Some Thoughts on Michael Bourn
By popular demand, I present a few thoughts on Michael Bourn.
If you want to read my overall thoughts on Bourn and his market value, start with this piece on FanGraphs from September. In general, my thoughts on Bourn can be summed up there.
In a more Mariner-specific sense, I’d be interested in bringing him in on a shorter term deal if Swisher wasn’t an option and the trade price for others was deemed to be too high. He’s a quality player, even though I’m a little concerned about how well he’ll age, and with Franklin Gutierrez’s health issues, it’s fair to say that the Mariners could very well need a center fielder next year and beyond, so signing Bourn now could end up addressing an organizational weak spot. I know some are going to note that the team needs a power hitter and that there’s no reason to have Bourn and Gutierrez playing next to each other, but the diminishing returns of having multiple rangey outfielders are mostly overblown, and it wouldn’t be the end of the world if the team ended up using Guti in left or right after signing Bourn.
Most balls hit to the outfield are only catchable by one guy, so there’s still value in sticking a great defender in a corner spot. We should be beyond the idea of “center fielders” and “corner outfielders” being drastically different. There are really just outfielders, and outfielders can produce value with both their bats and their gloves, regardless of where they play.
So, at something for three years if Bourn’s market collapses? Sure, I’m interested. But he’s not my first choice, and I don’t really want to give him four or more years, given my concerns about high strikeout/low power offensive skillsets.