The Cleveland Indians made a splash in free agency Monday when they acquired 2012 MLB All-Star and Gold Glove outfielder Michael Bourn in free agency. (Photo : Reuters)
With Spring Training looming closer, the Cleveland Indians struck a major coup for themselves.
The Indians Monday signed free agent outfielder Michael Bourn to a four-year, $48 million contract, a source told Fox Sports News.
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Bourn, who was an All-Star last season, hit .274 with 42 stolen bases and a .739 on-base hitting percentage for the Atlanta Braves. He was offered a $13.3 million dollar offer by Atlanta in the offseason, but rejected it in order to test the market.
In addition to his base-stealing savvy, Bourn, a two-time Gold Glove winner, has a reputation as one of the best defensive outfielders in the game.
Bourne was also fielding offers from the Seattle Mariners, Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers
With the addition of Bourne, the Indians have beefed up their defensive outfield with the presence of Michael Brantley and Drew Stubbs.
According to USA Today, Bourne could conceivably earn more with certain contractual incentives. If Bourn has 550 plate appearances by 2016, the deal could be worth as much as $60 million over five years.
Bourn caps a busy offseason for the Indians, who have spent the winter acquiring talent such as starting pitcher Trevor Bauer, first baseman Mark Reynolds, designated hitter Jason Giambi and ex-Boston Red Sox ace Daisuke Matsuaka.
However, acquiring Bourn came at a price for the Indians.
Due to the Braves making Bourn a qualifying offer, under league rules, the Indians will lose their third pick in the Draft, their No. 69 overall Competitive Balance Lottery pick.