Despite Scott Boras’ cry that his free agent center fielder is a “franchise guy”, the options for Michael Bourn have diminished quickly post-Winter Meetings.
Boras has never been afraid to go deep into the offseason with his free agents, holding out for the ideal contract. Bourn wants for a four or five-year deal in the range of $15 million annually.
The Seattle Mariners would appear to be looking for any offensive upgrade, but with the fences now moved in at Safeco Field, they prefer a Josh Hamilton or Justin Upton-type impact bat rather than a speedy outfielder entering his thirties.
Then again, there is always the Chone Figgins factor Bourn would have to overcome in potential negotiations with Seattle.
The Cincinnati Reds are looking for stability at the leadoff spot, yet they are reluctant to sign someone to a long-term deal with top prospect Billy Hamilton only a year away from making an impact at the top of the order.
After losing out in the Zack Greinke sweepstakes, Buster Olney wonders if the Texas Rangers might consider re-signing Hamilton and trading for Upton. Bourn could be lessened to the Rangers' "fallback guy" if they are unable to to do either.
Would signing a one-year deal and re-entering the free agent market again next winter be the best option moving forward? Now that his most obvious suitors prior to the Winter Meetings have found suitable replacements, Bourn is no longer any team's first choice, much less a "franchise guy".