Is Michael Bourn A Possibility For The Phillies?BREAKING NEWS, News, Phillies Wednesday, December 5th, 2012
On Wednesday night, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported that the Phillies are “past the tire-kicking stage” in pursuit of free-agent centerfielder Michael Bourn, and the team is now trying to gauge what kind of money it will take bring Bourn back to Philadelphia.
The Phillies currently are without a single proven starting outfielder, and addressing centerfield has been one of Ruben Amaro’s top priorities in the offseason.
Amaro’s top choice was Angel Pagan, but the 31-year old decided to stay with the San Francisco Giants. The Phillies also pursued B.J. Upton, but were outbid by the Atlanta Braves. The team even had some interest in bringing back Shane Victorino, but the interest in the former Phillie was minimal and Victorino signed a massive deal with the Boston Red Sox.
The free agent pool is drying up, and Amaro has been unable to add a single outfielder to his roster, and Bourn is one of the few big names left on the market. However, I don’t like the idea of the Phillies handing out a big deal to the former Atlanta Brave.
A Bourn signing would come with considerable risk. He’s almost 30-years old, doesn’t hit for power, and strikes out a lot (155 times in 2012). His great speed is what makes his game work in the big leagues, but how many more years will he have his quickness for? When an athlete ages, speed is one of the first things to go.
I don’t think its in the Phillies’ best interest to hand out another big contract to another player on the wrong side of 30. While Bourn would bring some stability to the outfield and the top of the batting order, I feel that signing him would only be a short-term fix and a long-term problem.
Think about a couple of bad contracts that the Phillies just recently got out of, Raul Ibanez and Placido Polanco. Both players were given considerable contracts by Amaro, and neither player was worth the investment. Ibanez got off to a great start at the beginning of 2009, but was an up-and-down player for most of his three years. Polanco’s body began to break down shortly after he returned to Philadelphia, and the aging third baseman had trouble just staying on the field.
Bourn is said to be seeking a deal larger than the $75 million that B.J. Upton received from the Braves. I’d rather the Phillies keep their money for a better option down the road. If a player isn’t a great fit for the team, the organization shouldn’t settle for an option that won’t be in the best interest of the team two or three years from now.
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