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Indians and Michael Bourn agree to a four-year, $48 million contract

Feb 11, 2013, 8:30 PM EDT

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After seeing the market for his services dwindle for nearly the entire offseason, Michael Bourn has finally found a home.

According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, Bourn has agreed to a contract with the Indians. The deal is worth $48 million over four years and includes a vesting option for a fifth year which could push the total to $60 million.

Bourn originally hoped to land a deal north of the five-year, $75.25 million contract B.J. Upton signed with the Braves, so this looks like a relative bargain in comparison. Still, Scott Boras deserves credit for getting a pretty good deal for his client given the circumstances. While the Mets were reluctant to give up their first-round pick (11th overall) and draft pool money to sign Bourn, Cleveland’s first-round pick is protected. The Indians forfeited their second-round pick to sign Nick Swisher, so Jim Callis of Baseball America hears that they’ll give up their competitive balance pick (No. 69 overall) to bring Bourn into the fold.

The Indians were mentioned as a possibility for Bourn as recently as last week, so this doesn’t come completely out of nowhere. However, it seemed like a long shot at the time given that Swisher, Michael Brantley and Drew Stubbs were already in-house for the outfield. It’s a pretty good bet that Bourn, Swisher and Brantley will be in the lineup on most days, though Swisher and Mark Reynolds could alternate between first base/DH duties, opening up a spot for the speedy Stubbs in right. The Indians could also explore trades involving Stubbs. All in all, it’s a pretty nice problem to have. I don’t think the Indians have enough pitching to threaten the Tigers in the AL Central, but it looks like Terry Francona’s first year as skipper will be an interesting one.

UPDATE: According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Mets also made a four-year, $48 million offer to Bourn. However, they were informed that it would take an arbitrator two to three weeks to decide whether they would be able to keep their first-round pick. And with spring training approaching, Bourn just wasn’t willing to wait that long, so he took the Indians’ deal.

  1. bat42boy - Feb 11, 2013 at 10:40 PM

    Great to see the Indians do some off season moves. Now, if they can only get a front line pitcher, they then could be a serious contender in the central division. Time will only tell. As a life long Indians fan (over 60 years) l like this move and hope for the best.

  2. mojosmagic - Feb 11, 2013 at 10:50 PM

    Were there any other teams interested in Bourn’s services?

    • tuberippin - Feb 11, 2013 at 11:29 PM

      The Mets…as it says in the article.

    • Pierre Cruzatte - Feb 12, 2013 at 10:56 AM

      I assume that, in fact, you are referring to the results of searching “Bourn” on this very blog. Here are the headlines, in reverse chronological order:

      -Indians and Michael Bourn agree to a four-year, $48 million contract
      -Report: Cubs “on the fringes” for free agent outfielder Michael Bourn
      -Who needs Michael Bourn? The Mets have signed Corey Patterson
      -The Mets inch closer to Michael Bourn: they may offer a four-year deal
      -The Indians could be interested in Michael Bourn
      -David Wright has been lobbying Michael Bourn to come to New York
      -The Mets are having “ongoing discussions” with Scott Boras over Michael Bourn
      -Even if Nelson Cruz is suspended, the Rangers are not going after Michael Bourn
      -Sandy Alderson flew to Houston to meet with Michael Bourn
      -Michael Bourn wants a five-year deal
      -The Mets have “zero interest” in Michael Bourn if it means losing the draft pick
      -The Mets should not be able to keep their first round pick if they sign Michael Bourn
      -Conflicting reports on the Mets’ interest in Michael Bourn
      -Michael Bourn is still waiting for some love
      -Mets are not interested in Michael Bourn
      -Braves haven’t closed the door on re-signing Michael Bourn
      -Yankees “quietly interested” in free agent Michael Bourn?
      -Where will Hamilton, Bourn and Swisher end up?
      -What does Michael Bourn do now?
      -Michael Bourn-to-Phillies possibility heating up
      -Mariners interested in Michael Bourn, meeting with Scott Boras
      -Phillies lose out on B.J. Upton; will they turn to Michael Bourn?
      -The Reds are interested in Michael Bourn
      -Michael Bourn is looking for $100 million? OK, good luck with that

      … Phew.

      • Pierre Cruzatte - Feb 12, 2013 at 10:59 AM

        (If you’re keeping score, this publication linked him to fully one third of the teams in baseball.)

    • stevincinci - Feb 12, 2013 at 7:43 PM

      Reds initially behind the scene. But they only needed a stop gap for a year before Billy Hamilton takes center field next year. That’s why they signed Choo.

  3. wgray981 - Feb 11, 2013 at 10:58 PM

    Yeah! Here comes the Tribe!

  4. mtr75 - Feb 12, 2013 at 12:04 AM

    Glad the Mets didn’t make this deal. We spent the last 3 years getting from under bad contracts. Bourne may have a good year or two left in him, but certainly not 4.

    • Baseball Beer Burritos In That Order - Feb 12, 2013 at 12:42 PM

      Not sure why people are thumbing this down. My first reaction to the headline was basically “Glad the Mets didn’t make this deal.”

      Unless my fellow Mutts fans really think a 30 year old who gets most of his value from his legs is a great investment?

  5. thebadguyswon - Feb 12, 2013 at 12:48 AM

    BJ Upton is twice the player Michael Bourn is.

    • biasedhomer - Feb 12, 2013 at 6:03 AM

      Except you know…the last 3 years when Bourn has been better while Upton has been living off the hype of his brother.

  6. xjokerz - Feb 12, 2013 at 6:33 AM

    As a tiger fan , this doesn’t matter to the al central. The Indians are a lock for 3rd place despite blowing money this offseason on a old swisher and decent bourn .. Their offense is meh at best and their pitching .. Lol … Ubaldo, masterson, and whatever else trash they can muster up to form a decent rotation. And before you all jump over bauers nuts can we see him pitch In the al ? Or be good at the major league level first ? Tigers offense is going to destroy that pitching staff . Going to be a fun cruise to the World Series again. Go tigs

    • Kevin Gillman - Feb 12, 2013 at 3:57 PM

      Hey joker, what was the Indians record against your Tigers last season? Yeah, the Indians were bad, but they went 11-7 against the Tigers. Thanks for that.

  7. mgscott - Feb 12, 2013 at 11:35 AM

    There’s a red moon rising, on the cuyahoga river…

  8. aiede - Feb 12, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    I’m assuming that there was some form of Bourn Ultimatum that made the Tribe shell out this kind of money:

    Chris Antonetti: Perhaps we can arrange a meet.
    Michael Bourn: Where are you now?
    Chris Antonetti: I’m sitting in my office.
    Michael Bourn: I doubt that.
    Chris Antonetti: Why would you doubt that?
    Michael Bourn: If you were in your office right now we’d be having this conversation face-to-face.

  9. dawglb - Feb 13, 2013 at 1:43 AM

    Good things are happening in Cleveburgh!!

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