homer and a .524 OPS in 33 games.

  2. Are the Dodgers about to dump Dan Haren?

    Jul 24, 2014, 2:44 PM EDT

    Dan Haren Dodgers AP

    Dan Haren finished last season strong for the Nationals, signed a one-year, $10 million deal with the Dodgers this offseason, and got off to a nice start in Los Angeles.

  3. HBT Daily: La Russa, Torre and Cox to be inducted on Sunday

    Jul 24, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

    HBT Daily Logo

    And it provides us with an opportunity to think about what it means to be a Hall of Fame manager.

  4. Mariners send Taijuan Walker back to Triple-A

    Jul 24, 2014, 1:46 PM EDT

    taijuan walker getty Getty Images

    Taijuan Walker rejoined Seattle’s rotation Wednesday after spending most of the season on the disabled list and at Triple-A, but after struggling in his start against the Mets the Mariners have sent the 21-year-old rookie back to the minors.

  5. A’s designate $10 million reliever Jim Johnson for assignment

    Jul 24, 2014, 1:10 PM EDT

    Jim Johnson A's AP

    Oakland acquiring Jim Johnson from Baltimore and agreeing to pay him $10 million this season left a lot of people shaking their heads and now the move is officially a spectacular failure. And over, too.

  6. Tigers GM says Joel Hanrahan’s rehab status “does not sound encouraging”

    Jul 24, 2014, 12:20 PM EDT

    Joel Hanrahan AP

    When the Tigers signed Joel Hanrahan in May they were hoping the former All-Star closer would be ready to return from Tommy John elbow surgery by the All-Star break, but he hasn’t progressed as planned and now they’re not hoping for much of anything.

  7. Everything you need to know about next week’s trade deadline

    Jul 24, 2014, 12:09 PM EDT

    David Price David Price

    Who is buying? Who is selling? Who is on the block? And is next week’s trade deadline really a deadline?

  8. Which hitters have the most multi-homer games?

    Jul 24, 2014, 11:51 AM EDT

    Edwin Encarnacion Getty Getty Images

    Four names you’d expect and one name of a guy heading to retirement.

  9. Neftali Feliz expected to take over as Rangers closer following Joakim Soria trade

    Jul 24, 2014, 11:19 AM EDT

    Neftali Feliz AP

    Texas traded closer Joakim Soria to Detroit for a pair of prospects and Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports that the Rangers will likely turn back to a familiar name to fill the vacant closer role: Neftali Feliz.

  10. Happy 50th Birthday, Barry Bonds!

    Jul 24, 2014, 11:03 AM EDT

    Barry Bonds AP

    All Hail the best hitter for at least the last half-century and a dude who has more business being on that stage in Cooperstown on Sunday than anyone.

  11. Impending free agent Jon Lester won’t talk contract with the Red Sox until after the season

    Jul 24, 2014, 10:50 AM EDT

    Jon Lester Getty AP

    Jon Lester is three months from hitting the open market as a free agent and Red Sox president Larry Lucchino revealed during a radio interview that the left-hander has informed the team he won’t negotiate a new contract until after the season.

  12. Derek Jeter is the third most powerful figure in New York Sports? Really?

    Jul 24, 2014, 10:32 AM EDT

    derek jeter getty Getty Images

    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  13. Ryan Howard has officially been benched by the Phillies

    Jul 24, 2014, 10:15 AM EDT

    Philadelphia Phillies v Los Angeles Dodgers Getty Images

    Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reported yesterday that the Phillies have considered releasing struggling first baseman Ryan Howard with more than $60 million remaining on his contract and today is the day it becomes totally clear that the former MVP has been benched.

  14. Ten years ago today the Alex Rodriguez-Jason Varitek brawl changed the narrative of the Sox-Yankees rivalry

    Jul 24, 2014, 8:06 AM EDT

    Jason Varitek - A-Rod fight Getty Images

    It was one moment in a typical benches-clearing brawl, but oh what a moment it was.

  15. And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

    Jul 24, 2014, 7:01 AM EDT

    Alex Cobb AP

    The Rays stay hot, the Yankees get an assist from Mother Nature and Mike Moustakas showed us how to jar a bar loose from the catcher’s mitt without breaking the home plate collision rules.

  16. Tigers acquire closer Joakim Soria from the Rangers

    Jul 23, 2014, 10:25 PM EDT

    joakim soria getty Getty Images

    Kyle Bogenschutz of Scout.com and Detroit’s 97.1 The Ticket reports that the Tigers have acquired reliever Joakim Soria from the Rangers for pitching prospects Jake Thompson and Corey Knebel. FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi says the deal is only pending physical exams.

Featured video

Managers get easier path to Cooperstown
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. H. Street (3986)
  2. C. Lee (2921)
  3. H. Ramirez (2853)
  4. T. Tulowitzki (2806)
  5. Y. Puig (2687)
  1. C. Headley (2680)
  2. B. Belt (2498)
  3. J. Soria (2404)
  4. T. Walker (2222)
  5. A. Rios (2146)