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Blue Jays sign Michael Bourn to minor-league deal

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Journeyman outfielder Michael Bourn has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Toronto Blue Jays according to a report from FOX Sports's Ken Rosenthal.

Back on April 9th, Bourn was granted his outright release from the Atlanta Braves, which made him a free agent, despite still owing him $4 million. Furthermore, the Cleveland Indians still owe the 33-year old Bourn $10 million.

In 482 plate appearances last year with the Indians and Braves, Bourn was essentially a replacement-level player according the FanGraphs estimations. He hit 32 percent worse than the league average by wRC+, was an average fielder, and generated nearly all of his positive value from his baserunning. Bourn stole 17 bases in 24 attempts last season, still showing that his speed can be an asset.

With Jose Bautista, Kevin Pillar, and a healthy Michael Saunders currently filling the big league outfield, the Blue Jays outfield is one of the team's strengths. Furthermore, in case of injury, the teams has Ezequiel Carrera, Dalton Pompey, and Darrell Ceciliani as capable replacements. That being said, in the event the Blue Jays need a centerfielder specifically, there is some worry that the organizational depth isn't enough.

Even with Bourn in the minor-league system, Ceciliani or Pompey would almost certainly act as outfield call-ups if necessary. Last year, in a limited amount of work, Ceciliani showed that he could manage centerfield duties for the New York Mets over 44 innings. In fact, he saved 1.6 runs for the team by Ultimate Zone Rating.

Aside from Pompey's speed, his fielding has been his second-most fawned-over tool by scouts. Perhaps Bourn's addition revolves most around minor league injury depth in the event one of Ceciliani or Pompey do in fact get called up.