Just when you thought the Indians had a formidable outfield, they add Michael Bourn to the mix. According to Jon Heyman, the Indians have agreed to terms with center fielder Michael Bourn on a 4 year/$48 million deal with a vesting option for a fifth year if Bourn amasses 550 plate appearances in his fourth season. Until earlier today the New York Mets were favorites to land the outfielder. According to multiple outlets, they made an offer of four years/$48 million but two things got into the way. First, the Mets are intent on not giving up the eleventh pick of the draft. If they signed Bourn, the Mets would need to go through an arbiter to figure out which pick would be forfeited. Also, the team did not believe that Bourn would be able to obtain a fifth year on his contract. Scott Boras proved another team wrong when the Indians included the vesting option based on plate appearances.
Bourn will play center field for the Indians, while Nick Swisher will be the team's every day right fielder and left field will likely be a platoon of Brantley and newly acquired Drew Stubbs. Suddenly, the tribe has an excess of outfielders. They will want to unload one of their players in order to get a prospect. They certainly have options, as their outfield is more crowded than the Yankees' nursing home suites. However, pitching is still the key to the kingdom and the Indians have an awful rotation. Despite their added offense, I don't see them competing for the central title this season.