Reds and Free Agency: Interest in Michael Bourn?


Last season, there’s no question the Cincinnati Reds suffered from lack of production from atop its lineup. The stats are almost completely emblazoned into my brain. Last in the bigs in both batting average and on-base percentage. We don’t need the national type to constantly remind us of such. We witnessed it.

(Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE)

It would be nice to have an established lead-off hitter. Maybe that’s why there as been a little bit of chatter that the Reds are presumably interested in free agent center fielder Michael Bourn. On one hand, it could be a fit. On some others, maybe not so much.

Bourn has been extremely more productive than any Reds lead-off guy since…

You get the picture. Maybe that’s why’s Danny Knobler has his “sources” stating the Reds have interest. Add that Bourn owns multiple Gold Gloves (should have added another this year) and will steal a boatload of bases, too. If you don’t have a legit lead-off hitter, why wouldn’t you have interest?

As I have previously said, you have to at least kick the tires. That kicking could be why these “sources” tell Knobler of the interest. Walt’s doing his due diligence.

Knobler does mention that the Reds have other needs: re-signing left fielder Ryan Ludwick and seeking a possible closer if they wish to move Aroldis Chapman to the starting rotation.

Honestly, this doesn’t make sense. I know the Reds are at a point of desperation regarding the lineup’s top spot, but is this truly even a legitimate possibility?

The Washington Nationals are considered the front-runners in the Bourn sweepstakes. The Nats may not sign him to the $100MM deal BOurn is alleged to be seeking, but they will most likely be the most aggressive team as far as acquiring Bourn’s services. They are willing to dish out large free agent deals. Just ask Jayson Werth about that.

And glad you asked, Bourn and Werth are both represented by Scott Boras.

Now a question. If the Reds have true interest in Bourn, then why consider the move of Billy Hamilton off shortstop in order to learn the outfield? Do the Reds view Hamilton as being more than one year away? Even if they do, would singing Bourn for more than two years make any sense then? Even with the new mention by Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that the Reds could make a trade that involves either Zack Cozart or Didi Gregorius, this still doesn’t wash.

Bourn will assuredly seek a deal that’s longer than two years. Speculation says five years, making any potential signing of Bourn seem even less likely.

One last thing. Signing Michael Bourn will completely nullify any chance of Ludwick returning. In fact, I can say that the Reds chances of singing any other free agents, even at bargain money, are out the window. You still need a left fielder…unless you are 100% confident Chris Heisey can fill those shoes.

You still need at least one arm for the bullpen, preferably from the lefty side. You don’t give that role to Tony Cingrani. He has slot on the 2014 starting rotation. Maybe even sooner. Might even need another righty bullpen arm.

Moving Hamilton to center. Bourn seeking a five-year, $100MM deal. The Reds having other gaps to plug. The math simply isn’t there.