The Washington Nationals are the early favorite to sign free agent center fielder Michael Bourn, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com:
Baseball officials still see the Nationals as the favorites for Bourn, while the Phillies are seen as an early favorite for Upton.
The Nationals have been seeking an athletic center fielder for years and they have been tied to Bourn in the past. Last season the club used rookie Bryce Harper as their regular in center, but he is viewed more as a long-term corner outfielder.
If Bourn is signed and Harper shifts to a corner outfield position, Michael Morse could move to first base. If the club is able to re-sign first baseman Adam LaRoche, Heyman notes that Morse could be traded to fill another area of need.
We found out yesterday that Bourn is reportedly seeking a deal in the $100 million range. This could be a stretch, but he is a Scott Boras client coming off of back-to-back solid seasons. Over the past two years with the Braves the 30-year-old has hit .275/.341/.381 with 34 doubles, 13 triples, 10 home runs and 64 stolen bases in 84 attempts.