Created on Friday, 15 February 2013 Written by TOM WITHERS,AP Sports Writer
GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — Michael Bourn has moved front and center for the Cleveland Indians.
FILE - In this July 21, 2012, file photo, Atlanta Braves center fielder Michael Bourn catches a ball off the bat of Washington Nationals' Roger Bernadina during the first inning of the second baseball game of a doubleheader in Washington. Bourn agreed to a four-year, $48 million contract with the Cleveland Indians on Monday, Feb. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
Bourn, an All-Star center fielder last season with Atlanta, signed his four-year, $48 million contract Friday with the Indians, who have returned to relevancy by giving $117 million in guaranteed money to free agents. The 30-year-old will bat leadoff and play center for new Indians manager Terry Francona, who met with Bourn before the Indians had their first full-squad workout.
Bourn will wear No. 24 for the Indians, who finished 68-94 in 2012. He batted .274 last season with nine homers and 57 RBIs. Since 2008, Bourn has led the majors with 257 steals — 177 more than any Cleveland player over the same span.
Bourn will make $7 million this season, $13.5 million in 2014 and 2015 and $14 million in 2016. The Indians have a $12 million option for 2017 that's guaranteed if he reaches 550 plate appearances in 2016.