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The Braves could lose Michael Bourn after this year.
After struggling with the leadoff position for years ever since Rafael Furcal left town, the Atlanta Braves finally found an answer when they dealt for Michael Bourn last year. Bourn hit .278 with 30 runs scored and stole 22 bases last year in 53 games after the trade, but the Braves failed to wrap up a playoff spot.
Bourn came back this year and is having a career-year. In addition to hitting .311/.366/.451 with seven homers, 32 RBI and 25 steals, he has played great defense in center field. In fact if the season ended today Bourn would have set new career-highs in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS and home runs. He could potentially also set new career-highs in hits, runs, doubles, triples, RBI and walks.
Michael Bourn easily deserved his All-Star selection, as he is one of the best center fielders in all of baseball. However at the end of the season Bourn will become a free agent. The Braves, who aren't big spenders, will have some cash to use this winter with nearly $25 million to come off the books from Chipper Jones and Derek Lowe alone in addition to the nearly $7 million that Bourn made this year.
The Braves may hesitate to re-sign Bourn though. Bourn will turn 30 years old in December, and with Scott Boras as his agent, he will likely want a four- or five-year contract. Since the Braves aren't huge spenders they may not give a big money deal to a speed guy on the other side of 30.
This means that there is a good chance Bourn is gone after the season. The Braves and their front office also know this, and they know that this could be their best chance to make a deep run into the playoffs. Adding a pitcher like Zack Greinke will only help the Braves make the most out of this season.