CLEVELAND -- The Indians had already received a favorable grade in the offseason addition department.
They may have just reached A-plus range.
Reports surfaced Monday night that Cleveland had agreed to a four-year, $48-million contract with two-time All-Star and Gold Glove outfielder Michael Bourn. Though the Indians offered no official comment, an announcement is expected should Bourn, 30, pass a physical examination.
The reported deal could reach $60 million, should Bourn meet certain performance bonuses to exercise an option during the final year of his contract in 2016.
Bourn, a six-year veteran with Philadelphia, Houston and Atlanta, hit .274 with nine home runs, 57 RBIs and 42 stolen bases in 155 games for the Braves last year. A fourth-round draft pick of the Phillies in 2003, Bourn led the National League in stolen bases from 2009-2011.
He instantly makes the Indians outfield one of the best defensive units in the majors, with Michael Brantley (left field) and Drew Stubbs (right field) projected to line up alongside him, provided Cleveland doesn’t trade either Brantley and Stubbs, which is a possibility -- with big-name free-agent acquisition Nick Swisher also available to play to play right field.
If neither is dealt, the Indians would likely open the season with Swisher at first base and Mark Reynolds as the regular designated hitter.
Bourn, the last big-name free agent on the market, was also being courted by the Mets, Mariners, Cubs and Rangers. Cleveland and New York reportedly became the most diligent suitors. He made $6.8 million with Atlanta last season.
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