KANSAS CITY -- The San Francisco Giants are viewed as a likely suitor for Braves All-Star Michael Bourn as a free agent, sources said.
There is believed to be no current talks with the Braves about their star center fielder, who is a free agent after the year. Atlanta is said to love Bourn, who has blossomed after going to Atlanta in a trade for very little.
The Giants have shown interest in Bourn before, which gives rise to the speculation. They have their own star free-agent-to-be All-Star outfielder in Melky Cabrera, and there are no contractual talks known to be ongoing with Cabrera, either.
Bourn suggested there were no talks with Atlanta ongoing, when he answered a questioned about whether there were by saying, "Not right now.'' He did sound positive about Atlanta, though. "It's cool,'' he said, not meaning the weather.
One comp for Bourn, who's hitting .311 with seven home runs, 60 runs and 25 stolen bases, could be a young Johnny Damon, who signed for $52 million over four years, but that deal was done seven years ago. While the Braves love Bourn, they have maintained a $90-million payroll for about six years, so it might be difficult for them to fit him into their budget.
The Giants did an excellent job acquiring their whole starting outfield this winter, when they obtained Angel Pagan in trade and Gregor Blanco as a six-year free agent, as well as Cabrera. In their big ballpark, center field has been seen as a key spot, and the Giants once spent $60 million over five years on free-agent center fielder Aaron Rowand.