The Cleveland Indians made a surprise splash on the free-agent market, inking speedy outfielder Michael Bourn to a four-year, $48MM deal (with a $12MM vesting option). While most organizations had been turned off by Bourn’s rejected-qualifying offer status, since the Indians’ first round pick is protected, the team only has to surrender a competitive-balance pick. Yet, even though the Indians retained their first-round pick, and added a top-shelf lead-off man and defender for arguably a fair price, it was still a curious move for the should-be re-building franchise.
Over the past four seasons, Bourn has been worth 19.0 WAR–or 4.75 WAR per season. Per Bill Petti, one can assume a 0.5 WAR decline through age 32, and a 0.7 WAR decline through age 34 (the age he’ll be once the full contract expires after 2017). If that’s the case, the 30 year-old might be worth 14.55 WAR throughout his full five-year contract. And with inflation, he could be worth around $82MM during that period of time too.…read the rest of this article at Baseball News Source.