Reporting Matt Loede
CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – The move that has gotten Indians fans even more excited has become official, as today the team announced the signing of outfielder Michael Bourn to a four-year deal.
While the team hasn’t announced the amount of the deal, reports say that the deal is worth $48 million for the four seasons, with a vesting option based on at-bats in the fifth season.
Bourn has led the NL in steals in each season from 2009 to 2011, and brings a true leadoff hitter to the Indians, something they have not had since the days of Kenny Lofton.
Indians manager Terry Francona has already stated that Bourn will play centerfield, Michael Brantley will play leftfield, and another new Indian, Drew Stubbs, will play right.
Nick Swisher, who inked a big free agent deal this offseason, moves to firstbase, and yet another new Indian, Mark Reynolds, will DH most days.
The 30-year-old Bourn was looking for a six or seven-year deal, but most of the teams that were looking for a centerfielder found them during the course of the offseason, setting up the Indians for the chance to get Bourn to agree to a deal late Monday night.
Last season Bourn was an All-Star last season hitting .274 with a .348 on-base percentage. He hit nine homers and had 57 RBI.
The Mets had their sights set on Bourn, but reports say they lost out on him due to not wanting to forfeit a draft pick, and also over the fifth year vesting option.
The Indians were in the right place at the right time, and now have a much stronger lineup ready to go for the 2013 season and beyond.