Examining the Potential Lineups for Each of Michael Bourn's Top 10 Suitors

Brian ReuterContributor IIJanuary 21, 2013

Examining the Potential Lineups for Each of Michael Bourn's Top 10 Suitors

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    Many of the offseason's most prominent names have already found their home for 2013, but a few impact players remain unsigned.

    One of those players is Michael Bourn, a Gold Glove center fielder with leadoff skills and plenty of speed on the base paths.

    The two-time All-Star has a career line of .272/.339/.365 and has recorded at least 41 stolen bases in each of the past five seasons.

    That kind of production had Bourn positioned for a lucrative contract this winter, but he is still on the market as spring training draws near. One has to wonder whether or not he and agent Scott Boras will still find the lengthy multi-year commitment they set out looking for.

    At this point in the offseason, his demands may have fallen far enough for smaller market teams to jump into the action. Bourn could even settle for a one-year deal and then re-enter the market a year from now in order to find the right long-term fit.

    The good news for Bourn is that there are still plenty of teams looking for outfield help, ranging from organizations that are one piece away from contention, to teams that are looking for a good leadoff hitter as they work through the rebuilding process.

    Let's take a look at Bourn's remaining suitors and examine exactly what their lineup would be if they added the outfielder to their organization.

Chicago Cubs

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    Potential Lineup:

    1. Michael Bourn CF
    2. David DeJesus RF
    3. Starlin Castro SS
    4. Anthony Rizzo 1B
    5. Alfonso Soriano LF
    6. Ian Stewart 3B
    7. Darwin Barney 2B
    8. Welington Castillo C

    The Cubs are in the middle of a rebuilding process and therefore are not an ideal fit for the veteran center fielder.

    That being said, the team does have money to spend and Bourn's speed would be a welcome addition at the top of this lineup. 

    Also, center field prospect Brett Jackson could slide over to one of the corners and still be a central part of the team's long-term plans.

Seattle Mariners

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    Potential Lineup:

    1. Michael Bourn CF
    2. Dustin Ackley 2B
    3. Kendrys Morales 1B
    4. Michael Morse DH
    5. Kyle Seager 3B
    6. Jesus Montero C
    7. Franklin Gutierrez RF
    8. Michael Saunders LF
    9. Brendan Ryan SS

    Seattle has been on a mission to add more offense this entire offseason and has already brought in Kendrys Morales and Michael Morse to solidify the middle of the order.

    The team could now turn their attention to the top of the order and add Bourn to set the table for the newly acquired sluggers.

Atlanta Braves

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    Potential Lineup:

    1. Michael Bourn LF
    2. Martin Prado 3B
    3. Jason Heyward RF
    4. Freddie Freeman 1B
    5. B.J. Upton CF
    6. Dan Uggla 2B
    7. Gerald Laird C (until Brian McCann returns from injury)
    8. Andrelton Simmons SS

    This could be the most likely landing spot for Bourn at this time given the fact that he is tied to draft pick compensation if he signs elsewhere.

    The Braves could conceivably re-sign Bourn to a one-year contract and slide him over to left field alongside new center fielder, B.J. Upton.

Baltimore Orioles

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    Potential Lineup:

    1. Michael Bourn LF
    2. J.J. Hardy SS
    3. Nick Markakis RF
    4. Adam Jones CF
    5. Matt Weiters C
    6. Chris Davis 1B
    7. Manny Machado 3B
    8. Wilson Betemit DH
    9. Brian Roberts 2B

    The O's have had a surprisingly quiet offseason after a quick rise to contention in 2012. They were not able to acquire another slugger this winter but could still make a play for Justin Upton.

    Otherwise the team could attempt to solidify the leadoff spot with Bourn while also adding his good glove to an already solid outfield defense.

Texas Rangers

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    Potential Lineup:

    1. Michael Bourn CF
    2. Ian Kinsler 2B
    3. Lance Berkman DH
    4. Adrian Beltre 3B
    5. David Murphy LF
    6. Nelson Cruz RF
    7. A.J. Pierzynski C
    8. Mitch Moreland 1B
    9. Elvis Andrus SS

    So far this offseason the Rangers have replaced Mike Napoli with A.J. Pierzynski and Michael Young with Lance Berkman. They have yet to replace Josh Hamilton and that is obviously a difficult (and perhaps impossible) task to complete.

    Bourn is a very different player than Hamilton but his skill set would be a great addition to their lineup and in their outfield.

Tampa Bay Rays

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    Potential Lineup:

    1. Michael Bourn CF
    2. Desmond Jennings LF
    3. Evan Longoria 3B
    4. Ben Zobrist 2B
    5. Matt Joyce RF
    6. Yunel Escobar SS
    7. James Loney 1B
    8. Jose Molina C
    9. Ryan Roberts DH

    The Rays don't typically make large expenditures on the free agent market but the center fielder's asking price might have dropped enough for small market teams to begin negotiations.

    He would be a great addition to the top of this lineup, but the dollar amount of any potential deal could be a huge hurdle for the organization's payroll.

Detroit Tigers

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    Potential Lineup:

    1. Austin Jackson CF
    2. Michael Bourn LF
    3. Miguel Cabrera 3B
    4. Prince Fielder 1B
    5. Victor Martinez DH
    6. Torii Hunter RF
    7. Jhonny Peralta SS
    8. Alex Avila C
    9. Omar Infante 2B

    Detroit has gone back and forth with the Texas Rangers over the past three years in hopes of becoming the true powerhouse of the American League.

    The Rangers have made significant changes to their lineup this offseason and the Tigers signed Torii Hunter shortly after the postseason concluded.

    Each team looks poised for another solid season and the Tigers could see the signing of Bourn as an opportunity to further bolster their lineup.

New York Mets

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    Potential Lineup:

    1. Michael Bourn CF
    2. Daniel Murphy 2B
    3. David Wright 3B
    4. Ike Davis 1B
    5. Lucas Duda LF
    6. Collin Cowgill RF
    7. Ruben Tejada SS
    8. John Buck C

    The Mets are still a few years away from contention but an infusion of young pitching and top prospect Travis d'Arnaud has the organization heading in the right direction.

    The largest area of need at this point is in the outfield. Bourn's speed would be an asset in the spacious Citi Field dimensions and he could help set the table for David Wright for years to come.

Pittsburgh Pirates

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    Potential Lineup:

    1. Michael Bourn LF
    2. Neil Walker 2B
    3. Andrew McCutchen CF
    4. Garrett Jones 1B
    5. Starling Marte RF
    6. Pedro Alvarez 3B
    7. Russell Martin C
    8. Clint Barmes SS

    The Pirates are a team that has flirted with playoff contention during each of the past two seasons, but second-half collapses kept them on the outside looking in.

    Andrew McCutchen has moved into the middle of the order, which left a major hole at the top of the lineup. The addition of Bourn would help stabilize the leadoff spot but, similar to a few other teams on this list, Pittsburgh just might not have the financial flexibility to add such a large contract to their payroll.

Minnesota Twins

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    Potential Lineup:

    1. Michael Bourn CF
    2. Jamey Carroll 2B
    3. Joe Mauer C
    4. Josh Willingham LF
    5. Justin Morneau 1B
    6. Ryan Doumit DH
    7. Trevor Plouffe 3B
    8. Chris Parmelee RF
    9. Pedro Florimon SS

    The Twins surprised many when they traded both Denard Span and Ben Revere earlier this offseason.

    The trades helped the team accomplish their mission of acquiring young, talented pitching but it left a major void in the outfield and at the top of their lineup.

    Bourn's skill set is exactly what Minnesota needs in the outfield and at the top of the order.