Skip to content

Michael Bourn is still waiting for some love

Jan 20, 2013, 8:19 PM EDT

Michael Bourn Getty Images

Considered by many as the No. 2 free agent hitter available this winter, Michael Bourn has now gone three months with seemingly no market developing for his services. The Braves struck early to sign B.J. Upton to replace him. The Phillies also targeted Upton and then traded for Ben Revere after coming up short. The Nationals traded for Denard Span. The Giants re-signed Angel Pagan. And it’s unclear if Bourn has even one offer on the table at this point.

Let’s explore all of the possible suitors as of Jan. 20, going from most likely to least likely.

- Rangers – The most obvious destination; the Rangers have no clear starting center fielder and they possess as much payroll flexibility as any AL team. Still, one gets the idea that if they were truly high on Bourn, something would have gotten done already. Perhaps they’ll be more interested if he proves willing to accept a three-year deal.

- Mariners – Management knows changes are on the horizon if the Mariners fail to take a clear step forward in 2013. Bringing in Bourn to play center fielder over the injury-prone Franklin Gutierrez would likely result in at least a couple of more wins. However, the team has been focused on adding power at the expense of speed and defense this winter.

- Braves – Bourn is open to returning, even after the Braves initially shoved him aside to bring in Upton, and Atlanta still needs an outfielder and a leadoff hitter. If the Braves could come up with the cash to make it happen, they’d have a much better chance of hanging with the Nationals all season.

- Cubs – The Cubs had no plans to splurge on a hitter this winter, but if Bourn’s price tag falls, they could find room in their plans for him. They’ve already upgraded their pitching staff enough to entertain dreams of sneaking up on teams in the NL Central.

- Rays – He’d be a terrific fit if they could come up with the money. The Rays seem to prefer keeping Desmond Jennings in left field, and Bourn would be an upgrade in the leadoff spot, with Jennings hitting sixth or lower. Still, it’s hard to see them making the salary work.

- Dodgers – They’re here simply because they do have the budget room for Bourn. However, any chance of them trading Andre Ethier and signing an outfielder seems to have passed.

- Astros – If the Astros thought bringing back Bourn would excite the fans, then maybe they’d make a run. They certainly have room for him in their outfield. Unfortunately, they’re so far from contention that it makes little on-field sense to sign him.

- White Sox – What would the winter be without a big surprise move from Ken Williams and Rick Hahn? Center field isn’t a need, but Bourn would be an upgrade over Alejandro De Aza in the leadoff spot.

- Tigers – The team signed Prince Fielder last winter despite already having Miguel Cabrera at first base. However, with Austin Jackson in center, the upgrade from Andy Dirks to Bourn isn’t nearly worth Bourn’s asking price.

- Yankees – There’s been some talk about a Curtis Granderson trade, but since he’s a free agent after 2013 and the Yankees are trying to cut payroll for 2014, Granderson is still a really good fit in New York. Plus, a Brett Gardner-Bourn-Ichiro Suzuki outfield, while ridiculously awesome defensively, just wouldn’t be very practical.

- Blue Jays – They’re capped out as is, so they’d have to beg ownership for the money. Besides, they’re not too badly off with Colby Rasmus in center and Jose Reyes batting leadoff.

- Red Sox – Would have to trade Jacoby Ellsbury and still might not be interested then.

- Mets – Bourn would be a huge upgrade for the game’s second worst outfield (ahead of only Houston’s), but the Mets don’t have the money right now.

In my estimation, that’s three realistic possibilities (Rangers, Mariners and Braves) with maybe the Cubs as a sleeper if this drags on a few more weeks. My guess is that we’ll finally see some real Bourn talk this week, and he’s still going to get his $15 million per year in the end, even if some of that ends up being deferred (see Soriano, Rafael).

Latest Posts
  1. The Red Sox, Cubs and Rays employ neurological training to help hitters

    Sep 19, 2014, 12:16 PM EDT

    Clockwork

    It’s not as scary as what our friend Alex had to endure, here, but it’s still pretty cool.

  2. Geddy Lee’s baseball obsession makes it really hard for me to hate Rush

    Sep 19, 2014, 11:32 AM EDT

    Rush

    Come for the cool video. Stay for a way-too-long explanation of why I hate Rush. And the inevitable comments from Rush fans about why I’m wrong about this.

  3. Talking head says Jeter is “a fraud” and “you are all suckers”

    Sep 19, 2014, 10:34 AM EDT

    Derek Jeter Getty Getty Images

    Imagine being a person so awful and sour that you feel this is something reasonable to say.

  4. Yasiel Puig seems to be snapping out of his funk at the right time

    Sep 19, 2014, 9:16 AM EDT

    Yasiel Puig Getty Images

    After a good night last night he’s 12 for his last 30.

  5. It certainly looks like Barry Bonds’ criminal conviction is going to be overturned

    Sep 19, 2014, 8:53 AM EDT

    Closing Arguments Delivered In Barry Bonds Trial Getty Images

    That’s right: for the 2,559th time, Barry Bonds is gonna walk.

  6. There were some walkoffs last night. Let us watch them.

    Sep 19, 2014, 8:27 AM EDT

    Wilin Rosario AP

    I’m an old man who goes to bed early, so I couldn’t see all of this. If you’re like me, enjoy.

  7. And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

    Sep 19, 2014, 7:17 AM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 7.17.14 AM AP

    It’s not dark yet for the Brewers, but it’s getting there. It’s absolutely pitch black for the A’s, though.

  8. Anthony Rizzo wins 2014 Branch Rickey Award

    Sep 18, 2014, 11:15 PM EDT

    Anthony Rizzo Getty Getty Images

    Rizzo won the award in recognition of his community work with pediatric cancer patients.

  9. Report: Wally Backman could join Mets coaching staff in 2015

    Sep 18, 2014, 10:11 PM EDT

    Wally Backman, Tim Teufel

    We learned late last week that Wally Backman will join the Mets coaching staff on Friday to finish out the season. Now there’s a chance that he could remain in the major leagues to begin 2015.

  10. VIDEO: Derek Jeter hits first home run at Yankee Stadium this season

    Sep 18, 2014, 9:15 PM EDT

    Derek Jeter Getty Getty Images

    After snapping an 0-for-28 hitless streak last night, Derek Jeter homered at Yankee Stadium tonight for the first time all season.

  11. Giancarlo Stanton gives update on his recovery

    Sep 18, 2014, 8:58 PM EDT

    giancarlo stanton getty Getty Images

    Stanton suffered facial fractures and dental damage when he was hit in the face by a fastball last Thursday.

  12. Ryan Zimmerman goes 1-for-7, runs at 85 percent speed

    Sep 18, 2014, 8:27 PM EDT

    Miami Marlins v Washington Nationals AP

    It’s possible Zimmerman could be activated from the disabled list as soon as this weekend.

  13. Hanley Ramirez back in Dodgers’ lineup Thursday

    Sep 18, 2014, 8:00 PM EDT

    Hanley Ramirez Getty Getty Images

    Ramirez has missed back-to-back starts with an elbow strain.

  14. Josh Hamilton had “sharp stabbing pains” in his chest

    Sep 18, 2014, 7:20 PM EDT

    billy hamilton getty Getty Images

    Josh Hamilton rejoined the Angels’ lineup Tuesday after sitting out 10 games with a right shoulder injury, but he missed last night’s game and is out of the lineup again tonight with more shoulder problems.

  15. Diamondbacks shutting down Daniel Hudson

    Sep 18, 2014, 7:10 PM EDT

    Daniel Hudson AP

    Hudson made it back to the majors this month for the first time since June 26, 2012.

  16. Jose Fernandez could begin throwing program on October 1

    Sep 18, 2014, 7:02 PM EDT

    Jose Fernandez AP AP

    Marlins ace Jose Fernandez is still a long way from pitching in the majors again, but he’s very close to picking up a baseball for the first time since his Tommy John surgery on May 16.

  17. Pneumonia could end Nolan Arenado’s season

    Sep 18, 2014, 6:31 PM EDT

    nolan arenado getty Getty Images

    Arenado has taken a strong step forward during his sophomore season in the majors, batting .287/.328/.500 with 18 home runs and 61 RBI over 111 games.

  18. Brock Holt not cleared to return from concussion

    Sep 18, 2014, 6:08 PM EDT

    brock holt getty Getty Images

    “Good news, but not as good as it could have been.”

  19. Whatever happened to Khalil Greene?

    Sep 18, 2014, 5:38 PM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-09-18 at 5.37.31 PM AP

    Khalil Greene was a first round pick compared to Cal Ripken. Then he was a decent and at times excellent Major League shortstop. Then he disappeared.

Featured video

Patience finally paying off for Royals fans
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. R. Castillo (3360)
  2. G. Stanton (2611)
  3. A. Rizzo (2365)
  4. H. Ryu (2227)
  5. J. Hamilton (2162)
  1. N. Arenado (2105)
  2. M. Trout (2102)
  3. E. Gattis (1963)
  4. D. Ortiz (1885)
  5. A. Pujols (1838)