Indians sign Michael Bourn for 4 yrs/$48M

This is my last post about Michael Bourn. Promise.

He has signed with the Indians for 4 years and $48M.  It also contains a vesting option for a 5th year that will pay him another $12M, potentially making this a 5 year $60M deal.  That option vests if he reaches 550 PAs in the 4th year of the contract, something he should have no problem doing if he's healthy.

According to a Cubs Den poll, only 10% of readers would not wanted the Cubs to match that deal.  The other 90% didn't want to sign him or would only sign him if it were a short term deal.

Among other things the Cubs have made it clear that they value that 2nd round pick highly which, if my off-the-cuff calculations are correct, now stands as the 43rd pick. The Indians had already given up their 2nd round pick for Nick Swisher, so they only needed to give up their 3rd pick, which is actually a competitive balance pick between the 2nd and 3rd round.

 

Filed under: Uncategorized

Comments

Leave a comment
  • fb_avatar

    Better them than us!!!

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Agreed.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I second that, he represents what Theo and Co. are moving away from.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Yep,... and thus ends that iritating saga.

    Onward!

  • fb_avatar

    John, what are the odds that the Indians jump into the Matt Garza trade conversation

    They seem to be all in anyways.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Demarrer:

    They *desperately* need pitching. Who knows.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mike Moody:

    If they want front line pitching, they really only have two guys that can bring it: Bauer (which seems kind of counterproductive) or Lindor.

    Guess we get to see how serious this push is.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    They'd be crazy to trade Lindor. Bauer, maybe, if they prefer a short term upgrade and a veteran in the rotation.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    Agree 100%. But, honestly, I question the sanity of this contract, so...

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    What about Bauer and Paulino for Garza as the centerpieces? Too much from the Indian's perspective?

  • In reply to Demarrer:

    I actually thought about that too. They built up that lineup and they don't have great pitching. That payroll is getting bloated though. Cubs may have to pay the freight or take a salary back along with prospects.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    Do you see Theo and Company having an issue with that, or just pointing it out? I'd think they'd rather pay some if it increased the return.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I think they'd do it if they liked what was coming back. They only need to pay for one year and I doubt they'd have to chip in a significant portion.

  • Thank you LORD!

  • fb_avatar

    If the Cubs can make a trade with Garza centered around Lindor or Bauer, they have to do it.

    Also, could you imagine if the Cubs got Lindor? The amount of questions of who plays shortstop in two years would be crazy.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Demarrer:

    The Indians would almost certainly need more than Garza if they traded Lindor -- it' have to be a true ace on the other side. I mention it not because I expect it to happen -- but to point out they don't have a lot to trade.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mike Moody:

    I agree. The hypothetical just makes me chuckle with all the drama people already put on the Baez/Castro debate.

    I would be perfectly fine with Bauer, and I think he would be more easily put into the trade.

  • Its a good week for cleaning up some of the Cub message baords clamoring for both Campana & Bourne. Now they can pick another baseless gripe to harp on.

  • In reply to Behn Wilson:

    They'll still rage for a day or two. Maybe they'll want Lohse now, since he's the top name still available.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    Y' know, Lohse only costs the Indians a 4th rounder now...

    (This actually does very mildly suck for us, because the Braves now get a sandwich pick without a compensating pick being removed from the first round, so our second pick -- and third -- is pushed back one from where it otherwise would have been. It's extremely minor, but real.)

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Actually made a small error on the pick. The Indians were one of the teams to get a competitive balance pick between the 2nd and 3rd round. Since that was their highest remaining pick, they had to give it up. Next pick to go is that 3rd rounder...even still they may as well go for it at this point. If none of this works out maybe they can trade them all and recoup some value.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    So what are the odds the Indians pull a Marlins like dismantling this summer? I think the tribe is in better position to contend in their division than KC, however, they'll need some breaks like Chisenhall and some young pitchers stepping up, and Detroit stumbling would certainly help. Otherwise all of the AL Central teams are counting on making the wild card when they have to compete with all of the AL teams, not that likely an AL Central team wins the wild card when you have the Yankees/TB/Red Sox/Angels/Rangers/Oak/etc. all with as good or better teams.

    If I'm the Tribe I don't trade Bauer (Or Lindor) for Garza. They need to keep their young pitching, not deal it for a guy with only 1 year of control.

  • In reply to Just Win:

    I think they have a shot at sneaking in -- but they need better pitching. Otherwise maybe they do start selling off parts the way the Marlins did. If that's the backup plan, then they need to hang on to Chisenhall and Bauer if they want to rebuild.

    If they changed course and are all in for the short term, then maybe they trade more young talent for known commodities. To be honest, I really don't know what their plans are.

  • Finally... Now we can move on from the Bourn-ultimatum nonsense lol.

  • In reply to Caps:

    Yes...finally.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    No, it'll never stop. Two weeks into the season it'll be, "We should trade for Bourne!"

  • In reply to David Johnson:

    Haha! You might be right. Or, it will be "We should have signed Bourn!" after he gets off to a great start and the Cubs OF struggles.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    It's nice to see the Cubs were at least staying on the fringes as far as signing Bourn. They continue to do their due diligence. 3 years at the salary he got would have been the maximum I would have considered reasonable. Now it's time to move on. Maybe take a look at Brantley or Stubbs.

  • I think they should always keep options open in case somebody wants to come here -- but on the Cubs terms. That said, I don't think that was ever going to happen with Boras as an agent -- especially given the Cubs likely wanted a deep discount to compensate for the loss of that draft pick.

  • What the heck are the Indians doing? They sign Bourn, Swisher, Brett Myers and Reynolds to heavy contracts?

    This team is setting itself up to be terrible in about 3 years. This is the type of signing that has put the Cubs in their current position. Shapiro better win or he will be a Special Advisor to Theo in 2 years...

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    Haha! You might be right about that last line.

  • Indians now have three CF'ers. Cubs have none....

    Micheal Brantley....?

  • In reply to felzz:

    I would love to see Michael Brantley with the Cubs.

  • In reply to felzz:

    He'd be an upgrade to what we have now.

  • I think he'll exceed value pretty easily on that, even factoring in the roughly 19.25 mil that 2nd round draft pick is worth. (Ala BN and a Dave Cameron article.) Time will tell. I hope not signing him means we have someone else targeted for next offseason. We're still pretty weak in the OF and don't have anybody in the pipeline who's close except for BJax, and he's suspect.

    Maybe teams that need OF help will turn their attention to Soriano now.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    It wasn't a bad contract. We'll see how it turns out. Not sure what the Indians are trying to do though. Team is better but Detroit still the class of that division.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    I think your being nice, John. It's questionable now, but If he hits that 550 PA it becomes a bad contract. No way is Bourn worth 5/60. Just don't believe he's "highest paid player on a team" worthy. Strikes out too much for a guy with no power that leads off, going to play in a tough AL central pitching-wise, age 30. Indians pitching still very much suspect. Smells like desperation. Reminds me of the 07 offseason for us.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    What's nice about this kind of disagreement is that time will pretty clearly show who's right.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Carne Harris:

    We shall see :) If Bourn is still productive by year 3 i'll concede that it was a solid deal. Also to your comment about setting sights on someone for next season. Have you seen next seasons crop? It's a 31yr old Robinson Cano and a bunch of past-their-prime, inconsistent or often-injured players. None of which i'd want to hand out a big contract to....Maybe Josh Johnson if he proves healthy this year but him doing that isn't too probable. Phil Hughes as well.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    I'm thinking trade route too. Wouldn't be surprised if some of the trades at the deadline or next offseason focus on our need in the OF. Kind of already saw this with the Soriano-Domonic Brown rumors.

    As far as Bourn, my thinking is a win is supposed to be worth 5.5mil. So at 12 mil a year, he'd only have to average 2.18 WAR for Cleveland to get value. Factor in their draft pick, worth about 2.5 WAR (from this Dave Cameron article: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/the-changing-value-of-draft-picks/), and at 4/48 this number rises only to 2.81. At 5/60, it drops to 2.68. This for a guy who the last four years had an fWAR of 6.4, 4.1, 4.7, and 4.9. I don't think it's even going to be close. Undervaluing Bourn was the big "inefficiency" in this year's market imo.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Actually, I do think it has a chance to work out. I think the contract has a chance to give them value over the life of the deal, though I think most of that value will come in the first 2-3 years. They may regret that 4th and possibly 5th year.

    But even if it works out I'm not sure Bourn will be enough of an upgrade over Brantley or Stubbs to even matter all that much. I don't think he was the missing piece for them.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    No kidding. They say they're trying to add a veteran presence, but looks more like they're just going into buy mode to put off a rebuild. Glad we're not going that route anymore.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Carne Harris:

    This is spot on. IMO the Indians are doing exactly what we did before. Applying band-aids to the broken structure in place of tearing it down and building a sturdy new one.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    That's more of why I'm not sold on that signing. I do think the contract has a chance to give them surplus value overall and especially in the first 2 years, but just don't think it's enough of an upgrade to put them in the playoffs in that time frame.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I wonder if they were influenced by the 2nd wildcard. Crazy how many teams were in the hunt last year. Even if it works out for them this year, wouldn't want to be them down the road.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    I think they were. Playing in the AL Central helps because they get to play each other so often. The schedule is easier. But I have a feeling going all out for that 2nd wildcard spot is going to lead to some bad decisions for some teams.

  • fb_avatar

    I'm going to defend the Indians for a minute: They only gave up a 3rd round pick, and signed Bourn to an OK contract. They can always trade him, or trade another asset, so it might work out for them looking at just that transaction. $42 mil and a 3rd round pick isn't a ton to give up for a quality player, which Bourn is.

    I can't tell, though, how that fits into the bigger picture, or why the Indians would go on a spending spree this offseason. It makes no sense.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    They're all in, I guess. Maybe they figure they can trade off some of those assets if they don't contend.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Their TV-related revenue increased.

  • fb_avatar

    Soriano to Texas for Olt as Nelson Cruz insurance. Bowden/Vitters to Indians for Brantley.
    CF Brantley
    LF DeJesus/Sappelt
    SS Castro
    1B Rizzo
    3B Olt
    RF Schierholtz/Hairston
    C Castillo
    2B Barney
    Best defense in NL?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Louie101:

    The Indian's have Chisenhall at 3rd. He is another version of Vitters that actually plays defense. So my thoughts are that they have no interest in Vitters.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Rich Hood:

    All logic goes out the window when it comes to people trying to find a way to trade Vitters. Why? I've no idea.

  • In reply to Louie101:

    Olt IS Nelson Cruz insurance, at least one option of it. He might end up in the OF.

  • Wow.....Bourn got way more than he's worth and nearly twice as much as I figured. And fans wonder why ticket prices are so high.

  • fb_avatar

    glad the Cubs won't be signing him.

  • So glad these rumors can finally be put to rest. Love how Theo & co built the team this offseason. Only additions at low risk. Also digging the possibility of a dynamic, flexible outfield. Here's to surprising a whole lot of naysayers this season.

  • In reply to NUcat:

    Hoping their plan works out in the OF. It could be better than expected and they have some flexibility to make deals, especially when Jackson is (hopefully) ready to take over CF.

  • Every now and then John and every other regular on this site needs to step back from the analysis of all these prospect projections and recognize that the Cubs are the equivalent of the Yankees, Dodgers, BoSox. Not the A's, Royals or Pirates. In other words, a cash machine that's only gonna get bigger and bigger with all the renovations etc.

    As John pointed out Ina recent post, the odds are that anyone of our top prospects are more likely to be the next Corey Patterson than Starlin Castro.

    So I'm ok with rebuilding our farm team and developing prospects but in the meantime lets not act like we're the As.

  • In reply to Nondorf:

    They aren't the A's. They are building for sustained success though. Even the Yankees are realiizing that going all in doesn't guarantee anything except the luxury tax. When the deal is right, they'll make it. Our system was bare. We needed depth. To trade for someone, we would deplete the system even more. And then if a core piece went down, we would have no back up. Going all in has major ramifications if it doesn't work. Look what happened to the Marlins. The Cubs will build this thing right, picking the right players for the team, keeping the chemistry. In the end, we'll be a blend between the A's and Yankees. To expect this to happen overnight is not realistic.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Nondorf:

    I agree but only to an extent. They have the money to sign quality free agents, but that doesn't mean they should waste it on bad contracts. Bourn is a bad contract because he's only a 1 tool player (speed) and at an age when that 1 tool is historically about to decline. Speed guys are easy to find and not worth $12 mil per on any length contract. 4-5 years for a 30 year old speed guy is insane.

  • In reply to Nondorf:

    The difference is those teams had a foundation to build on. They had more talent on their roster and on their farm than when Theo took over. They didn't just buy FAs on their way to the top.

    It's a process that encompasses the big picture. Taking shortcuts to success is no guarantee,as the Marlins showed last year. Now that team has been gutted -- a weak farm, and an MLB team that's bad enough to give the Astros a run for their money on that #1 pick.

    You have to build that foundation, otherwise you're pretty much building a house of cards. Once you have that foundation, you can start spending more. And the Cubs are starting to do that already, as their pursuit of Sanchez and signing of Jackson showed this offseason. I expect them to keep doing that as they need to fill in pieces -- but they have to make sense. Bourn didn't make sense to me on any level for this team's projected time frame.

  • 4 years $48 million is nothing to sneeze at, but I feel strongly that that qualifying offer cost Bourn some cash. I'll wager that there is a radical change in the way draft pick compensation is awarded with the next CBA. Perhaps the player's old team gets a sandwich pick but the new team loses nothing. If I were representing the players, I would demand that.

  • The Indians have something that we do not have. A CFer.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Maybe, but without good starting pitching, a CF won't help them a whole lot. Plus they already had 2 CF'ers in Stubbs and Brantley.

  • Agents like Boras are bad for baseball, as he consistently gets teams to overpay for player, which helps to drive up ticket prices and makes the game that much more unaffordable for the average Joe.

    The decline of western civilization continues......

  • In reply to JK1969:

    Western civilization took a final hit 11/06/2012. The upside is that America had a good run.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    How about we save politics for a different 'site?

  • Agreed,... There should be no politics in baseball,....

  • I agree as well. Sorry?

  • Was there anyone else even interested in Bourn or was it down to the Indians? I still wonder how Agent Boras gets teams to bid big bucks against themselves.

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    Indians, Mets and Cubs (on the fringe).

  • I'm not so sure that it wasn't a little of that Boras voodoo at work again.

    Some say Mets were really not that serious because they didn't make an offer and couldn't for another 2-3 weeks because of the draft pick situation. And many said the Cubs had no interest at all.

    To some extent, the Indians did bid against themselves.

Leave a comment