Heading into this off-season, Michael Bourn was considered one of the top few players available in free agency. Yet, as the calendar turns to 2013, Bourn still remains without a job.
One main reason for that is the price tag. Teams don’t want to shell out a nine-figure deal, or a whole bunch of years, for a speedster headed into his 30’s. It’s also due to the fact that since the Atlanta Braves submitted Bourn a qualifying offer prior to him hitting the market, he’ll cost most teams that sign him a first round pick, in addition to that monster contract.
Which is exactly why a deal with the Chicago Cubs could be in Bourn’s future. Of course, that’s nothing more than speculation at this point, but it is a potential reality.
At this point, it’d simply be unreasonable for Bourn to expect the type of contract he’d been hoping for. He’ll still get the big bucks, just not with the amount of years that he wanted.
The market likely hasn’t deteriorated to the point where Bourn is going to be forced to accept a one-year deal and have to try it again next winter. But it’s probably limited to the point where he’s going to have to settle for a two or a three-year deal. Heck, even one may be possible if Bourn chooses to go that route.
But a two or three year deal for Michael Bourn could be a fantastic add, and a steal for the Cubs or any team at this point. A guy whose game is predicated on speed and defense is the type of player you want to proceed with caution with in free agency, but on a two-year deal, the risk is much lower than it may have been earlier in the winter when he was looking for the longer deal.
Of course, should the years come down, Bourn could have a whole new slew of teams after him, not just the typical markets that we’ve seen to this point. Should those demands come down, like we believe they are, then the Cubs will certainly have interest. And if the Cubs have interest, there’s a possibility they could be adding a fantastic defensive outfielder and an actual leadoff hitter before this winter is over.
Pure speculation, though.