Michael Bourn introduced as newest Indians player

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Michael Bourn (and his son) introduced as newest members of the Cleveland Indians.

The Indians introduced Outfielder Michael Bourn as the newest member of the team today in an afternoon press conference at the club’s Spring Training facility in Goodyear, Arizona. The Bourn signing was made official Friday, as he signed a 4-year contract, with a club option for the 2017 season.

Bourn, Indians General Manager Chris Antonetti, and Bourn’s agent Scott Boras were on hand at the press conference and explained how the signing came together, and their plans for 2013 and beyond.

New Indians Outfielder Michael Bourn:

On signing for the Indians…

“I want to thank the Dolan family for giving me the opportunity to play in Cleveland, and be a part of their organization, and I’m really looking forward to the opportunity. It was a long off-season for me, but it was fun, and it was an experience. It taught me patience – it taught me a lot – but it was interesting. I landed in the spot I think that I wanted, and that was my main focus – somebody that wants me, somebody that’s committed to me, and I’m committed to them. And I’m ready to rock and roll here for them.

On where he was expecting to sign…

“Every team was on my radar when the process began, so yes [the Indians] were on my radar. I knew they were trying to compete, and any team that’s trying to compete, I’m with them. Like you said, I’m a competitor. That’s what my father taught me since I was little, so any team that’s trying to win, I want to be a part of.

“I had a good supporting cast with my mom, my dad, my girlfriend, my little boy; he always keeps a smile on my face. It was just something I had to go through, a process I had to just let unfold. I feel like I landed in a place that wants me, a place I want to be, a place with a lot of talent that has a chance to do some good things.”

On playing in an outfield with Michael Brantley and Drew Stubbs:

“Yes of course, you always want to be next to people that can play it out, I come from that with Martin [Prado] and [Jason] Heyward. I think with this one I have even more speed out there, both of those players can run, they run just like I run, so it will be exciting to watch.”

On fitting in with the new team…

“I had fun on my first day of Spring practice. We had a lot of fun out there – I found out somebody made a bet on Notre Dame, so that was fun. That was the first part that sparked me, and I was laughing the whole time. But we had a good day for the first day, and this is my first time ever in Arizona, so we had a lot of stuff going on, and I had an exciting first day of Spring Training.”

On how well he knows the Indians team…

“They have a good development system, and they already had good players as far as Carlos Santana and Brantley (and a good bullpen at the end.) I pay attention to all teams – as a player, you pay attention to all teams, even if you’re in the National League or American League. You’re looking at what teams you like and the kind of success they’re having.

“I think in baseball you’re either trying to win, or you’re trying to rebuild – it’s one or the other. And I know what they’re trying to do: they’re trying to win, and I wanted to be a part of that.”

On his base-running options with Manager Terry Francona…

Well I’ll talk to him about that later, today was the first day so I’m not going to try to bury him with questions, but I mean, we’ll get into all of that as time goes on, but I’m pretty sure he’ll let me run…

 

Indians General Manager Chris Antonetti:

On the unique timing of the signing…

“I think we were able to sign Michael because of significant investment from our ownership. They recognized that this is a unique opportunity for us to bring in an unbelievably talented guy at a unique juncture, and it’s a great organizational opportunity, and one that would not be possible without the investment that our ownership has made.”

On Bourn’s intangible qualities…

“What equally excited us about Michael, beyond his considerable abilities on the field, he’s also a great teammate, and a great competitor, and I have no doubt that he will represent the organization exceptionally well off the field. I think as evidence of Michael’s commitment to the Cleveland community, he’s also agreed to donate at least $200,000 to Cleveland Indians Charities over the course of the contract.”

On Bourn’s base-running role on the team…

“It’s safe to say we’ll let Michael run”

On how the roster is improved for 2013…

“I think when you look at the way we have the ability to score runs now, we won’t be reliant on any one facet, we can score in a lot of different ways. We now have a flexible roster that we can take advantage of when looking at matchups and various situations. When you look at an outfield with Michael Brantley, Michael Bourn and Drew Stubbs, it’s a very athletic and dynamic outfield. Couple that with guys in the infield like Jason Kipnis and Asdrubal Cabrera who are very good in that respect too, that provides us with lots of options.

“That and we actually talked about, we are just going to move all the fences back, and make it 450 in left, 500 in center and 450 in right so they can just go run and catch every ball that’s out there.”

 

Player agent Scott Boras:

On how the signing developed…

“The real resource of this was that Tito, Chris, and Mark Shapiro had a meeting with us at the Winter Meetings, and basically unfolded a dynamic that I could tell was very different about what the Indians wanted to do. Their development structure had reached the point where they were ready to make free agent additions to take a stand and become a competitor, and a winning team. That information was very instructive because when I returned, I told Michael about it, and Michael went through an extensive study of the Indians, and I remember he called me on the phone one day and said ‘you know what? This team’s got a lot of young talent – they’re very good.’ That was really in our minds when the radar, as far as the Indians, began and I started having conversations with Chris.”

– TribeVibe Contributors Max Lom and Courtney Shilling

7 Comments

Bourne should be a big help..

tribe WILL contend in 2013

Pitching, Pitching, and Pitching is what a championship team is made of. The 2007 Indians were the best offensive team in baseball. Lost to Atlanta in the World Series the best pitching team in baseball. Happy we are spending money to get better, but need to add allot more pitching.

the 2007 Indians lost to Boston in the ALCS. thanks.

you mean 1997.

we crushed in 2007 because we DID have pitching.

I think you are off by 12 yrs. I think the 1995 Indians, with an outstanding offense, lost to the Atlanta Braves in the WS. I didn’t look it up though…

Dude, you are talking about the 95 tribe.

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