Free agent outfielder Michael Bourn has a higher Wins Above Replacement rating, or WAR, than even B.J. Upton, who the Braves just signed. Are the Phillies going to make a serious chase after him.
Michael Bourn could be the better player for the Philadelphia Phillies after Philly striking out on B.J. Upton after he signed with the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday. Bourn's 2012 Fangraphs WAR is 6.4, 13th in all of baseball according to Bob Brookover of Philly.com, compared to 3.3 for Upton, 61st in the MLB.
Brookover believes that the reason that Bourn's rating is so high is because he covers a lot of ground:
"The primary reason for Bourn's high number is his ability to run down balls as a center fielder. He has been considered among the best -- and perhaps even the best -- defensive center fielder since becoming an everyday player with the Houston Astros in 2008."
Some of the knocks against Bourn include the fact that he strikes out a lot as well as his advanced age for a centerfielder. The Phillies may look past those flaws if they are willing to shell out the money for a client of agent Scott Boras, and they could have the best centerfielder on the free agent market.