Reporting Matt Loede
CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Call it shocking, call it aggressive, whatever you call it, the Indians have taken another step forward to trying to be a major contender in the American League.
92.3 The Fan has confirmed that the Tribe has come to terms with free-agent outfielder Michael Bourn on a four-year mega deal that will pay him $48 million, with a fifth-year vesting option for $12 million.
The fifth-year vesting option kicks in if Bourn has 550 plate appearances in the fourth year of his deal.
With the deal the Indians will have to forfeit a draft pick, that being a competitive balance pick between the 2nd and 3rd round. The Braves will earn a first-round pick with losing Bourn.
The 30-year-old outfielder was an All-Star last season hitting .274 with a .348 on-base percentage. He hit nine homers and had 57 RBI.
Bourn is a leadoff hitter and center fielder, meaning that the team could move Nick Swisher to first or DH, and the same for Mark Reynolds, moving Drew Stubbs to RF.
Or the team could sit Stubbs a few days a week, and put Swisher back in right. Whatever the case may be, the team is just that much better with him on the roster.
Two other clubs, the Mets and Cubs were reportedly in the running for Bourn.