Cleveland Indians Rumors: Is Michael Bourn Playing His Way Into a Trade?


Bourn’s solid play since the All-Star break could help the Indians move him at the waiver deadline

The Cleveland Indians didn’t go full-blown fire sale at the trade deadline. This team isn’t so bad that it needed to be “blown up”, but it definitely had some pieces that needed to be moved. The belief was for the Indians to get the most value back, they would need to trade one of their young and talented starting pitchers. Most are under team control for several years which is always appealing to teams.

In the end, the Tribe parted with players that while valuable, likely didn’t fit into the future plans. They may have made the best deadline deal in moving Brandon Moss for the St. Louis Cardinal top pitching prospect Rob Kaminsky. David Murphy was a casualty of a bad season, but the value in return seemed disappointing. And Marc Rzepczynski had been a consistent force in the bullpen, but again–a casualty.

Of course, trades don’t end with the July 31st deadline. The waiver period runs till August 31st, and occasionally key moves to help contenders are mad in this time period. One player that could be playing his way into a deal is Indians’ outfielder Michael Bourn. Apparently during the All-Star break, Bourn traveled to somewhere in Nepal, drinking from a fountain of youth. He should have brought back a flask for Jason Kipnis‘ shoulder.

Since the break, Bourn is hitting .370 (17-for-46), with three doubles, but just one run batted in. But that’s not his fault. His spot in the order effects that, and not many guys on this Tribe team are knocking in runs. Now he’s leaping walls to make home run robbing catches. Who is this man, and how can we turn this into a long-term positive?

Waiver deadline trade.

Apparently during the All-Star break, Bourn traveled to somewhere in Nepal, drinking from a fountain of youth. He should have brought back a flask for Jason Kipnis’ shoulder.

If you aren’t familiar with how the second trade deadline functions, here’s a brief breakdown. Players must be placed on revocable waivers. Then, in order of standings from worst to first, teams can make a claim on said player. The waiving team can then a) call the player back, making him untradeable b) work out a trade with the claiming team c) simply allow the team to take on the player–and his contract. d) If a player makes it all the way through waivers with no claims, he can then be traded anywhere.

This deadline generally includes older players, players with high salaries, or sometimes just guys who don’t fit the roster and a team wants to get rid off and free up money or get a player in return. Nick Swisher and Bourn are two guys that this is perfectly suited for. But Swisher isn’t healthy, so he’s out. But Bourn could be an intriguing pickup for a team.

The Indians can’t assume this will continue this into next year, or even next month. If Bourn stays hot in August, he will very likely hit the waiver wire. The actual “wire” is an internal secret in baseball. When a player is sent to waivers it generally isn’t reported. There are leaks, but it’s never meant to be public info.

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Bourn is set to make $14 million next season, with a vesting option for 2017 of $12 million based on 550 plate appearances in ’16. The Indians could surely use that money to try and make a few signings in the offseason. They won’t have great financial flexibility, but right now they really don’t have any.

So if you’re a Tribe fan, keep pulling for Bourn to do what he’s doing. It’s the best chance of turning a bad signing into a positive for the Indians.