GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — Michael Bourn has moved front and center for the Cleveland Indians.
Bourn, an All-Star center fielder last season with Atlanta, signed his four-year, $48 million contract Friday with the Indians, who have returned to relevancy by giving $117 million in guaranteed money to free agents. The 30-year-old will bat leadoff and play center for new Indians manager Terry Francona, who met with Bourn before the Indians had their first full-squad workout.
Bourn will wear No. 24 for the Indians, who finished 68-94 in 2012. He batted .274 last season with nine homers and 57 RBIs. Since 2008, Bourn has led the majors with 257 steals — 177 more than any Cleveland player over the same span.
Bourn will make $7 million this season, $13.5 million in 2014 and 2015 and $14 million in 2016. The Indians have a $12 million option for 2017 that’s guaranteed if he reaches 550 plate appearances in 2016.