Michael Bourn Signs with Indians

The Bourn Ultimatum story ends in Cleveland.

According to various sources, free-agent center fielder Michael Bourn has agreed to a four-year, $48M deal with the Cleveland Indians.

I suppose we don’t need to worry about the protective status of the Mets’ #1 pick in this June’s draft. Unless, of course, the Mets decide to go after pitcher Kyle Lohse.

Surprised that Bourn chose Cleveland? Sure. Surprised that a Scott Boras client signed with a surprise club? Heck no.

The Indians already signed Nick Swisher this winter, and made a trade with the Reds for speedy center fielder Drew Stubbs. The two moves seemed to complete a Cleveland outfield that was returning Michael Brantley and part-timer (and former Met minor leaguer) Ezequiel Carrera. Adding Bourn to the mix would seem to create a surplus, though there is speculation that Swisher could move to 1B — a position seemingly slotted for yet another offseason acquisition, slugger Mark Reynolds.

Did the Mets’ late entry into the Bourn sweepstakes help Boras up his client’s price? Were the Mets used as leverage in the negotiations? Hard to say, but it does seem possible. Oh well, it was fun to read about Bourn’s availability, and the Mets’ interest, and their controversial 11th pick in the draft, every single day throughout the Mets blogosphere over the past three weeks. Right?

If in fact the Indians keep Swisher in an outfield corner, maybe this signing leads them to deal Stubbs — who could very well be a better option for the Mets at this point in New York’s rebuilding process. Stubbs is about as fast if not faster than Bourn, plays nearly as good on defense, has more power, hits from the right side, is two years younger, and a heckuva lot less expensive. On the negative side, Stubbs strikes out more often than Bourn — quite a feat — and has shown abysmal on-base ability, so he doesn’t profile as a leadoff hitter.

So, have at it in the comments. Are you sad that Bourn won’t be a Met, or believe it’s the best thing to happen? Do you think the Indians will make Stubbs available, and if so, should the Mets try to get him?

12-13 Offseason

About the Author

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.

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