Michael Bourn: How He and Drew Stubbs Will Make Reds the Fastest NL Team
Last night, the Houston Astros fire sale began. All-Star outfielder Hunter Pence was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for a pair of prospects. Next on GM Ed Wade's chopping block could be another former All-Star, outfielder Michael Bourn.
He isn't a huge offensive threat, but Bourn is dangerous in a way that is rare among players these days. Much like Willie Mays Hayes of Major League fame, he wears teams down with his legs. Over the past two and a half seasons, Bourn has led the majors in steals (61 steals in 2009, 52 in 2010, 39 in 2011) and has played stellar defense in centerfield.
According to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports, the Cincinnati Reds are a team that has shown significant interest in Bourn. Were he to head north to Cincinnati, both he and current Reds outfielder Drew Stubbs could form a powerful 1-2 punch at the top of that lineup.
In a sense, the Reds could become one of the fastest teams in all of baseball.
Look at it this way. The Reds could trade someone like Chris Heisey or an outfield prospect to the Astros for Bourn. Upon arriving, he would become the leadoff man and Stubbs would move into the No. 2 spot as well as shift to left field from center.
This lineup change makes complete sense. Both hitters are solid contributors when it comes to getting on base and even though he is only batting .251, his occasional flashes of power with the bat make him a solid No. 2 hitter. On top of that, he already has 26 steals this season and is on pace to shatter his career high of 30, set last year. If that combination doesn't scream speed, I don't know what does.
The odds of this trade happening are 50-50, as the Reds are not the only team in on Bourn. Still, if it does indeed happen, the Reds could be primed for a miracle run to another NL Central title.
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