Originally posted on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 2/11/13
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]

This article first appeared on The Outside Corner and was syndicated with permission.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Markelle Fultz continues to struggle on free throws

Gordon Hayward to undergo surgery Wednesday night

Notre Dame DE Jay Hayes does NOT like USC

Jim Harbaugh defends quarterbacks from blame for Michigan’s struggles

Gronk: Patriots told not to discuss Super Bowl LI this week

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Vikings backup QB: Bridgewater looked normal in return to practice

Paul George felt ‘nauseous’ seeing Gordon Hayward injury

Celtics expect full recovery for Gordon Hayward, offer no timetable

Tampa named official host of Super Bowl LV in 2021

Bill Belichick dubs Rob Gronkowski 'Twinkle toes' after last week's TD

Chris Thompson: Philly fans ‘some of the meanest I’ve ever experienced’

The 'Can I have a quick sword with you?' quiz

NFL Referee Hotline Bling: Austin Seferian-Jenkins drops a call

Blackhawks get extra depth on defense with newbies Rutta and Forsling

The 'Old faces in new places' quiz

Nikola Jokic: A throwback superstar for the modern era

25 questions heading into the 2017-18 NBA season

The 'Sure do hope you have a backup plan in place' quiz

Tale of the Tape: National League Championship Series

Sports & Politics Intersect: White House looms large over sports world for another week

The 'A butcher, a Baker, a touchdown maker' quiz

Tale of the tape: American League Championship Series

What's trending up, down so far in the NFL

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 Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

The 'Can I have a quick sword with you?' quiz

NFL Referee Hotline Bling: Austin Seferian-Jenkins drops a call

Blackhawks get extra depth on defense with Rutta and Forsling

The 'Old faces in new places' quiz

25 questions heading into the 2017-18 NBA season

The 'Sure do hope you have a backup plan in place' quiz

Tale of the Tape: National League Championship Series

Sports & Politics Intersect: White House looms large over sports world for another week

The 'A butcher, a Baker, a touchdown maker' quiz

Tale of the tape: American League Championship Series

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker