After a long wait, an Indian was Bourn…
Even still, the Indians have decided to use some of the money from their very lucrative television contract, which Clave mentioned in his team preview. Clave did a fantastic job writing about Indians in our team previews, and so I am going to focus mainly just on Bourn and maybe a few other top of the order guys in this post.
I would guess that the Order for the Indians might look a little something like this:
|8||C/DH/UTL||Lou Marson or Mike Aviles|
|9||LF/CF||Drew Stubbs or Michael Brantley|
Bourn is a legit burner on the base paths, and the Indians sure were in need of one at the top of the order, as Michael Brantley isn’t exactly Willy Mays Hayes. Speaking of Brantley, you can basically cross him off your draft lists for now (hopefully he was only a last round or dollar guy anyway), as he will not likely to get enough at-bats to be relevant this season. I would assume that he is the odd man out to start the season as Bourn will maybe split time to in CF and LF (to save his legs) and Stubbs is a solid back end of the line up guy because of his speed and power combo. Overall, Bourn is a substantial upgrade for the Indians and their leadoff position.
Bourn as the table setter for Jason Kipnis, Asdrubal Cabrera and Nick Swisher gives a dynamic leadoff guy to maybe the most underrated heart of the orders in the MLB. Asdrubal and Swisher Are fine options as 3 and 4 hitters as they pack power and are both fairly patient at the plate. The guy that stands to gain the most is Jason Kipnis, as Bourn is bound to be on second FAR more often that Brantley would have been, and that spells R-B-I opportunities for Kip. Kipnis was certainly a valuable player at the 2B as is, and now that he has to potential to add to his RBI total, he could be a guy that can earn a spot at the Top-3 second baseman table. Sorry, Dustin Pedroia.
In our projections for Bourn we had him at:
Not a bad line at all, and certainly won’t warrant a fourth round pick for Bourn, which he was last season. So if you can get a Michael Bourn type of guy in the sixth round or later, you could have something to brag about.
Also, Bourn going to Cleveland isn’t the most exciting place for him to have landed. That however can play into the hands of us fantasy owners. People would have gone nuts for Bourn if had he ended up in a place like Texas (although they are set for a down year in team production) or even a big market place like New York (to the Mets, not the Yankees, of course). So Bourn’s stock could still be in a solid buy-low situation and he could be the real steal of the draft, pun fully intended.
As far as speed guy, Bourn is as good as they get, and kudos to the Indians for making a hard play at second place in the AL Central. I highly doubt they dethrone the reigning AL Central champs, the Detroit Tigers, even after this move. Still, with a strong move like this, playing in potentially the weakest division in baseball and with the addition of the second Wild Card spot, the playoffs are in reach for just about anyone, especially the Cleveland Indians.
How does that impact fantasy? When players see the playoffs as a possibility, they are much more inclined to produce at a higher level!