We'll shift our attention back to the outfield for our next candidate. It's a name many of you have asked about.
Today's player: Michael Bourn
Bourn turns 30 on Thursday and is coming off a season in which he hit .274 with nine homers and 57 RBIs. He has great speed, swiping 42 stolen bases in 2012 (he was caught 13 times) and he scored 96 runs. He also had 26 doubles and 10 triples.
So he's clearly not the same type of player that Josh Hamilton was in the outfield. Bourn does it more with his feet, and once he gets on base he's dangerous. But he's never been a power guy. In fact, his nine homers in 2012 are a career-high.
But for a Rangers team that didn't steal as many bases as expected in 2012 and had their running game a bit stifled, he would certainly provide a spark. Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus were co-leaders on the Rangers in stolen bases last season. Their combined total equals what Bourn did by himself in 2012. Bourn has 257 stolen bases since 2008, which leads the majors by a huge margin (the next guy on the list is more than 50 behind).
Texas managed to lead the AL in runs and Bourn wouldn't hurt in that department. He has scored at least 94 runs in three of his last four seasons (he had 84 in the other season) and had a whopping 61 stolen bases in 2011. Bourn made $6.84 million in 2012, by the way.
Bourn has played all three outfield positions in his career, though he's played by far the most in center field. He started 151 games at that position last year.
He did have 155 strikeouts, which was a career high, but still managed a .348 on-base percentage. It's worth noting that his OBP is similar to Andrus, who was at .349 in 2012. He could bat leadoff, which would mean Kinsler drops in the order.
Bourn is represented by Scott Boras, and after seeing B.J. Upton's deal, Boras will certainly want to see if he can get Bourn signed up for a higher amount (Upton was 5 years, $75 million). The Rangers and Boras have worked well recently, getting the deal done for Adrian Beltre prior to the 2011 season.
But how Bourn fits in is another matter. Does the club want to sign an outfielder who doesn't have much power to go along with the current group (especially after losing the power-hitting Hamilton)? It would require a hefty investment, too. And the club has already put some money and time into Leonys Martin as the club's future center fielder. That future could be now.
It's also worth noting, as a few of you have pointed out, that the Braves did give Bourn a qualifying offer, so they would get draft-pick compensation for him from whichever team that signs him. So like a few of the folks we've discussed of late, if the Rangers were to sign him, they'd be giving up a first-round draft pick. That's yet another potential hurdle.
What do you think about Bourn? Should the club go after him?