Quantcast

michael bourn bravesAs the offseason has gone on, and as his market has seemingly shrunk, the connections between Michael Bourn and the Chicago Cubs have increased. Not by way of rumors, mind you, but by fans, pundits, and analysts. We heard about the Cubs reaching out to Bourn’s agent (Scott Boras) on the free agent center fielder a month ago, but have not heard a single credible rumor attaching the two since then.

Still, the fans, pundits, and analysts churn.

Baseball Prospectus’ Ben Lindbergh took a look at the dwindling Bourn market, and concluded that there are three teams that can afford Bourn AND would benefit the most from his services: the Mariners, the Rangers, and the Cubs.

The article is of the premium variety, so I won’t offer too much of the content, but the gist, as far as the Cubs are concerned, is this: the Cubs have been aggressive in the free agent market, and, although they may be a couple years away from being competitive, Bourn’s asking price could drop such that he presents value to the Cubs. Adding Bourn also gives the Cubs even more flexibility to trade either Alfonso Soriano or David DeJesus without an overall performance drop in 2013.

For the Rangers and Mariners, the allure of Bourn is simply adding a quality player, given that each team has largely missed out on their offseason targets thus far.

My bet is that a team we’re not even thinking much about – the Brewers? the Braves? – comes out of nowhere with a deal that goes over the top on other teams. That would be an awfully Boras move, as it was last year with Prince Fielder and the Detroit Tigers.

It’s worth reiterating that, if the Cubs sign Bourn, they lose their second round pick. If the Mariners, Rangers, or Brewers sign Bourn, however, they lose their first round pick. That pain could be particularly severe for the Mariners and Brewers, who are currently slated to pick 12th and 17th, respectively.

Eno Sarris over at FanGraphs took up a similar topic (why can’t Bourn find a job?), and also listed the Cubs among many other teams (Mariners, Rangers, Astros, Mets) that could use Bourn’s services. The problem for Bourn, says Sarris, is that most of those teams aren’t really in the market for a big money center fielder, given their circumstance or adequate in-house options.

As the offseason goes on, and Bourn remains without a job (and the Cubs don’t make a move in the outfield), you’re going to continue to hear the Cubs attached to Bourn – whether you like it or not, and whether there’s meat there or not.

My position on Bourn and the Cubs remains unchanged: if his market so completely collapses that he has to settle for a deal at which point the Cubs can easily view him as an asset with surplus value (no more than four years and $50 to $60 million), then sure. Let’s see what can happen. But I would be shocked if he does have to settle for such a deal (and, if he does, the Cubs would be competing with a number of other teams).

  • EQ76

    I say go 3 years.. by then Almora and/or Soler should be ready.

    • Spencer

      It’s a poor strategy to *hope* all your minor league prospects work out.

      • EQ76

        It would be a poorer strategy to invest a ton into a guy like Bourne. I’m positive that common sense should be understood by all.. if a prospect doesn’t work out that they’ll find another option. My eggs aren’t all in the prospect basket either, but apparently on this site you have to spell everything out to keep the nay-sayers at bay.

        • Spencer

          “they’ll find another option….”

          I had no idea baseball was so simple!!

          • EQ76

            Wow, I guess I have to really spell it all out for you.. Apparently “Find another option” isn’t enough for you. Let me waste my time having to walk you through this..

            What I mean is I WOULD NOT GO LONGER THAN 3 YEARS FOR BOURNE! He’s a speed guy in his 30’s, and not exactly an over the top great player either, good but not great. I’d go 3 years tops, as many have said on here before. He may be great for the next 10 years for all we know, but I personally don’t think Bourne is worth a long term investment.

            Secondly, of course we have no idea what prospects will turn out to be like.. but as of now, the hopes are that either Almora or Soler can and will be good or great players for the Cubs. Obviously they may not pan out but they could also be great.

            As for “They’ll find another option”…. yes, they can find another player through great things such as “Free Agency”, “Trades”, or “Other prospects that Produce” like every other damn team on the planet does.

            Good grief, some people on here need their hands held throughout every damn comment.

            • Spencer

              Well, if Bourn is gonna be good for 10 years, we should sign him for 10 years.

              • EQ76

                wow… you’re just being an antagonizing douche now.. whatever.. i’m out.

                • http://Cubkid jdblades7

                  You took the words out of my mouth with the “douche”, sorry spence but lighten up

                  • Spencer

                    lol yes, I’m the one that needs to lighten up and severely overreacted. Nailed it.

                    • EQ76

                      Yep you do. You attacked a simple post that most on here agree with. Sarcastically responded to the next one, then when I defended my post you acted “douchey” and immature.

            • Pat

              How many times over the last 25 years has the Cubs’ problem been an aging free agent blocking a legitimate MLB level player? How many times has it been not having enough good players?

              I guess I don’t see placing the concern for something that hasn’t happened over the concern for something that has happpened 70 – 80% of the time.

              • EQ76

                and how many times in last 25 years have the Cubs actually drafted well..? good grief, I wasn’t making my original post to give praises to the prospects, just simply saying I wouldn’t sign Bourne to more than 3 f-ing years.. that’s it.

                • arta

                  i konw what you’re saying. calm down.

                  • arta

                    meant, i know.

                    • EQ76

                      :)

                • Chaz

                  And I agree with you too.

              • http://Cubkid jdblades7

                We have a front office that is known for drafting quality players now. So we won’t have to go through that crap for another 25 years. They are also being smarter about taking on bad contracts for aging veterans.

      • Randy

        agree

      • TheRiot2

        Even if only one prospect makes it in the next few years I would hope it’s Soler.The Cubs will have 30 million reasons to hope this happens.If you add in Szczur to go with Soler,Almora,Lake and Baez and Vizcaino then I’m hoping at least three of them make it from within that group.That might be too optimistic but then again that’s more + prospects on the farm than I’ve ever seen in my lifetime.

    • baldtaxguy

      The Cubs could offer 3 years, but he likely will get other deals for 4-years, and I would guess he would prefer a 4-year offer. So recommending a 3-yr deal is almost like recommending the Cubs not be serious in acquiring Bourn. Or, if the you recommend a 3-year offer under the assumption the Cubs could offer significantly more per year under a 3-yr deal, the Cubs would likely be bidding against themselves and overpaying.

    • itzscott

      I say go zero years… Creepy feeling Bourn’s a Marlon Byrd clone.

  • EQ76

    Maybe Boras will try to strong-arm teams and give a Bourne ultimatum.

    • JPizzile

      Made me laugh, the jokes could be endless with his potential signing

      • Matt

        This news about this guy just keeps resurrecting. I’m like “Bourne again.” :P

        • TheRiot2

          I think we ought to get Bourne Free. :(

          • Matt

            Was this idea Bourne out of sheer boredom? When I’m bored I wonder if he’s a bastard- meaning of course he was Bourne out of wedlock. Not the salty version.

    • James

      I’d hesitate to engage tbh, I’ve heard some rumors about his real name and age. We should only sign if we know Bourne’s identity.

      • Soler Power

        If we don’t sign him and he dominates somewhere else, all we will hear about is Bourn’s supremacy.

  • CubFan Paul

    i’m not sure the Braves or Brewers make sense at all, both because of payroll (dwindling or stagnant).

    Mariners, Rangers, Cubs, & Mets (?), and the 1st two lose a first rounder..

    • dob2812

      So would the Mets. They have pick 11 I think.

      They have no outfielders so they could certainly use Bourn. They also possibly have no money.

      Not every guy is Willie Mays. The Cubs need better players than they have right now and Bourn is better than pretty much all of those current players. He provides value in the field and on the base paths so while his triple slash line mightn’t look like that of a 70 million guy that doesn’t mean he’s not one.

  • Galvan316

    People have to realize who Bourne’s agent is.

    Boras will get Michael his money. Look at what happened with Prince Fielder last year. We had this same discussion.

    “Where is the Fielder market?” Will he take a 1 year deal? Will he resign with the Brewers? etc etc.

    And look how that ended up?

    • Grant

      Bear in mind that Boras also represented Edwin Jackson, who just got his first multi-year free agent contract after dropping Boras.

      • Galvan316

        Correct,

        But Boras whether you like him or hate him gets the job done when it comes to higher profile Free Agents.

        • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

          Except with Jackson, who wanted a long-term deal and Boras couldn’t get him one because he overplayed the market.

          It might be a Fielder situation, it might be a Jackson situation. The Cubs (and several other teams) seem to be waiting to see if it’s the latter.

    • CubFan Paul

      unique situation. the Tigers have an 80plus year old owner who wanted to win bad. Owners don’t get boners for 30year old speed guys wanting close to $100M ..$200M for a fat slugger in his prime? no problem

      • CubFan Paul

        all that said: 5yrs $75M-$80M is a drop in Tom Ricketts’ toilet every morning.

        i say $75M-$80M because I dont see Boras settling for less than BJ Upton’s deal ($75M)

        • Galvan316

          Rickett’s should “flush” that idea…

          Especially for Bourne.

          Not worth 75MM, Neither was Upton IMO.

          • CubFan Paul

            Try watching baseball.

            • http://punshouse.com Nate Corbitt

              What’s that supposed to mean?

              • CubFan Paul

                in his opinion Bourn and Upton aren’t worth $15M a year. advanced metrics probably say their defense is worth half that a year and my eyeballs tell me he’s wrong

    • Chef Brian

      So you think Boras will give teams a Bourne Ultimatum…

  • JR

    I know the chances of a 2nd rd drafted player making an impact in the majors are low. But I really have a hard time seeing the Cubs giving up their high 2nd rd pick to pay Bourne. These high draft picks seem like gold to Theo and co. And if I am a team like the Mariners man it would be hard to give up the 12th pick in the draft. These CBA rules really bend players like Bourne.

    • CubFan Paul

      a 2nd rounder who may never make the majors versus the best CF in the NL (bourn)…i chose Bourn.

      not all 2nd rounders are Top 50 talent, there’s 2 whole rounds before the 2nd round

      • JR

        Yeah I hear ya. I am not saying right or wrong on giving up the 40th pick. I just think Theo and Co. have a lot of confidence in their drafting and I don’t see them doing it. Just my opinion..

      • Jim L

        Not this year, the pick is going to be in the 38-40 range. The new CBA did away with all the supplemental picks, there are the 6 small market lottery picks and I think that is it. So while the 2nd rounder may still be a long shot, it’s a lot more attractive to the Cubs this season than previous years.

        • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

          There are still supplemental picks. It got rid of some, but not all. As of right now, No. 41 where we’re projected to pick.

    • blublud

      Look at it this way. If you was offered a trade of Bourn while still under contract for Duane Underwood, would you take it. I willing to bet most, if not all GMs under money restrictions would. That is what it would cost for us to get bourn. Underwood is a good young prospect, but he has proven nothing to this point in the bigs. Maybe one day he will. But if thats what we are worried about, then i say there is no worry.

      • Spencer

        That’s what it would cost…plus the dolla dolla bills.

        • blublud

          that why I stated he was already under contract.

      • JR

        No, absolutely Underwood would be gone in heart beat to get Bourne. But to pay Bourne over $15 mill a year for 4/5 yrs and give up Underwood in the process. I am not so sure there..

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          It’d be someone better than Underwood, by the way – he came at pick 67 last year, but we’re talking about a pick closer to 40/41 this time around.

          (That said, I definitely fall on the “a second round pick means pretty much nothing in this context” side of the equation. It’s a consideration, but far from a major one.)

          • blublud

            Yeah, I know it be someone slightly better. I just knew Underwood was a 2nd rd pick off the top of my head. I was just using him in context.

  • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

    So many weird variables involved here.

    First off, as always, I really don’t care about the 2nd-round pick. It should be about No. 41 overall, and historically there’s just not enough there to justify passing on an MLB player you want.

    But Bourn is kind of an odd fit. He’s basically DeJesus at the plate, but advanced metrics say he adds another 2-4 wins a year with his defense and baserunning. That’s a *ton* of defense and baserunning, and it’s hard for me to just accept that at face value. I’m sure Epstein and Hoyer have super-advanced metrics that do a better job than B-R or Fangraphs of measuring these things.

    I have to assume that a Bourn signing means we cave on our Soriano demands and trade him for whatever (I believe our demands are holding up a Soriano trade, not lack of interest). Honestly, I’m not convinced that for 2013, DeJesus isn’t Soriano’s equal in LF. So on a paper balance of WAR, you don’t lose anything there, but you are taking away 15-20 home runs from a lineup that was already desperately short on power.

    DeJesus/Bourn/Schierholtz(Sappelt)
    Stewart/Castro/Barney/Rizzo
    Castillo

    That’s a very, very good defense. Not that defense is a huge factor in the fortunes of teams, but it’ll add some wins, and maybe it might add a little shine to some of the pitchers we may or may not be wanting to flip at the deadline.

    Bourn
    DeJesus
    Castro
    Rizzo
    Stewart
    Platoon RF
    Castillo
    Barney

    The top half of that lineup can hold its own. The bottom half just makes me want to shake my head. That’s without a doubt the weak spot of the team, and it is awfully weak.

    • CubFan Paul

      i’m banking on a healthy Stewart (.240/.330/.430) & early callups of BJax (CF/LF) and Watkins (2B) to be the offensive boost to the lineup before July trades.

    • Featherstone

      Those 2-4 wins added from his base-running and defense are the ones most people feel will decline the fastest as his speed will be the first thing to go. I’d love Bourn in our outfield because he’s got a very useful skill-set, I am just not certain that set of skills would age gracefully by the time we are serious to compete.

    • http://www.hookersorcake.com hookersorcake

      If we are going to eat 13×2 on Sori and not get anything close to top 5 why not just keep him? Thats a really good lineup 1-5 good with Sori and if Stewart is even .220/300/400+ thats a contender if we’re healthy.

      • CubFan Paul

        I think the Cubs will have to eat all but $1M of Sori’s 2014 salary to get a top prospect (Dom Brown). therefore, making it $15Mx2

        I’d include up to $34M (all but the major league minimum) to trade Soriano for a Top package or player.

      • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

        Mostly because we promised Schierholtz a spot and you can’t use Soriano and DeJesus at the same time. And I’m not convinced DeJesus isn’t the more valuable of the two going forward in LF.

  • MightyBear

    I completely agree with Brett. I’ve been beating the Bourn drum for awhile but 5 years and a ton of money is too much. 4 years between 50 and 60 and the Cubs should be in the discussion. Even if Almora and Soler pan out and are ready in 3 years, Bourn would be good to have as a veteran leader and reserve.

    • Spencer

      Like the article says, though, at 4/50-60 a whole slew of teams are going to be interested, and I don’t get the vibe the Cubs would be that motivated to compete heavily with 5-8 other teams for him – even at that price tag.

      • blublud

        anything under 5/80, I’d do it.

        • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

          No way these guys go to 5 years on any deal with Bourn. His speed/defense is accounting for atleast 2 of his WAR. He is 30. His WAR because of this will drop off quick. He will not age gracefully. The 4th year would scare me. 3 years would be great, but I am sure every team thinks that. The difference, most other teams have a better chance of competing over the next 3 years. Give him 3/$48 million and if he would take that, it would be worth it. 4 years I understand at $50. But, that 4th year is just scary.

  • Rcleven

    Really don’t see the Cubs going after Bourn without a prearranged sign and trade.
    Don’t believe any team wants to give up that draft pick and slot money.

    • blublud

      that can’t happen. No sign and trades in Baseball. You’re thinking NBA.

      • CubFan Paul

        its happened in baseball before…

        • blublud

          once a player is signed, there is a rule on how long a teams has to wait to trade them. I know in the NBA, you can sign your own free agent and trade him immediately. If you don’t trade him immediately, you have to wait til I think January 15th or 180 days, which ever come 2nd or something like that.

          In baseball, there is no immediate exception. So if the Braves sign bourn, he will be them until the date he can traded passes.

          • hansman1982

            I want to say the earliest you can trade a player signed that offseason is June.

          • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

            The player can give written permission to agree to a trade prior to that, but as has been discussed any deal would be vetoed by the league offices for trying to circumvent the new draft compensation rules.

        • Featherstone

          MLB also announced that if teams tried to do a sign-and-trade type deal they would void the trade as it would be collusion. So, NBA style sign-and-trades aren’t happening

  • ruby2626

    Anyone remember Ryan Madson when he was on the Phillies? Boras was his agent and if memory serves me right he was close to resigning for 4 years and $44M. Negotiations I believe somehow fell apart and didn’t they end up signing Papelbon instead. Madson settled for a one year deal at $8.5M with the Reds and then blew his arm out. Morale of the story is that when Boras is involved it’s not always a sure thing you’ll break the bank. Boras pricing Mark Appel so high that he dropped to 8th and never signed is another example of his greed backfiring.

  • Alou Stew

    Dibs on “The Bourn Supremacy” tshirts.

  • Holden

    Braves would not lose their 1st round pick because they are the team losing him. It would be like giving your first round pick to yourself for compensation for losing the guy that you just signed.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Haha. Yeah, I meant to clarify theirs, but got on a roll.

  • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

    I just don’t think Bourn gives the Cubs much on offense, which is what they need most.

    • blublud

      96 runs, 10 triples, 9 HR’s(more then anybody not named Castro will give us in the leadoff spot. Not that I think Castro will lead off) 57 RBI(subjective) 70 walks, 42 stolen bases. Not to mention his value in prevented runs on defense.

      The game is won by the team that scores the most runs, not by the first that gets to a certain number of runs. His very much upgraded offensive numbers over anything we have, conbined with his ability to prevent runs better than anything we have, gives us an offensive upgraded, no matter which way you look at it.

      • blublud

        and that without mentioning his OPS and war

        • CubFan Paul

          POW

      • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

        He gives you a .340-.350 OBP.
        A Sappelt/Schierholtz platoon can probably give you a .330-.340 OBP with more power.

        Not that big a difference offensively IMO.

        • blublud

          If you don’t like the idea of paying him the money, I can understand that. Saying he does’t provide an upgrade, now thats worse then me saying Campana should be the starter if we don’t sign anybody else.

          • hansman1982

            Offensively, DeJesus and Bourn are essentially the same.
            Defensively. Bourn is better
            Contract wise, DeJesus is better

            Bourn would give us a 2-3 year anchor in CF while we wait to either develop or trade for a nice CF, but it comes with tremendous risk and isn’t that huge of an upgrade (outside of Defense) over DeJesus in CF.

            • CubFan Paul

              “Offensively, DeJesus and Bourn are essentially the same…and isn’t that huge of an upgrade over DeJesus in CF”

              what about Bourn’s baserunning (offense) and DeJesus is no where near the CF defender Bourn is. Bourn is special in CF, Dejesus is barely average in CF

            • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

              I can understand worrying about a decline from his current performance levels, but you are seriously underestimating Bourn’s current performance.

              He and DeJesus are roughly the same at the plate, yes.

              But in 2012, according to Baseball-Reference:

              Bourn was worth +7 runs as a baserunner, DeJesus -1
              Bourn was worth +3 runs avoiding DPs, DeJesus -2
              Bourn was worth +24 runs defensively, DeJesus -4

              That’s 39 runs, or four full wins, of difference between the two.

              • http://www.hookersorcake.com hookersorcake

                and considering that we were about 70-80 runs below average, not to mention replacing Dejesus with Sapplet/scherholtz if RF is a bit of a downgrade.
                The fewer ABs players like Sapplet or Schierholtz sees the better IMO.

                • hansman1982

                  You don’t want Schierholtz’s .826 OPS vs. righties in the lineup?

              • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

                And you and me both know how reliable one season of defense data is worth.
                What if Bourn goes back to his -6 in 2011 UZR?
                That’s a 2 win difference…

                And B-Ref has his defense worth 3 wins, but .4 the year before…a 2.5 win difference!

                Having that much WAR tied up in defense is scary for me.

        • http://Cubkid jdblades7

          And he strikes out way too much for a leadoff hitter. Hell, B Jax has a good OBP and more pop with a much higher ceiling and you won’t have to pay him. I would take him hitting 250 avg 350 obp over Bourne.

        • http://Cubkid jdblades7

          He isn’t worth what Boras is asking, if we sign him to a four year contract, we will be trying to get rid of him in two or three and eating most of his salary. I think he is worth a 4/40 million, maybe. Someone like Dexter Fowler would be alot cheaper and close to talent level of Bourne. I know we would lose some minor leaguers, but maybe the pick we would have used on Bourne could turn out to be a stud.

      • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

        So I am assuming you think he will maintain his level of play over the next 3-5 years.

        • blublud

          Or out perform it. There aren’t a whole lot of lineups, if we sign Bourn, that are going to outperform ours 1-5. We definitely would be the best, but we would probably be better then the Braves.

          • blublud

            Meant,We definitely wouldn’t be the best, but we would be better then ATL

            • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

              I don’t know. I would personally rather have their 1-5. You are looking at Upton, Heyward, Prado, Uggla, and Freeman. That is, imo, a lot better than what we have. Bourn doesn’t bring much offensively. He wouldn’t make us better in that area. That is assuming he does what he has historically done, and there is no guarantee of that, because his speed will decline.

              • Blublud

                The problem is Upton and Heyward (was at the game in ATL when he hit his first career HR of Zambrano) is they are inconsistent. But you do have a point. I would probably take theirs too.

                • DocPeterWimsey

                  This is simply untrue. All the variation in their performances within any one season and most of their variation among seasons falls within expectations: baseball is, after all, a very probabilistic thing.

    • CubFan Paul

      Bourn
      DeJesus
      Castro
      Rizzo
      Stewart
      Platoon RF
      Castillo
      Barney

      Bourn could score a lot in front of DJ, Castro, & Rizzo

      • blublud

        yes he would score a whole lot. However, I would think signing bourn would give us more incentive to keep Soriano.

        Bourn
        Dejesus
        Castro
        Rizzo
        Soriano

        This is actually a pretty potent lineup 1-5. Everybody on this list has some kind of combination of speed, OBP, Average, or power.

        Actually, if you took Bourn’s speed, Dejesus’s OBP, Castro’s hit stick, Soriano’s and Rizzo’s power, and leadership, you have Mike Trout. Damn that guy is good.

        • legen wait for it dary

          IF we sign Bourn and keep sori we trade Dejesus.

      • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

        Cubs leadoff hitters scored 95 runs in 2012. One less than Bourn even though Atlanta’s offense was MUCH better than the Cubs.

        • CubFan Paul

          Bourn had a sluggish 2nd half last year. All ATL people would say he should of scored well over 100.

          • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

            Oh, well that makes me want him even MORE :)

            • CubFan Paul

              Glad to see that you’re thinking outside the bubble.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            Bourn’s K-rate rose pretty substantially and significantly: you expect only one player in 50 to show such drastic shifts just by chance alone. (Of course, that means that you expect one regular on every 6 teams, or 5 total to do that!)

            His singles rate and XBH rate dropped but insignificantly so after you take into account fewer batted balls. His walk rate actually increased, albeit insignificantly so: and you expect that to do so as a side effect of swinging and missing more often.

            • DocPeterWimsey

              As a side note, I’d be a little worried if his career numbers show this frequently, as guys wear down sooner and more drastically playing for the Cubs due to so many day games. On the other hand, it might have been some other “one off” issue such as illness or allergies affecting his vision.

              • http://Cubkid jdblades7

                Didn’t he play on astroturf in houston and if so, doesn’t that put wear and tear on the legs.

  • colocubfan

    Wouldn’t signing Bourn be like a complete reversal of everything that Theo has preached over the last year? Give up a 2nd round pick for a guy who will be past the prime years of his career halfway through the contract???

    It doesn’t make sense to me, and if they do sign him, then I’m pretty much lost as to just what the heck are they doing in the front office!

    • MightyBear

      No.

    • JR

      Well, the arguement is that 2nd picks have very little shot at making an impact in the majors. But I really believe that Theo and Co have big enough ego’s that they think they can draft a good player at 40. I think the bigger problem is paying Bourne major coin a couple yrs from now if he drops off big time, would prevent them spending the money elsewhere. I just keep thinking Chone Figgins…

      • JR

        *2nd Round picks

        • blublud

          I wonder if the Cubs would do some under cutting. How about a 3 yr, 60 million dollar deal. Bourn’s WAR number and probably his future WAR prediction would actually validate that he’s worth the money, and the Cubs have a shorter shelf life worry on the contract.
          I doubt he gets 5 yr/90mil, might get 5 yr’s 80. By him getting more money upfront in the 3 yr deal, he has more control over his money early. Investment and interest will make up a large portion that, if he’s smart, meaning he could probably sign a 2 yr 10 million dollar deal after this one and still make the same money. Anything extra afterwards would just be a bonus.

          players and agents do think about these things

          • hansman1982

            If you’re willing to commit $60m to Bourn, why wouldn’t you want to go 4/70 or 5/75? In the grand scheme of things it’s small potatoes and if he continues to perform you get those extra years. If not, you’re talking 10-15m more spread over 4-5 years.

      • Spencer

        It’s so funny to be that 2nd round picks aren’t really impact players in MLB, yet there are like 40 rounds to the draft. That’s why I don’t get really excited about MLB’s draft – we won’t ever hear the name of the vast majority of those players ever again.

        • Rcleven

          It’s not just the draft pick that you would giving up. The slot money would also be forfeited. This starts to effect money available for later rounds.

    • http://Cubkid jdblades7

      They said something to the effect. We won’t give contracts for what they did in their prime. For example something like a Pujols contract when his numbers will more than likely drop and he’s getting paid like they will stay the same for the duration of the contract.

  • Don

    I agree Brett. Only sign Bourn if his price drops to a reasonble amount. Bourn is a good player but he has no power and pop. Cubs need an outfielder with pop who can drive in runs especially if we dump Soriano. We don’t need another slap type singles hitter like Barney or Dejesus.

  • mak

    Pass on Bourn. Would rather watch Jackson, Sczcur or a replacement level CF until a more appealing option hits the FA or trade market (Ellsbury?), or until a guy like Almora is ready.

  • Jim

    I just worry about going after a 42 SB guy and shelling out money and years and all of a sudden he is a 15 SB guy with little power. He is now on the wrong side of 30. When we got Soriano we were like “Woo Hoo we got a 30/30 guy” and then he had knee problems and became just the HR threat. I know that you can’t compare the two or play with scared money…

  • Frostybluebear

    Ok I have been reading and watching this website for a long time…Must say I have always enjoyed it. Figured it’s about time I made a post…Here goes…Call me one for change and optimism but I cant figure out why the cubs can’t be competitive this year as well as for a long time in the future…..So sign bourn for 3/4 year at around 15mil per…see if which i believe we might be able to trade Bjax Baez and marmol, hell throw in another fringe prospect for Upton.
    This gives the cubs an outfield of Upton Bourn and Dejesus. Pretty good in my opinion While doing this send sori to whoever and get what we can back. Keep Shierholtz as fourth outfielder…if you get a chance to flip dejesus at the deadline do it and let Sappelt be our new fourth outfielder. Once Garza is healthy send him and prospect to Texas for Olt. This gives us a good young infield and controlled outfield for the next several years and plenty of time to develop our prospects. Also leaves us prospects like Lake and others to develop and or trade. Next off season with that lineup throw major money at at an Ace.

  • Soler Power

    I liked Passan’s take on Bourn from Yahoo:

    “Speed players tend not to age well. Now, Bourn may be the exception, in which case he merits a higher spot. But consider: Of the hundreds of players with 80 percent or more of their games in center after age 30 – and Bourn’s lack of power limits him to center – only five exceeded 172 stolen bases from then on. Just 28 played more than 800 games. Which is to say: If a team goes five years on Bourn banking on his continued great defense and speed-based offense, good luck.”

  • patrick

    I dont get it?? We are talking about an aging speed guy. Speed is his best assist. He doesnt hit for avg. He plays good D, but I dont see where this is a good investment, unless we are talking short-term deal. Dont pay for past skills/stats.

    • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

      Completely agree.

  • ncsujuri

    Couple different thoughts go through my mind when talking about signing Bourne and losing a 2nd round pick as compensation. The first is, what if the market is so dry that he has to take a one year deal and then try again next year. Cubs could sign him for the one year and most likely flip him at the trade deadline for more value than the 2nd round pick itslef would have offered, assuming Bourne is playing well and a contender sees a whole in CF and/or top of their lineup.

    The second one is it might actually benefit the Cubs to NOT have a 2nd round pick since the bonus pool is spread out over all the picks. They could take a really talented guy in a later round and have extra $$ to give him over his slot to induce him to sign v. go to college by not having to give a 2nd round guy his slot money.

    Just a couple things that I hadn’t seen mentioned through the comments yet.

    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

      Once you forfeit the pick, you lose the portion of your bonus pool associated with that pick. For our second rounder, that’ll be about a million, maybe a bit more.

      • ncsujuri

        Well crap, so much for that idea then. Thanks for providing insight on the rules that I didn’t have.

    • blublud

      If the Cubs lose there draft pick, they loose the money that goes along with it.

      • blublud

        lose

      • ncsujuri

        Same to you Blu, Kyle just beat you to it. Thanks for the insight!

    • blublud

      BTW, are you a wolfpack fan. I see the NCSU in your name.

      • ncsujuri

        Graduated from State in 2001, very much a Wolfpack Fan…

        • blublud

          Yeah. I’m a huge Pack fan. Been to a couple BBall games already this year. A couple football games also. I live in Greensboro.

          • ncsujuri

            It ticks me off from a respect standpoint how if DOOK/UNC were the ones to start the season ranked high and then lose to a good team in a poor fashion in the championship of a tournament and then lose to the #3 team in the country on its home floor by 7 they would still be in the top 15 and we are barely holding onto the rankings at all. On the other hand though I think it was good for our guys to have a little bit of the pressure taken off by the high expectations being lowered somewhat by the two losses.

            They will be fine come tourney time in my opinion and I still think we can win the ACC if we can get a fair game officiated by the Mike Hess’s of the world when we play the University of New Jersey @ Durham and the boys from UNC-CHeat.

            I went 3-0 in the football games I was at for State this year (including FSU).

            • Blublud

              Hey. Its actually Dooky and UNCheat. Lol. I had that same convo with a co worker, UNC, fan. We lost 2 games to ranked teams and barely stayed ranked. It took the 4 losses, some to some meh team, to drop out. We get no respect. I was @ FSU also.

              • Internet Random

                It’s “Puke”. The t-shirts are funnier that way.

  • abe

    Brett,

    Do you think we can get bourn on a 1 year deal? Maybe Boras will want to do like he did with E Jackson last year (the market wasn’t so good so he settled for a 1 year hoping for better luck next year..)

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      If I’m him, I have no interest in a one year deal, because I think his market value will only continue to erode as he ages … but, that said, I think the Cubs would have zero interest in him on a one-year deal. They lose a pick, and Bourn doesn’t put them over the top. So they sign him with the hope that they can trade him for something better than a 40/41st overall pick? Or the hope that he plays well again, declines a qualifying offer, and they then get a slightly higher pick for him? All while improving the team slightly in 2013 but not meaningfully? Eh. Just not a lot of upside there for me. Bourn is a two-year minimum, four-year maximum guy for me.

      • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

        Completely agree Brett. I love the idea of a 3 year deal. Because I think even with a 2 year deal with a qualifying offer after the second there is a possibility he accepts, because his play has started to erode. His game is based on speed, and that is just scary. 2 year minimum with the hopes of competing in 2014 or if we aren’t in that position trading him before the start of 2014. Or, maximum 4 year deal. We wouldn’t get anything in the end, but hopefully we have atleast 3 productive seasons with one that make him a flipable asset in the 4th year. That is iffy at best. 5 years is just asking for trouble. There were only 2 players I would have thought of as 5 year players on the market this year, and both are gone.

  • Savant

    Losing the second round pick would mean that we would only lose our third round pick if we were to go ahead and sign R. Soriano. Soriano seems to be the player lined up for the losing Boras roulette game this year, if he comes cheap enough there would have to be better value than a third round pick for him at the trade deadline.

  • hansman1982

    After looking at it, I’ll pass, yet again, on Bourn.

    Not only does he NOT offer that significant of an upgrade but his skill set will not sustain. Think Alfonso Soriano without the power. BR’s top 5 Similarity Scores through 29 have these guys:

    1. Max Flack – played in 1920 so hard to compare
    2. Brett Butler – similar speed based skills but Butler did the amazing thing of walk more than he struck out, Bourn does not do this.
    3. Dave Collins – Never a “full-time” player but his 3/4 playing time lasted until age 33 and his speed until age 31
    4. Roger Cedeno – Bourn is a better version of Cedeno who was out of baseball by the age of 30. Bourn walks more than Cedeno but Cedeno struck out less.
    5. Brian Hunter – Another case where Bourn is a better batter, but this one isn’t by that much. Basically, ages 25-29, HR, SB,CS,BB and K’s are all very close or wash each other out (Bourn has more walks but also more K’s). Durin gthese years Bourn edged Hunter in OBP .339 to .308 highlighted by a .041 difference in BABIP. Hunter’s last FULL season was age 28 and he was out of baseball by 33.

    5 years – no thank you. 3 with a team option for a 4th – sure.

    • CubFan Paul

      from kyle

      But in 2012, according to Baseball-Reference:

      Bourn was worth +7 runs as a baserunner, DeJesus -1
      Bourn was worth +3 runs avoiding DPs, DeJesus -2
      Bourn was worth +24 runs defensively, DeJesus -4

      that’s significant

      • hansman1982

        It is, assuming that defensive metrics can be trusted and that we will get 2012 Bourn and not 2011 Bourn who was worth -3 runs defensively.

        He presently has a career .343 BABIP – just take 20 points of that away and you have a $15-18M Darwin Barney who will get you a couple runs a year through baserunning (and even that isn’t a guarantee as he is getting awfully close to not gaining any value through his SB).

        Now he is decent at drawing a walk and should be at least average defensively through the length of his contract but are those two things enough of an upgrade to tie up $15-18M a year (and a roster spot) for the next 4 years?

        • CubFan Paul

          why are assuming Bourn will fall off to Darwin Barney esque numbers the next four years?

          with worrying about BABIP no free agent would get anything over 2years. Either way, without being psychic one can safely assume the exact opposite of your nightmarish example of what might happen in IF Bourn gets a high ankle sprain every year of his 30’s

          • hansman1982

            we considering that 3 of the top 5 guys he is most similar to were done playing baseball by age 33 (and 1 of the other two surviving because he was really good with the strike zone) and each of those 3 lost their speed at age 31…

            A career BABIP that is 30 points higher than league average is usually attributed to speed. Lose that speed, you lose a lot of BABIP, lose a lot of BABIP and suddenly your fighting to get on base more than Tony Campana.

            It would be interesting to see the scouting reports on Bourn’s defense. Is he a good fielder because he is good or because he is fast?

            Bourn isn’t like Soriano or the Upton’s in that he has NO power to fall back on once he loses that speed.

  • rbreeze

    I like the idea of Bourn at the top of the lineup but at the right price and contract length.
    3 to 4 yrs, $50 to $60 million. With Bourn you get a major league ball player that you can trade in year 2 or 3 or 4 of his contract for prospects. Hopefully good ones.
    I know we would like more power for that money but I remember the Giants winning the WS with a not so sexy lineup. They were one of the worst in baseball in terms of HR’s but they were one of the best with RISP. Throw in the great pitching and defense they played and they won a title without the power.
    Can anyone look back and see which players have been selected with the 41st pick over the last 10 years or so? Will we recognize any of them?

  • auggie1955

    When trying to decide whether or not the Cubs should sign Bourn an image of Kenny Lofton playing CF for the 2003 Cubs suddenly popped in my head. Since both are similar in a lot of respects I decided to take a quick look at Lofton’s SB numbers.

    With the exception of 2 seasons (2001 Cle, age 34 16s SB and 2004, 7 SB) Lofton managed to steal 20 or more bases each year till he was 40. Bourn is a better stolen base threat than Lofton, so those that argue Bourn will not be able to steal bases after a few years are off base. Bourn lacks the power that Lofton possesed.

    I’d like to see the Cubs sign Bourn to a 3 yr deal.

  • AD

    The problem with a three year deal is that most teams would be interested in that type of deal so are chances aren’t likely, but it’s worth a shot.

  • Adventurecizin’ Justin

    I really hope we don’t waste any money and a 40th pick on Bourn. I can’t stand a speed guy striking out 140-150 times a year. His OBP is pathetic, too, as far as I’m concerned.

  • Marcel91

    Brett,

    With all do respect…please…for the love of god…..stop fueling this Micheal Bourne fire here :). He is a terrible, terrible investment at 4 yrs+, which he figures to get from somewhere, and just a bad one at 3. The ONLY way signing him presents any value is on a two-year deal which is unlikely….
    If they do sign him to 4+ years myself and any smart individual would have to ask “why didnt they use that same money and at least get a CF that has some upside left in B.J Upton”

    Look at Bourn’s numbers over the last 3 years…..HE’S ALREADY BEEN ON A DECLINE with no signs of halting it whatsoever….Honestly, i’d rather have Jackson because at least he’ll give you good defense, speed, and power. Why do you guys want this years Chone Figgins so bad???

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      You’ll note that, generally-speaking, I supported signing Upton, and do not support signing Bourn.

    • MightyBear

      Please explain to me how he’s been on a decline.

    • cRAaZYHORSE

      Why do you guys want this years Chone Figgins so bad??? 101 reasons come to mind.

      • Marcel91

        You’d thiink people would remember the juan pierre fiasco….

        • cRAaZYHORSE

          Would that be the year 2006 when D.Lee broke his wrist ? and What fiasco are you talking about?

        • MightyBear

          I do. What’s that got to do with signing Michael Bourn?

          • cRAaZYHORSE

            MR I do – do tell about the fiasco – – signing bourn will help this team .maybe they wont reach 100 loses again .

          • Marcel91

            Maybe because they are similar players, with bourn being slightly better. That deal was terrible fore the cubs. Speed only players on the wrong end of 30 are not worth 4-5 yrs at 80mil which is what he’s probably going to get. Id much rather hold that money and use it to go after price or someone who has upside left. Bourn is maxed out as a player. You’d be paying for past performance only which is something we want to stat away from.

            • cRAaZYHORSE

              iI agree with most of what you say . I would not pay bourn anything over 54 million for 4 years but he would be an asset to the Cubs if the price was right and , if for some reason he had to sign a 1 year contract i hope the Cubs jump aboard. but he is not a fiasco type error.

              • Marcel91

                Maybe I should have rephased. At anything over 2 years we will begin to regret it. If he’ll come on a 1 or 2 year deal sign me up. The argument people, myself in cluded, use is youd get his most productive years while were not yet a title contender and his worst years when we are so you have to figure what’s the point. Just save that money and spend it when were truly that 1 player away and have flexibility at all positions without albatross contracts.

                Again though, id love bourn at 1-2 years

  • http://www.survivingthalia.com Mike Taylor (no relation)

    I was looking at comparison graphs of Michael Bourn and David DeJesus. Their offensive statistics read strikingly similar, but Bourn’s BABIP have been extremely high the past 4 years to go along with striking out a bunch and walking very little. Part of Bourn’s offensively-comparable OBP to DeJesus’ is that high BABIP getting his OBP over .300, which is, I’m assuming, running out a bunch of dribblers…

    I think it’s best to leave this one alone. Even if we trade DeJesus at the deadline, we should have Brett Jackson to take his place in CF (all reworked swings panning out) and defensively upgrading the OF. I’d rather us wait a year or two and trade a bunch of prospects for Andrew McCutchen when his contract becomes too high for Pittsburgh.

    • Marcel91

      this sounds like a good plan to me. Hoyer for executive of the year if we manage to pry Mccutchen lose though

    • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

      McCutchen just signed a 6 year, $50M+ deal last year.

  • ruby2626

    Funny that I guy who just turned 30 a day or 2 ago is now considered over the hill. Then what is Garza, he is what 29, wonder if he knows he’ll be over the hill in a year.

    I’ll tell you what I would do with Soriano and it’s totally outside the box. No way this guy is the age he said he is when he signed his 8 year contract. Hire a private investigator let him go down to the Dominican and find out that he is really 3 years older than what he says he is. Then take the contract to court. Not a lawyer here but with a major fraud like that maybe the Cubs could sue and get out of the contract.

    • Toby

      Doing that would draw free agents to the Cubs like crazy.

Bleacher Nation Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Bleacher Nation is a private media site, and it is not affiliated in any way with Major League Baseball or the Chicago Cubs. Neither MLB nor the Chicago Cubs have endorsed, supported, directed, or participated in the creation of the content at this site, or in the creation of the site itself. It's just a media site that happens to cover the Chicago Cubs.

Bleacher Nation is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Google+