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]
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Bryant attends Cowboys OTAs despite not signing contract

Are Dwyane Wade and the Heat headed for a split?

Good news for the effort to bring an NHL team to Vegas

Adrian Peterson goes on social media rant regarding contract

Report: John Wall, friends kicked off plane in Las Vegas

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Broncos OT Ryan Clady suffers torn ACL in practice

Report: Buffalo Sabres to hire Dan Bylsma as head coach

Marc Trestman will make Joe Flacco a Pro Bowler

Could Tyrod Taylor be the Buffalo Bills’ savior?

Chicago Bulls fire Tom Thibodeau after five seasons

LeSean McCoy refuses to return Chip Kelly's calls

Five NFL players who paid dearly to obtain jersey numbers

Dee Gordon thought Marlins’ manager hire was a joke

Which MLB teams are most changed since Opening Day?

Seattle Mariners: Back to .500

JJ Watt doesn't care for chance to be on 'Hard Knocks'

McElwain compliments Muschamp culture at UF, previous staff 'snakebit'

Montreal mayor to meet Manfred in hopes of getting a franchise back

Five things we'd like to see on 'Hard Knocks' with the Texans

Chipper Jones challenged military veteran to fight

President Obama answers NBA questions on Twitter

'Entourage' creator rips Eli Manning for ditching movie

Ronda Rousey upset with Bethe Correia for suicide comments

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.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Are Dwyane Wade and the Heat headed for a split?

Good news for the effort to bring an NHL team to Vegas

JJ Watt doesn't care for chance to be on 'Hard Knocks'

Ryan Clady suffers torn ACL

'Entourage' creator rips Eli Manning

Brandon Marshall, Geno Smith are roommates

The Cavaliers are top (under)dogs

Bryce Harper on his breakout

WATCH: Jon Lester sets MLB hitless record

Six moves that made the Warriors NBA title contenders

USA Soccer, CONCACAF losers in FIFA’s ‘World Cup of fraud’

The 3-point shot has become a divisive metaphor in the NBA

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.