Bourn, 30, was one of Major League Baseball’s top free agents this offseason, with pursuers that included the New York Mets. In 155 games for the Atlanta Braves last season, Bourn hit .274 with nine home runs, 57 runs batted in, 96 runs scored and 42 stolen bases in 55 attempts.
A two-time All-Star who’s won two Gold Glove awards for his defense, Bourn has a career .272 batting average with 276 steals over seven major league seasons. He had 61 stolen bases in both the 2009 and 2011 seasons.
Because the Braves made a qualifying offer for Bourn, the Indians were also forced to give up a draft pick, the 69th overall, MLB.com said. Cleveland had previously given up a second-round selection, the 42nd overall choice, as compensation for signing former New York Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher as a free agent. The Indians’ first-round pick, No. 5 overall, is protected by the league’s labor agreement.
The Mets were interested in Bourn if the league would have allowed them to keep the 11th overall pick, MLB.com said. While only the top 10 picks are protected by the collective bargaining agreement, the Mets would have had the 10th pick, yet were bumped to No. 11 when the Pittsburgh Pirates were given a compensatory pick in the top 10 this year for failing to sign their first-round selection from 2012.
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