It happens every offseason. A talented free agent or two who expects to land a huge multi-year contract is forced to settle for a lesser deal because of the concepts of supply and demand. Michael Bourn is the victim this time. Bourn and agent Scott Boras were looking for a deal in the five-year, $75 million vicinity. It's Bourn's first foray into free agency and it comes after one of his best seasons, during which he made his second All-Star team and set career highs in home runs, RBIs and walks. The speed and elite centerfield defense are still there at age 30, evidenced by his 42 steals and 10 triples. Unfortunately for Bourn, this free agent market was littered with centerfielders the way last winter's class was filled with closers. B.J. Upton, Angel Pagan, Shane Victorino and Josh Hamilton all signed by the middle of December. Denard Span (traded from the Twins to the Nats), Shin-Soo Choo (Indians to Reds), Chris Young (Diamondbacks to Athletics) and Ben Revere (Twins to Phillies) filled four more centerfield holes. Now it's the end of January and Bourn is still a free agent. Reports have cropped up in recent days that the Mets are interested in his services, but New York is reluctant to give up the first-round pick they'd forfeit by signing Bourn. A rebuilding team like the Mets needs veteran talent, but it also needs the type of young, cheaper talent it could find with the 11th pick in June's draft. Same goes for many of the other teams that have centerfield holes. The Twins and Royals could use a legitimate, everyday CF, but those are two teams willing to try out their young guys. They also need their first-round picks in order to continue developing internally. The Mariners? That's a potential fit for the former Phillie, but GM Jack Zduriencik has a more pressing concern in re-signing ace Felix Hernandez. If Seattle gives in to Bourn's demands, it would be spending approximately $5 million more in 2013 than it did in 2012, and that's before the estimated $10 million per year raise King Felix is due.
Where will former Phillie Michael Bourn end up?
CSN Philly | Jan 28