I love the Bourn Acquisition. It doesn't assure Supremacy or a Legacy, but it does help improve their Identity. In more ways than one.
First, it makes a statement. The Indians had already had their best off season in years; they didn't need to make one more move, but they did it anyway. They wanted to get even better. The payroll critics and criers of "Dolan's Discounts" have been forced to put a sock in it for the time being. The Indians not only signed the extra player, they went the extra mile to sign him. They outbid the New York Mets for his services.
Second, this move adds depth and flexibility. After years of line up gridlock with Travis Hafner taking up the DH spot this team has some moving parts. Just having an open DH spot opens up possibilities, but now they've added the extra hitter. Bourn in center slides Brantley to left, which means Stubbs can go to right, pushing Swisher to first and Reynolds to DH. If they need to shake things up, or if somebody gets hurt, they have enough moving parts to pick up the slack.
Third, there are no gaps. On the days they go with a Brantley-Bourn-Stubbs outfield the Tribe will have three jets in the outfield. They'll be able to run a ton of balls down. That trio should also rip some bags. They stole a combined 84 bases last year. Bourn has swiped 103 by himself in the last two seasons.
This was not a minor signing. I'm not usually big on giving long deals to older players, but this one seems to pass the initial sniff test. Bourn just turned 30 in December. He'll play the next four seasons at 30, 31, 32 and 33. Even if the 5th year option vests, he'll only be 34. That's not awful. He'll probably be over paid by then, but you always have to live with some of that. If he's only over paid for one year you've done well.
I really like this signing and I cannot wait to see Bourn at the top of the order and in the center of the outfield. This could be a very fun summer at the ballpark. They need the rotation to show up, but that's an entirely different type of story, all together (cue fans of the movie Airplane). One thing at time! Go Tribe!
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