Michael Bourn: Signing with Cleveland Indians Was a Mistake for Star Outfielder

Michael DulkaContributor IFebruary 12, 2013

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 5: Michael Bourn #24 of the Atlanta Braves hits against the St. Louis Cardinals during the National League Wild Card Game at Turner Field on October 5, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

The Cleveland Indians have signed outfielder Michael Bourn to a four-year deal, but it's not all positive for both parties.

CBS Sports' Jon Heyman first tweeted the deal:

While the Indians will benefit from the contract, Bourn made a mistake by signing with the Indians. 

The move makes sense for the Indians as they get a lead-off man for a decent price. Bourn was the NL stolen base champ from 2009-2011. In addition to his on-base capabilities, Bourn gives the Indians another strong outfielder as they look to revamp their defense. 

It's surprising that Bourn decided to sign with the Indians for a moderate contract instead of signing with a contender for a similar contract. 

By leaving the Atlanta Braves and joining the Cleveland Indians, Bourn is looking at a likely losing record in 2013. The Indians have been to the postseason twice since 2001. The Braves have been to the postseason eight times during that stretch.  

While signing with the Indians was a mistake for Bourn, his greatest mistake personally may have been rejecting the Braves offer. By turning down the $13.3 million offer, Bourn was likely looking for a long-term deal. He got a four-year deal worth $48 million. That can't be the type of contract Bourn had in his mind when he turned down the Braves. 

At 30 years old, Bourn is likely signing his last big contract. For a guy that makes his living based on his speed, it's hard to see him getting another big deal at the end of this one when he's 34 years old. 

Bourn may been forced to settle for the Indians, as he held off and waited until February to sign a contract. If that's the case, he has nobody but himself to blame.