In the past, the Cleveland Indians have been heavily criticised by MLB betting news pundits, and probably rightly so, for their spend on free agents, but the times they are a changin’ in Cleveland.
Earlier this week, the Indians splashed out on another star as they agreed terms with outfielder, Michael Bourn, on a four-year, $48 million contract. It's the second major deal this winter for the Indians, who signed free agent, Nick Swisher, to a four-year, $56 million contract in January.
Bourn still has to complete a medical later in the week to ratify the deal, but he was an All-Star player with Atlanta last season batting .274 with nine homers, 57 RBIs, and 42 steals.
The 30 year-old Bourn has been on the market all winter and he will go straight into the Indians starting line-up. The Indians have been looking to boost their franchise and both Bourn and Swisher will provide that boost.
The Mets were chasing Bourn's services as well, offering the same four-year, $48 million deal as Cleveland; however, it was thought that the Mets were unwilling to give up the 11th overall pick in the draft as a penalty for signing the free agent and Bourn has landed in Cleveland.
There is a small price to pay by Cleveland for the acquisition of Bourn in the form of picks in June’s amateur draft but the upside for the Indians will come in the likely form of a player who will help them score more runs, improve their attendance, and maybe close the gap on Detroit in the AL Central.
New Indians manager, Terry Francona, will enjoy starting Bourn and Swisher and it must also be remembered that Cleveland acquired center fielder, Drew Stubbs, in a trade with Cincinnati, giving Francona options and depth. It is possible Swisher could be moved to first or even be used as the club's designated hitter.
The Indians collapsed in the second half last season, a fall that cost manager Manny Acta his job and one that annoyed fans betting MLB World Series. Perhaps spending on some big free agent signings will reverse their fortunes and put them on the up again.