Michael Bourn has reportedly gained interest from a seemingly unlikely suitor in the Seattle Mariners, who appear to be targeting corner outfielders more than speedy center fielders. But when a player who is as talented as Bourn hits the market (four straight seasons with over 4 WAR), expectations are usually made.
Jon Heyman tweeted that the Mariners “like Bourn very much”, and he also mentioned the Philadelphia Phillies and Texas Rangers as two other teams interested in the 29-year-old’s services. Bourn is coming off of the perfect contract year, as he exploded with a career-high 6.4 WAR to go with 42 steals and excellent defense.
Defense and speed are two tools that are key for CFs and two tools that the Mariners have traditionally valued. However, they have been mainly involved in rumors with more powerful corner outfielders, and it seems like they are interested in beefing up the overall power production of this line-up. Bourn is definitely not a power guy, but a .348 OBP in center shows that Bourn has value on offense by getting on base and making things happen when he is on base.
It seems like Bourn’s asking price thus far has been too high, which is why the market hasn’t been as hot as it should be. Speed doesn’t age well, so that’s something else teams are factoring in.
The Mariners have also shown interest in Baltimore Orioles outfielder Nate McLouth, but Bourn is clearly the superior player and is likely the M’s top target this offseason with all the interest they have shown in him over the winter meetings.
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