Posts Tagged ‘Michael Bourn’

Winter for Michael Bourn has been moving in slow motion, which is the ultimate irony for a man of his particular skill set. The four-time National League leader in stolen bases hasn’t seen his market advance very far at all, and with Spring Training looming in under two weeks, time is of the essence.

Michael Bourn

The reasons for why have been floated around, and have gained stream towards being seen as legitimate, and many have been due to the level of expectation financially and the time commitment for the deal as well. The fact that his primary skill is speed, and he’s already had his 30th birthday has been damaging. When combined with the fact that he has only managed to hit .300 once over the course of a full season, there is legitimate concern that there won’t be existing value once that goes.

These are concerns with some credence, but also the fact remains is that right now, he’s the best defensive center fielder in baseball. On that rationale alone, he makes any team substantially better. He has a plus arm, and the speed is still there right now. While he is cast as a leadoff hitter, he has the ability to fit into multiple positions in the lineup as well.

Many teams that would have been good fits chose cheaper, younger or differently skilled ways to go to solve their centerfield needs. The Cincinnati Reds, Washington Nationals, Philadelphia Phillies and even his most recent home, the Atlanta Braves, all entered the winter with a need in the middle, but found other ways of filling the need. This left Bourn looking in more obscure places to find work.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t still locations that make a lot of sense for him to end up. At this point, most likely it will be a short term deal, perhaps even just a one or two year pact, which will still easily cover his prime seasons. The real question is who can, and should make the move, to get the most benefit out of one of the most uniquely skilled player s in the game.


New York Mets: The Mets have been the hot rumor team recently, and they make a lot of sense really. They have had a definite need in the leadoff spot since the post-Jose Reyes days began and could use the defensive upgrade in a major way. It sounds odd, but they have a legit chance to push into the middle of the pack in the NL East.

The issue is, to sign him they have to part with their first round pick as compensation, which is a major point of contention. Number one, they don’t feel they should the pick should be up for grabs, and they have a legitimate point. In a vague point in the new CBA, top 10 worse records are protected, but if any team’s top pick doesn’t sign from the year previous, they regain a pick a year later. As part of the domino effect, it moves each team that was is behind them back a spot, and potentially out of the Top 10. That’s what’s happening to the Mets, who have the 10th, but now 11th pick in the draft due to the Pirates not signing Mark Appell. And if they lose this pick, it goes to their divisional rivals in Atlanta, something they don’t seem too keen to do.

Arizona Diamondbacks: There’s a gut in the outfield in Arizona currently, even after moving Justin Upton out of town. But Bourn is an intriguing option there. He fits in to the top of the lineup right away, and keeps their defensive prowess up to par, which is needed with Jason Kubel manning left field. Not likely to happen, with rookie Adam Eaton on the verge, but there’s a place for him.

Baltimore Orioles: Another contender that would be boosted by his presence. The O’s are team with everything, except a true threat on the bases. Bourn would be yet another weapon for one of baseball’s most diverse attacks, and they could easily afford him. A hindrance would seem to be the presence of franchise cornerstone Adam Jones in center, but there are options there. If he moved to left, and Bourn was able to be placed between him and Nick Markakis, it would be one of the league’s best outfields immediately, and one that would be nearly impossible to take an extra base on as well.

Texas Rangers: The most obvious choice, but some for some reason, there hasn’t been a lot of traction there. They are taken care of as far as draft compensation goes, because they’ll be receiving extra picks in for Josh Hamilton. They have the opening, with only prospect Leoydis Martin being a viable option, and he could use more time to go.

There would be a change in approach needed however, because Ian Kinsler is better for the leadoff spot, and Elvis Andrus is a prototype #2 hitter. He would move down the order to the ninth spot, but the idea of the three of them hitting back to back, and followed by Adrian Beltre is enthralling. They have the money to take a bit more risk on the downside of the contract as well, so there could be something here. Time will tell, but it better hurry up.

2013 Top 75 MLB Free Agents: Volume 4 Update

Posted: December 14, 2012 by The Cheap Seat Fan in MLB
Tags: , , , ,

The Greinke dice are in full tumble since our last update, and yesterday’s dealings on the other half of LA may just clear off the whole table soon. Not to be outdone, the Angels sent the second earthquake through LA baseball by inking Josh Hamilton yesterday, and now the only two candidates for massive deals are off the board.

The top of the CHEAP SEATS’ Free Agent board is cleared up, and now comes the class of where a mixture of teams that have lost out on the top targets, as well as teams who now have absolute price comparisons for the winter, will set in. The Texas Rangers are in scramble mode to steady themselves after taking three big blows in losing out on Greinke, Hamilton and losing a deal to land Justin Upton as well, as a result of the Reds/D’Backs/Indians trade earlier this week. They’ll be in the chase now for virtually every top free agent now, due to both need and financial freedom. Also, the Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies and even still, the Angels are all teams to watch.

It's now Michael Bourn's time to stand in the spotlight, leading the pack of an impressive group of compliment players.

It’s now Michael Bourn’s time to stand in the spotlight, leading the pack of an impressive group of compliment players with increased value.

Overall, it’s about to pick up, and here are the breakdown of the recent signings, before the next “Cut the Check” breakdown comes on Monday. The next update will be the top 25 free agents on Monday, which will run until the original Top 10 is all signed away.

  1. Josh Hamilton (OF)—Signed w/ Los Angeles Angels: 5 yrs/$125 million
  2. Michael Bourn (CF): Mariners, Cubs, Rangers
  3. Anibal Sanchez (RHP)–Resigned w/ Detroit Tigers: 5 yrs/$80 million
  4. Nick Swisher (RF/1B):  Rangers, Mariners, Phillies, Indians, Orioles
  5. Adam LaRoche (1B): Nationals, Red Sox, Rangers
  6. Kyle Lohse (RHP): Rangers, Angels, Tigers, Mets, Red Sox
  7. Rafael Soriano (RHR): Tigers, Blue Jays, Dodgers, Red Sox, Rockies
  8. Edwin Jackson (RHP): Angels, Rangers, Padres, Orioles
  9. Kevin Youkilis (3B)—Signed w/ New York Yankees: 1 yr/$13 million
  10. Stephen Drew (SS): Tigers, Athletics
  11. Brian Wilson (RHR): Angels, Dodgers, Red Sox, Giants
  12. AJ Pierzynski (C): White Sox, Rays, Yankees, Rangers
  13. Ryan Dempster (RHP)—Signed w/ Boston Red Sox: 2 yrs/$26 million
  14. Cody Ross (LF/RF): Yankees, Phillies, Giants
  15. Carlos Zambrano (RHP):
  16. Ichiro (CF)—Resigned w/ New York Yankees: 2 yrs/$12 million
  17. Kelly Johnson (2B):
  18. Scott Hairston (CF): Yankees, Cardinals, Indians, Mets, Giants
  19. Brett Myers (RHP): Twins, Indians, Angels, Padres, Brewers
  20. Mike Adams (RHP): Angels, Dodgers, Red Sox, Phillies, White Sox, Rockies, Blue Jays
  21. Kyle Farnsworth (RHR): Tigers, Rockies
  22. Lance Berkman (1B/DH): Astros, Phillies, Rays, Red Sox
  23. Shaun Marcum (RHP): Royals
  24. Luke Scott (1B/DH):
  25. Delmon Young (LF/DH): Mariners
  26. Colin Ballester (RHP):
  27. Casey Kotchman (1B):
  28. Carl Pavano (RHP): Red Sox, Twins, Marlins
  29. Francisco Liriano (LHP): Twins
  30. Matt Capps (RHR):
  31. Joe Saunders (LHP):
  32. Francisco Rodriguez (RHR):
  33. Ryan Theriot (2B/SS):
  34. Dallas Braden (LHP):
  35. Casey McGehee (3B):
  36. Derek Lowe (RHP):
  37. Jason Bartlett (SS): Cardinals
  38. Carlos Lee (1B):
  39. Jose Valverde (RHR):
  40. Ty Wigginton (1B/3B)–Signed w/ St. Louis Cardinals: 2 yrs/$5 million


Off The Board

1. Zack Greinke (RHP)—Signed w/ Los Angeles Dodgers: 6 yrs/$147 million

4. BJ Upton (CF)—Signed w/ Atlanta Braves: 5 yrs/$75 Million

8. Hiroki Kuroda (RHP), New York Yankees: 1 yr/$15 million

12. Mariano Rivera (RHR) –Resigned w/ New York Yankees: 1 yr/$10 Million

13. Torii Hunter (RF), Detroit Tigers: 2 yrs/$13 million

18. Mark Reynolds (1B)—Signed w/ Cleveland Indians: 1 yr/$6.5 million

20. Ryan Ludwick (LF)—Resigned w/ Cincinnati Reds: 2 yrs/$15 million

21. Melky Cabrera (LF), Toronto Blue Jays: 2 yrs/$16 million

24. Brandon McCarthy (RHP)—Signed w/ Arizona Diamondbacks: 2 yrs/$15 million

25. Andy Pettitte (LHP)—Resigned w/ New York Yankees: 1 yr/$12 Million

26. Russell Martin (C) –Signed w/ Pittsburgh Pirates: 2 yrs/$17 Million

28. Jeremy Guthrie (RHP), Kansas City Royals: 3 yrs/$25 million

29. Hisashi Iwakuma (RHP), Seattle Mariners: 2 yrs/$14 million

31. Jonathan Broxton (RHP), Cincinnati Reds: 3 yrs/$21 million

32. Jeremy Affeldt (LHP), San Francisco Giants: 3 yrs/$18 million

36. Ryan Madson (RHP), Los Angeles Angels: 3 yrs/$3.25 million

37. Sean Burnett (LHR)—Signed w/ Los Angeles Angels: 2 yrs/$8 million

46. Scott Baker (RHP), Chicago Cubs: 1 yr/$5 million

48. Randy Choate (LHR)—Signed w/ St. Louis Cardinals: 3 yrs/$7.5 million

51. Andruw Jones (OF)—Signed w/ Ratuken Eagles (Japan): 1 yr/ $3.5 million

52. Eric Chavez (3B)—Signed w/ Arizona Diamondbacks: 1 yr/$3 million

53. Jonny Gomes (LF), Boston Red Sox: 2 yrs/$10 million

56. Jeff Keppinger (3B/2B)—Signed w/ Chicago White Sox: 3 yrs/$12 million

57. Nate McLouth (CF)—Signed w/ Baltimore Orioles: 1 yr/$2 million

59. Joe Blanton (RHP)—Signed w/ Los Angeles Angels: 2 yrs/$15 million

60. Juan Pierre (LF), Miami Marlins: 1 yr/$1.6 million

For more on the free agent market as it comes together in real-time, as well as column at The Sports Fan Journal, follow me on Twitter at @CheapSeatFan

It’s the first of two valley’s for the year-round MLB follower, the second of which being in late January to early February. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t things to follow still, and this is the ripest part of the offseason for rumoring. While a few deals have been inked, the massive ones are yet to hit the air yet, and in the next few weeks, there will be a lot bread served up to a lot temporarily homeless premier ballplayers.

In the spirit of this, it’s time to drop the definitive free agent ranking, The CHEAP SEATS’ version, of course. No complex explanation needed; these are the 75 best free agents as I see it. Based on a mixture of talent, 2012 effort, positional availability in this year’s market and projection for the future.

Greinke leads the field for this winter as a young, in his prime pitcher. A combo that commands top dollar in any year, but especially this one.

In this first listing, the full class of unrestricted free agents headed into the 2013 are listed. In the next entry, I’ll breakdown what each signing means for the acquiring club, how it came to be and the domino effect, if any, for the teams that missed out on  him. But in this first entry, the full list without update. And here you have it….


  1. Zack Greinke (RHP):
  2. Josh Hamilton (LF):
  3. Michael Bourn (CF):
  4. BJ Upton (CF):
  5. Anibal Sanchez (RHP):
  6. Nick Swisher (RF/1B):
  7. Adam LaRoche (1B):
  8. Hiroki Kuroda (RHP): Signed w/ Yankees – 1yr/$15 Mil
  9. Kyle Lohse (RHP):
  10. Dan Haren (RHP):
  11. Rafael Soriano (RHR):
  12. Mike Napoli (C/1B):
  13. Torii Hunter  (RF): Signed w/ Tigers – 2 yrs/$16 Mil
  14. Edwin Jackson
  15. Mariano Rivera (RHR):
  16. Kevin Youkilis (3B/1B):
  17. Stephen Drew (SS):
  18. Angel Pagan (CF):
  19. AJ Pierzynski (C):
  20. Ryan Dempster (RHP):
  21. Melky Cabrera (LF): Signed w/ Blue Jays – 2yrs/$16 Mil
  22. Cody Ross (OF):
  23. Ryan Ludwick (LF/RF):
  24. Joakim Soria (RHR):
  25. Marco Scutaro (2B):
  26. Shane Victorino (LF/CF):
  27. Brandon McCarthy (RHP):
  28. Jeremy Guthrie (RHP): Resigned w/ Royals – 3 yrs/$25 Mil
  29. Hisashi Iwakuma (RHP): Resigned w/ Mariners – 2yrs/$14 Mil
  30. Andy Pettitte (LHP):
  31. Jonathan Broxton (RHR):
  32. Jeremy Affeldt (LHR):  Resigned w/ Giants – 3 yrs/$18 Mil
  33. Russell Martin (C):
  34. Carlos Zambrano (RHP):
  35. Ichiro (LF/RF):
  36. Ryan Madson (RHR):
  37. Sean Burnett (LHR):
  38. Kelly Johnson (2B):
  39. Scott Hairston (CF):
  40. Brett Myers (RHR):
  41. Shaun Marcum (RHP):
  42. Lance Berkman (1B/DH):
  43. Luke Scott (1B/DH):
  44. Delmon Young (LF/DH):
  45. Collin Balester (RHP):
  46. Scott Baker (RHP): Signed w/ Cubs – 1 yr/$5 Mil
  47. Casey Kotchman (1B):
  48. Randy Choate (LHR):
  49. Carl Pavano (RHP):
  50. Francisco Liriano (LHP):
  51. Andruw Jones (OF):
  52. Eric Chavez (3B):
  53. Jonny Gomes (LF): Signed w/ Red Sox: 2 yrs/$10 Mil
  54. Matt Capps (RHR):
  55. Mike Adams (RHR):
  56. Jeff Keppinger (SS/2B):
  57. Nate McLouth (CF):
  58. Joe Saunders (LHP):
  59. Joe Blanton (RHP):
  60. Juan Pierre (LF): Signed w/ Marlins – 1 yr/$1.6 Mil
  61. James Loney (1B):
  62. Francisco Rodriguez (RHR):
  63. Ryan Theriot (2B/SS):
  64. Dallas Braden (LHP):
  65. Casey McGehee (3B):
  66. Ty Wigginton (1B/3B):
  67. Yuniesky Betancourt (SS/2B):
  68. Derek Lowe (RHP):
  69. Scott Feldman (RHP):
  70. Aubrey Huff (1B/OF):
  71. Jose Valverde (RHR):
  72. Carlos Lee (1B):
  73. Jason Bartlett (SS):
  74. Juan Carlos Oviedo (RHR):
  75. Jason Bay (LF):


In the next entry, I’ll take a look at the already signed and feature the first update to the rankings. Until then, follow me on Twitter at @CheapSeatFan for instant analysis of free agent ball in motion.