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Indians Sign Bourn to 4 Year Deal to Bolster Outfield Depth

30-year old gets $48 million with a vesting option for 2017

 

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The day before the first workouts were set to begin in Goodyear, Arizona, the Cleveland Indians made a surprising move, signing free-agent outfielder Michael Bourn to a four-year, $48 million deal with a $12 million vesting option for 2013. The move is considered bold for two reasons; first the Indians already had their outfield set after signing Nick Swisher and trading Shin-Soo Choo for Drew Stubbs this offseason. The two were expected to be paired with Michael Brantley to make-up the Tribe’s outfield for the majority of the season. Now things get interesting with the addition of Bourne as it should allow the Indians to move Swisher to first base and have Bourne, Stubbs and Brantley man the outfield for the club.

Bourn brings with him speed on the base paths and consistency at the plate. He should be the Tribe’s lead-off hitter once the season gets rolling and has earned the opportunity to do so given his .348 on-base percentage and .391 slugging percentage last season with Atlanta. In 155 games last season, Bourn hit .274 scattering nine home runs into the mix along with 26 doubles, 10 triples, 42 steals, 57 RBIs, 70 walks and 96 runs for the Braves. Bourn has averaged 150 games over the past five seasons with Houston and Atlanta and over the past four seasons has averaged 600 plate appearances. The Indians will need him to continue that kind of production this season as last year their outfield was a major area of concern for the ball club with injuries and poor plate performance hampering the club all season long.

 

 

By Robert Gonzalez
Cleveland Indians Correspondent

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