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Michael Bourn’s name has been mentioned as someone the Philadelphia Phillies have been interested in since the team traded away Shane Victorino, Hunter Pence and Joe Blanton, as Buster Olney wrote on ESPN.com (Insider Subscription required) during the regular season.
The Phils must now determine whether or not Bourn will be the center fielder that they target once free agency begins.
However, as Jim Salisbury on CSNPhilly.com wrote this week, there are a few areas that point to the Phillies looking elsewhere for center field help.
Bourn’s addition would add another left-handed batter to a lineup that is already primarily left-handed. He did, however, manage to bat .274 with nine home runs and 57 RBI this season, and is one season removed from batting .294. He has also stolen 103 total bases combined over the past two seasons.
But it’s what Salisbury writes at the end of his article that further puts Bourn’s status as a target in question. According to the article, Bourn, whose agent is Scott Boras, could be looking for a new contract worth nearly $100 million.
Bourn’s WAR value was the second highest among qualified National League center fielders this season, at 6.4, according to fangraphs.com, while his UZR led qualified NL center fielders at 22.4, also according to fangraphs.com.
However, if Bourn is looking to break the bank this offseason, it would be the second time this year that the Phillies have signed a player to a $100 million deal.
If his demands are lower, Bourn would be a stronger candidate as a player the Phillies will target this offseason.