Jon Heyman of CBS Sports is reporting that the Cleveland Indians have signed Michael Bourn to a four-year deal worth $48 million with an option for $12 million if Bourn is still on-point enough for 550 plate appearances in 2016.
Bourn will surely play center for the Tribe, meaning there will be a rotation of the remaining outfielding spots and the DH between Drew Stubbs, Michael Brantley, Jason Giambi and Nick Swisher.
Although not much more is known at this hour, if Bourn is putting on an Indians uniform it could spell big dividends for the speedy outfielder. He hit .274/.348/.391 with nine homers, 57 RBIs and 42 steals last year with the Braves. Those numbers could easily improve while with Cleveland.
Here are just a few notes on why this is a good fit for Bourn:
- Bourn no longer has to face the Nationals nasty starting rotation multiple times a year. Sure, he'll get Justin Verlander, but he'll also get Minnesota, Kansas City and Chicago for multiple series' — all teams that ranked near the bottom of the AL in ERA last season.
- Remember when Jacoby Ellsbury stole 120 bases from 2008-09? His manager was Terry Francona. Francona now manages the Indians. Bourn will get the green light to steal at his leisure.
- The Atlanta Braves hit 149 home runs last season. The Indians hit 136 home runs. Now the Indians add 39 homers from last year in new acquisitions. Although some argue there is no such thing as 'protection,' I argue that it certainly cannot hurt.
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