Through all of the news and reports of Friday’s non-tender deadline, the Chicago Cubs managed to sneak one rather large rumor under the radar. They are interested in Michael Bourn.
Now the fact that a club is interested in Michael Bourn shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. With B.J. Upton officially off the market, Bourn is the best center field option available, whether through free agency or trade. But for the Cubs, it makes a little less sense.
The Cubs have made it clear that they’re throwing 2013 in the toilet. The strategy for this winter is the same as it was this time last year. They’re looking at cheap guys on short-term deals that they can spin at the trade deadline for some younger pieces. We’ve already seen them do it twice with Scott Baker and Scott Feldman.
However, Bourn isn’t that type of player. He’s going to command a long-term contract and a salary worth nine figures. The teams that are looking at him, for the most part, are contenders. They see Bourn as the final piece of their puzzle and are willing to pay handsomely to add him.
That isn’t the case with the Cubs. Yes, they have a vacancy in center field. Brett Jackson is likely headed back to Triple A, and we might not see him up with the Cubs again. But we’re talking about guys like Coco Crisp or Andres Torres joining the Cubs. Not a high-profile player like Bourn.
I’m not saying one way or the other about Bourn. He’s a terrific player. He has a solid glove out there and is one of the fastest players in baseball. Something here doesn’t add up. Especially when you calculate that Bourn will be at least 32 by the time the Cubs are actual championship contenders.
Are we reading too much into this? Absolutely. The fact that the Cubs are interested in Bourn means that they recognize he’s a talented player and could just be checking in on what his true asking price is. And while there’s an obvious fit, it’s not in line with the way the front office has been operating. It just doesn’t make sense.