What is Michael Bourn’s trade value?

A hot topic of late is Michael Bourn and what he could bring to the Phillies via trade. So the question is, what type of player should the Phillies target for Bourn? Specific names? If they don’t get player X, is it better to keep him, or is he surplus goods at this point? I’d like YOUR opinion on the matter.

20 thoughts on “What is Michael Bourn’s trade value?

  1. I love Bourn. I think he is an every day player. When he gets his shot he will lead the leage in SB (or be neck and neck with Reyes). I think that he can hit .280 – .300 in the majors with another 50 points in OB%. He is also a very good to great defensive outfielder. Add on top of that, his salary position over the next few years and I think that he is an extremely valuable trade commodity. I would be very dissappointed if they gave him up for a rent-a player or even a middle releiver who is signed for a while. I think that he is a prospect that you can package with one more prospect and a low A prospect to get a top flight guy. I also wouldn’t be upset if they kept him and traded Victorino or Rowand. I am that high on him.

  2. While I dont think I’d necessarily want Bourn as an everyday player on MY team (altho I would if I have 2 mashers in RF and LF), I recognize that many managers and GM’s would want a player like Bourn. So I’d have to think his value is pretty good right now, he’s cheap for years to come, solid to excellent D, a “pest” on the bases (as Wheels would say), and a contact/slap hitter who puts the ball into play. The main downside is that he has no power and no patience at the plate. So while there’s no real superstar potential, he can be a solid player for many, many years and I would think you could get a 4th starter or a solid set up man (both under contract and not overpaid) or a decent A-/B+ prospect.

  3. Please, please, please, please do not let the phillies trade bourn. (This is more of an appeal to the heavens than to phuture phillies) I’ve been following him since his days at Lakewood and I’ve seen him climb the ladder up to the national level, waiting for the phillies to give him a chance. This year he finally has some substatial role in which to prove himself: first as a pinch runner/defensive specialist in the late innings (usually for burrell), now, as he gets better, Manuel is letting him start and hit leadoff. I’m not going to say that he has “thrived” in that role, because he hasn’t played perfect baseball, and at times been too impatient at the plate. As he gets more plate appearances and experience at the highest level, he’ll learn to see the ball better. Flashback to Jimmy Rollins a few years back. Not a day went by that we didnt see Jimmy chase that high-outside fastball and pop it up to shortstop. Now? He’s stringing together 2 very impressive seasons, with some newfound power that was not seen in his minor league days (averaging less than 10 homers a year). With Bourn’s sweet swing, capability to show some pop in his bat that I believe he has, and his unparallelled speed on the basepaths and the outfield grass, there should be no question that he is as off-limits as rollins and victorino. The argument that we already have “speed guys” is absurd. You can never have too much speed. Keep Michael Bourn on this team, because I wouldn’t be able to handle watching him tear up the big-leagues sporting anything other than Phillie red.

  4. I think Bourn has lots of value now. His part-time stats are good, maybe better OPS-wise than he would do over a full season playing regularly. He is young and cheap as well. Plus, going with Victorino long-term in CF and finding a RF may not be that difficult in the long run for the team.

    Bourn should not be traded unless he is the centerpiece for a major addition. Not some middle reliever. But any good team should always evealuate every player for a potential trade if it can improve the team. Ideally we just find another team in a salary dump as we did for Iguchi. It also depends on the health/short term performance of Gordon and Myers. Right now I am only 50-50 as to whether we really should trade a future piece like Bourn for a rented pitcher.

  5. Bourn probably isn’t good enough to start on a contending major league team, but that doesn’t make him “surplus goods.” He would be an incredibly useful fourth outfielder. Most fourth outfielders are just interchangeable junk parts, but Bourn has unique skills that could make him an unusually valuable weapon in that role.

    As for how much he’d bring back in a trade, that’s too meta for me. Can’t read GMs’ minds.

  6. Scouting reports have Bourn rated a 54. Slightly above average, with the comment: A major league regular on a non-contending team and a fourth outfielder on a contending team. IMO, with Rowand unsigned, the Phils can’t deal Bourn, if they even want to. An outfield in 2008 of Burrell, Vic and Bourn doesn’t have enough pop, unless Vic starts to hit for power in the 6 hole or something next year. It’s someting the Phils will have to eventually sort out.

  7. Forgot to add one thing. the Phils may be thinking of a possible Bourn/Moran platoon in the near future. Moran has hit at AA and now needs to shop it at AAA.

  8. While speed doesn’t slump, you do have to wonder if we’re seeing the best of Bourn. And, if that is the case, trade now–buy low & sell high.

    I’m always leary of low OBP, regardless of BA, since plate discipline seems to be a good harbinger of continued, long-term sucess.

    If he projects to be a .275/.310/.365 hitter with dozens of steals (ala Pierre), he’ll be a utility OF for us. As long as we have Shane, its tough to play two no-pop OFs; especially in a hitter’s park. That said, I recognize we have more IF pop that most teams, so that does compensate, but, nevertheless, Victorino and Bourn paired as everyday players lacks luster.

    I’m in love with the element Bourn brings the Phils–every single time he’s on base, it’s exciting. And other teams know this, too. And he’s cheap, and will be for a while. He’s single-handedly our best trading chip, for a team that needs pitching help.

    Now, what would it take to move Bourn? Probably more than the market is willing to bare. And I neither expect nor want Bourn to be traded.

    But if there’s a deal in play that would provide: a) a solid starting pitcher, who is signed beyond this year; preferrably someone who is young; and b) a mid-level prospect at 3B, OF, C, or P; the Phils should explore the option.

    How about the Cards’ Reyes? Getting him now is the definition of buying low; he’s young, experienced, from a good system, signed for a couple of years.

    Otherwise, Towers and a prospect from Toronto would sound good.

    I’d certainly say Bourn is worrth more than Jennings or Kennedy.

  9. Am I missing something here? Why would any GM NOT want this guy leading off and playing centerfield?

    -No one can dispute his speed: Michael Bourn is one of the fastest players in the game. He’ll steal 60-80 bases season, at an excellent percentage. With the Phillies lineup, basestealers need to be almost 90% successful, and he’s one of the few guys capable of that.

    -For a rookie, he has a great eye. His on base percentage of .361 is tops among rookies, and would rate 12th in the league if he had enough at bats. If he were leading off everyday, his OBP would rise.

    -Makes solid contact everytime at the plate. 4-4 on friday? Brought his average up to .284, after struggling early this season. He won’t win any batting titles, but with his speed, he could easily bat .300

    -His fielding is gold glove caliber: probably covers more ground than any centerfielder in baseball. That diving catch he made on Saturday night would have been a routine single up the middle against almost anyone else, including Aaron Rowand. Not a bad arm for a little guy either. If he stays in Philly, his range will remind folks of Gary Maddox.

    So lets see, Michael Bourn covers more ground in the outfield than anyone in baseball, might be the best basestealer, has the 12th best OBP percentage in the league, makes close to the league minimum for the next 4 years and you want to TRADE HIM?

    I’d rather keep Bourn, take that extra 10 million you’d spend on an outfielder and get the best pitcher on the market.(Zambrano) I wouldn’t even mind trading Bourn, but I just don’t see us getting good value for him at this point. He’s at worst, a solid CF, and could easily be a future all-star. Jason Stark recently called him a “top-flight” outfielder, and I don’t think that means 4th outfielder/platoon. We don’t need more power, really.

  10. I don’t understand why some feel that Bourn has poor plate discipline. His patience at the plate is what makes him such a valuable commodity. He’s shown good plate discipline in college and in every minor league stop along the way. This year he’s already walked 13 times in just over 100 ABs, you’ve got to think that rate will only increase as he gets more comfortable at the big league level.

    In short, trade him if somebody knocks your socks off. Don’t trade him for somebody like David Weathers

  11. Husker, that’s because some people believe “plate discipline” should be measured not in terms of high walks but rather in terms of low strikeouts or some combination of the two. That point of view is, of course, nonsense, but that doesn’t change the fact that many people subscribe to it. That’s why you’ll occasionally hear people rip on Adam Dunn for his allegedly poor plate discipline.

    In truth, strikeouts are a statistic of close-to-zero importance for a batter, and plate discipline should be measured exclusively in terms of walk rate.

  12. imo, i think ‘pitchers per at-bat’ demonstrates plate discipline more than any other number. look at how rollins has improved every year with a rising pitches/at-bat.

    plate discipline is a tough skill to teach, and sometimes even tougher to quantify.

  13. I view all of this Bourn talk to be a bit of a non-issue at this point. First of all, I doubt that Bourn will command much as trade bait – it’s true that he’s intriguing, but, when push comes to shove, he’s not going to bring much in return. Second, I think that having him on a team with Shane Victorino in the outfield means you are giving up too much outfield power (I think Victorino has just about peaked in the power category). I think you can have Bourn or Victorino as outfield starters, but it would not be ideal to have both. He’s a nice fourth outfielder or a centerfielder on a team that has good-hitting corner outfielders. That having been said, he’s a fine fielder and has truly blinding speed – he’s probably worth more to us than he would be in a trade, but if he were traded, it would not be the end of the world.

  14. I don’t get the Bourn talk, because it seems that Rowand isn’t going to be brought back. So why trade him and leave a hole in the outfield for next year?

    My dream outfield would include Bourn, Rowand, and Victorino. But that’ll never happen.

    Bourn does have some pop, a little less than victorino, and I think that with a full season it would come out. His plate discipline is good for right now, and it’ll only improve.

  15. Anthony Reyes was the Cardinals #1 prospect 2 years running. He has a 5:1 K/BB ratio throughout the minors and a very good fastball/change mix. He’s struggled mightily this year, but there are reasons. First, he has had trouble locating his fastball, which is out of character based on his milb #’s. Many think the reason for this is that Dave Duncan and Tony LaRussa want him to throw sinkers, and Reyes has not taken to it. TLR has been basically a real jerk to the kid, insisting he not thow up in the zone, but Reyes has been successful pitching that way. A couple years ago, Bourn for Reyes would’ve been the type of deal that would’ve made me unhappy, but I just can’t see Reyes being successful with the Cardinals as long as TLR is running the show, I really think he can realized his potential elsewhere.

    Right now, Card fans would be glad in the sense that Bourn addresses some needs (OBP/speed) but disappointed about how he was treated here by the management who failed to see his potential, and tried to “fix” something that wasn’t broken.

  16. Thanks for breaking Reyes down for me Erik. I was a little concerned when I read that the Phils were potentially after him. I dunno how well a fly-ball pitcher (one who pitches up in the zone) would work playing half his games in CBP, but the thought of the Phils obtaining him is intriguing. I, however, don’t think the Phils will pick him up after the addition of Lohse.

    I’ve read that Bourn wouldn’t get much in a trade, I think via Scott Lauber or Todd Zolecki. If you can’t get a SOLID piece for him, either batter or pitcher, then keep him. Keep him ESPECIALLY if the chances of re-signing Rowand (which I’m in favor of anyway) appear slim. Platoon him in left with Burrell if you re-sign Rowand, and the starting LF job should be his in two years. If you don’t resign Aaron, you’ve got an everyday CF.

    My stance on Rowand (who’s supposedly over-valued because of his CBP-inflated numbers) is that you should give him $8 or 9 mil a year over 4 years. Who cares if his numbers are inflated by the Bank? He plays half his games here anyway, and hasn’t showed any signs of slipping from his great season lately. On top of that, he’s vocalized to the media how much he loves playing in this city. He’s one of those rare guys who does everything pretty well. He’s truly a throw-back player who plays the game the way it should be played. Add on his clubhouse mojo, and there’s almost no reason you shouldn’t re-sign this guy aside from the younger and cheaper, though still unproven, Michael Bourn. Of course, if you lose Rowand you’ve gotta worry about Pat protecting Howard, who only recently started playing like someone who’s getting paid $13 mil/season should be playing. With Rowand, we know what we’re getting in that spot in the lineup. You also lose 10-15 homers from the OF spots if you put Bourn in every day. If I wasn’t so tired, I’d look up the home/road splits on Rowand to see how big of a difference there is in his home vs road performances over this season.

  17. Any reports on Reyes having trouble with pitching from the stretch?

    Bases Empty: .198/.260/.311 against, 3:1 K/BB
    Men On: .359/.427/.660 against, 1.2:1 K/BB

  18. With our 2B/SS combo hitting for 50+ hrs a year, I think we can afford to keep two speed guys in the outfield.

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