Not many people expect the Braves to re-sign soon-to-be free agent leadoff hitter and center fielder Michael Bourn. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
The Atlanta Braves re-signing outfielder Michael Bourn this offseason appears to be a longshot, The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo reported Sunday.
From Cafardo's report (it's down near the bottom):
The Braves aren’t holding out much hope that they can re-sign Bourn when he becomes a free agent. They don’t seem to do well with Scott Boras clients, which also seems to rule out any bid for Jacoby Ellsbury this offseason. The Braves will have to replace both Bourn and Chipper Jones, and one Atlanta official didn’t rule out Kevin Youkilis if the White Sox don’t pick up his $13 million option — but the Braves wouldn’t spend anywhere close to that.
The 29-year-old Bourn is hitting .291 with nine home runs and 50 RBI batting almost exclusively out of the leadoff spot for the Braves this season. He has a .352 OBP.
On Friday, CBS' Danny Knobler also reported that it looked unlikely the Braves would re-sign him, given the rising interest in Bourn and the Braves' annual payroll limits.
People who know Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo say that Bourn has always topped his wish-list. When the Braves were in Philadelphia this week, plenty of people pointed out that the Phillies need an answer in center field, and that Bourn (who the Phillies once traded away to get Brad Lidge) would be perfect.