They will hate this deal by the end of it because his speed is already fading a little bit and it tends to fade fast after 30. It also makes no sense really given the other moves they have made this year. To be honest I'd just DFA stubbs or trade him for peanuts, he is useless as a corner OF.
He won't be 30 until the 2014 season and has been worth 4+ WAR each of the past 4 years. He could realistically earn the entire value of the contract before it's half finished. Compare this to pretty much every other OF signing this offseason (I'm looking at you, Cody Ross) and it's highway robbery. They had the advantage of only having to surrender a 3rd round pick and they used that advantage wisely.
Bourn is currently 30 years old, he was born in 1982 no pun intended! He earns his WAR from defense and baserunning which are fledgling stats at this point and completely unreliable. I think he is probably a 3-4 WAR player assuming he repeats what he has done but I also think what he replaces was 1-2 WAR. Contextually this deal just makes no sense.
Contextually? So they should forgo adding a consistent 4 WAR player, coming off of a 6 WAR season, for far below market value, for only 4 years with a team option, because they already have a castoff CF that plays mediocre defense with a career .312 OBP. Sounds like a winning formula. Keep in mind they also had Michael Brantley slotted into the starting lineup, and nobody to play 1B/DH with Reynolds, a position that Swisher would fill nicely if they didn't need him in the OF. I don't know what the Indians were thinking...
ETA: I fully recognise that players that rely on their legs decline a lot faster than pure hitters, but it would take an epically disastrous decline from Bourn to not earn that contact, and it makes them considerably better in the near future. This is a very low risk signing. It probably adds a couple more wins for this season than the division-rival Royals did when they traded away 12+ seasons of Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi for two seasons of James Shields.
while this makes Cleveland better than they were, I don't think it makes them any better than 4th place. their pitching pretty much still sucks. Justin Masterson would be the ace? in the last 3 years he has had 1 good season, in 2011. Ubaldo Jimenez hasn't been good since 2010. Brett Myers hasn't started since 2011, and wasn't that good since starting in 2010. Zach McAllister wasn't that good in 2012.
AussieDodger wrote:This makes them sneaky-good. They won't pass Detroit obviously (unless every good Detroit player steps on a landmine), but I think they'll beat the Royals for sure.....and probably smoke them
I think they are likely the last place or 2nd to last place team in the division. To be honest I kind of see the Twins even beating them out. That rotation is just awful and the lineup is still very average.
This was nothing more than taking opportunity of a week market to get a pretty good player. Perhaps this looks bad at the end of the contract but I think it's highly likely that he earns the contract overall.
Everyone seems to be forgetting that the Indians are adding Carrasco and Bauer to the rotation this year. Ubaldo is a wild card - I think he's toast and would dislike him as much as I do Frankie Liriano if I was an Indians fan. But if Masterson, McAllister and Myers can be average with one of the 2 younger pitchers stepping up it's a tolerable rotation. I think .500 has to be the first goal but the Central really sucks after Detroit. A lot of cheap W's out that somebody has to get. After all they can't give both teams a loss in a game.
Looking at run prevention overall, the Indians have done the equivalent of adding two front of the rotation starters by improving defense with Bourn/Swisher/Stubbs. Swisher replaces Reynolds who slides from 1B to DH, Bourn replaces Brantley in CF, who in turn replaces Shelley Duncan in LF, and Stubbs replaces Choo in RF. Significant improvements on defense which could save approximately 47 runs over the course of a season. They've also added Myers who was pretty good in his last go-around as a starter in 2010 and 2011 before the Astros inexplicably made him a reliever. And Carrasco, and Bauer (don't have high hopes for him in 2013, but ya never know when it'll click). Doesn't make them likely to make the playoffs, but I think they're being under-rated.