When Phillies' nation got news that the Atlanta Braves were going to allow Michael Bourn and his 42 stolen bases to test free agency, a sigh of relief swept across the city. There were even notions that he may even rejoin the Phillies for the foreseeable future.
Then, we all realized Scott Boras was his agent and that he was going to do whatever he could to make sure the team that signs him vastly over pays for his services.
One thing that could bring back those nightmares of Bourn's speed is allowing the Braves to swoop in and sign B.J. Upton and his base stealing ability to a long-term contract.
Upton has consistently stolen 31 or more bases every year since 2008. From 2008-2010 he stole 44, 42, and 42 bases. The sky is the limit for Upton and he could hit 45-50 at some point in his career.
The man has speed and a lot of it. His ability to swipe bags makes him dangerous against any team he plays, but if he signs with Atlanta he will play against the Phillies and the rest of the NL East more than any of the other teams in baseball.
To let Upton slip away to the Braves could potentially haunt the Phillies for years to come. His power, defense and speed are skills the Phillies can't let the Braves have.
If the Phillies don't sign Upton and let him go to the Braves, Ruben Amaro must pull a rabbit out of his hat and make some moves that no one in baseball is expecting. If not, the Phillies might find themselves in third place yet again in the NL East come the end of 2013.