The Atlanta Braves made center fielder Michael Bourn a qualifying offer prior to Friday’s deadline. Should the Braves not re-sign Bourn, they will receive a pick in next year’s draft.
Based on the new collective bargaining agreement, Bourn had to be offered a contract that averaged what the top 125 players in the league made last season. That means that Bourn received no less than a $13.3 million contract offer.
Bourn will have seven days to either accept or reject the Braves’ offer. Odds that he will accept this qualifying offer are small, particularly considering his agent is Scott Boras.
Boras has made his reputation by squeezing major league general managers for every nickel he can get.
In the past two seasons with the Braves, Bourn hit .275, with 10 homers, 75 RBIs, and 126 runs scored, in 208 games. He also stole 64 bases in 84 attempts.
While he has the quintessential speed desired in a lead-off man, Bourn’s .341 on-base-percentage, and high strikeout (205) to walk ratio (85) are pedestrian.
It is expected that Bourn will be pursued heavily, with the Braves’ division rivals Philadelphia and Washington, expected to be major players.