Originally written on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 11/16/14
In addition to having an offensive new t-shirt for sale, the Indians also have a new center fielder: former Brave Michael Bourn, who agreed to a four-year, $48 million deal with the team on Monday night. The contract also has a vesting option for a fifth season that can make the total contract worth $60 million. Bourn's signing comes much later than anyone expected coming into the offseason, and to a team that no one expected him to go to. The Indians already signed Nick Swisher this winter, and with Bourn now in the fold, Michael Brantley is their only returning outfielder from 2012. Cleveland dealt Shin-Soo Choo to the Reds earlier this offseason for a package that netted them center fielder Drew Stubbs and pitcher Trevor Bauer (from the Diamondbacks in the three-team trade), and now, it appears that Stubbs will be relegated to the bench with Bourn in the fold. One thing that Bourn's signing does is give the Indians much better defensive flexibility with Stubbs already on the team. Late in games, the team can bring Stubbs into the outfield as a defensive replacement and move Swisher to first, relegating Mark Reynolds to the bench. The team could also give Reynolds plenty of at bats at DH, where the Tribe really doesn't have a definitive option going into Spring Training, and start Swisher at first while playing three center fielders in the outfield.  I'm not sure if Bourn is really a great fit for Cleveland, but he *is* an offensive improvement over Stubbs, and the two are probably a wash on defense. The Indians are now without their competitive balance pick and second round pick after the signings of both Bourn and Swisher, but still keep their first round pick, which is fifth overall. They're a better team after bringing in Bourn, and $12 million per year is less than what everyone expected he'd get coming in...but I have a feeling that his contract might not work out well for them. But hey, Swisher's contract is the same way, and Cleveland will have a pair of sellable assets if the team isn't progressing the way they need to in 2014 and beyond. [follow]
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jerry Jones: I'm a big admirer of Robert Griffin III

Raiola fined for uneccesarily striking Pats' Zach Moore

Report: Michigan keeping Jim Hackett on as athletic director

LeBron James on Ferguson: 'Violence is not the answer'

Decision on Ray Rice's appeal could come Wednesday

Jaguars coach calls out Blake Bortles: ‘We expect more’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Jets prevented Ryan from talking about dad's health

Kobe Bryant on 3-11 Lakers: 'We're not a 3-11 team'

Matt Ryan defends beleaguered Falcons head coach Mike Smith

Bill Belichick on similarities between Brady, Rodgers: No. 12

Devon Still accused of not paying child support

Giants reportedly in talks with Max Scherzer, Chase Headley

Ole Miss' The Grove threatened by Mississippi State fan

Is it time for the Redskins to move on from Robert Griffin III?

Top 10 fantasy football turkeys for 2014

WATCH: Coyotes lose in ugly fashion, score own goal in OT

Golden State Warriors are having tons of fun on team plane

Jenn Sterger hints she'll be back in her FSU cowgirl gear for game

Game of the week: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos

Top storyline for each Week 13 NFL game

Floyd Mayweather throws shade at Manny Pacquiao on Instagram

10 greatest Thanksgiving Day games in NFL history

Derrick Rose leaves game with hamstring tightness

WATCH: Ty Lawson drops Kirk Hinrich to the floor

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Should Washington move on from RG3?

Dominic Raiola fined for cheap shots

Game of the week: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos

Rose leaves with injury again

WATCH: Pierce signs for fan during game

Report: McCoy to start over RG3

Braxton Miller headed to Oregon?

10 most one-sided college football rivalries

Pierce: C's Big Three like 'Holy Trinity'

Maclin unhappy with Cooper comments

Post-Week 13 CFB Playoff projection

What has Masai Ujiri built in Toronto?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.