The Indians off season spending continued Monday evening when news broke that the club will sign outfielder Michael Bourn. The contract is worth four-years and $48 million. Bourn hit .274 with 42 stolen bases in 2012 and an impressive .348 on-base percentage.
Bourn, 30, was considered the second-best outfielder on the market this offseason behind Josh Hamilton. He was an all-star in 2012 and 2010. Cleveland will be his fourth team in his eight year career. Batting primarily at the lead-off position, Bourn stole 61 bases in 2009, 52 in 2010 and 61 in 2011.
The Indians will lose a draft pick in exchanged for Bourn. They did the same when the team signed Nick Swisher to a four-year, $56 million deal; the highest in team history. This has been one of the most active off seasons in the history of the organization. The team finished 22nd in runs and 18th in team batting average last season.
The addition of Bourn will certainly re-adjust the lineup for new manager Terry Francona. Bourn will likely serve as the team’s center fielder with Michael Brantley moving to left and another new Indian, Drew Stubbs, to right field. Nick Swisher and Mark Reynolds, two more new members to the Tribe, could both split time at first base and as the designated hitter.
The full squad will report to Goodyear, Arizona on Wednesday for Spring Training.