Excuse the bad pun, but would Michael Bourn be a good fit for the M’s?
If the M’s did in fact sign him, there would need to be several lineup/roster adjustments, in addition to draft pick repercussions.
The M’s would have the two best defensive outfielders in the game, with Bourn and Gutierrez, plus an above-average defender in Saunders, rounding out the best defensive outfield in the game.
The M’s would also have to give up their first-round draft pick to the Braves, as the M’s don’t have a top-ten pick. This may be an issue for some people, but for me, it’s a non-factor.
And I’ll tell you why.
Why does a team draft someone? For them to become a star. For them to hit 40+ homers a year, win three World Series single-handedly and make the GM rich and famous.
But why draft someone that might not become a good major-leaguer when you can just sign one right now for $60 Million. It would be like giving up a player who could potentially be good in 3-4-5 years for someone who is good right now.
Michael Bourn would fit the Mariners rebuilding scheme for right now. He’ll still be good in 2014, the year the M’s are gunning to start winning after years of rebuilding, while draft pick x from 2013 will still be running around in Single or Double A.
Also, having Bourn in the outfield would keep Mike Morse out of the outfield, which is obviously a good thing.
But having Bourn around complicates the current logjam even further.
That would mean having three different 1B/DH types in Justin Smoak, Mike Morse, and Kendrys Morales. The simplest thing to do would be to trade one of the three, and it definitely wouldn’t be one of the two new acquisitions.
So the M’s would need to do something with Justin Smoak.
BUT HE COULD BE SOOO GOOD!
Now there’s a decision to make. Do the M’s keep faith that Justin Smoak will eventually hit .280 with 25+ homeruns? Or do they jump ship, trade Smoak, and sign a big, shiny contract with Bourn, committing to him for the next 5-6 years.
This is a tough one.
By adding Bourn the M’s would get a guaranteed 5-6 WAR for two or three years, then 3-4 WAR for the remainder of the contract. Keeping the fact that Bourn has produced a WAR of 4 or higher in each of the last four years, it is possible they get the same production for much cheaper with Smoak.
Let’s ignore possible Smoak trade scenarios for a bit, as that’s an article for a different day. Rather, let’s talk about Bourn’s possible contract.
Bourn does have Scott Boras as his agent. Thus every GM in the continent is scared. I would be fine with any contract better than 4 years and $65 Million. If it is on the good side of either of those numbers, I would be happy.
Of course we are now so close to spring training, there is speculation Bourn could sign a one year contract and try for the big bucks again next year. So the M’s could get in on that.
If Jack Zduriencik signs him to a one year deal, he could flip Bourn to a contender at the deadline for a nice haul if he’s playing well.
I currently am indifferent as to whether the M’s sign Bourn. If they do, I would be excited, but if they don’t, I’m not going to cry about it.
Ideally we could get Bourn for one year, flip him at the deadline, get a nice haul, keep Smoak, and go after a big name or two next year.
That most likely won’t happen, but I can dream, can’t I?