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Michael Bourn traded to Baltimore Orioles

On the last day of post-season eligibility, outfielder Michael Bourn has been dealt to the Orioles.

Arizona Diamondbacks v New York Mets Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Ken Rosenthal was the first to report the Orioles’ interest, and Jon Heyman said the trade was “agreed in principle.” The team has now confirmed the deal is in exchange for outfielder Jason Heinrich, about whom they say:

Heinrich, 20, was selected in the fifth round of the 2015 draft by the Orioles out of River Ridge High School in New Port Richey, Fla. He hit .231 (34-for-147) with 8 doubles, 3 home runs and 13 RBI in 44 games with Short-Season A Aberdeen this season. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound right-handed hitter began his professional career with Rookie Gulf Coast League Orioles in 2015, batting .270 (41-for-152) with 7 doubles, 2 triples, 2 home runs and 23 RBI in 45 games.

Seems a fair enough lottery ticket for a month of veteran presence. It has been quite a roller-coaster season for Michael Bourn. He was released by not one, but two teams within a month, without making the majors with either. First, he was cut by the Atlanta Braves, and four weeks later, the team which had picked him up, the Toronto Blue Jays, followed suit. The Diamondbacks signed Bourn on May 10, looking for a steadier option in CF. The injury to A.J. Pollock had left them using mostly converted infielder Chris Owings as their everyday starter there. A few days later, when David Peralta hit the DL with a wrist problem, Bourn was promoted from Mobile.

He made his first appearance off the bench on May 15, and started in center the following day. He started a total of 65 games there, with another ten in the corner outfield, and brought much-needed stability to the outfield, in a season where the team has so far used fourteen different players there (even Shelby Miller!). Bourn worked more outfield innings for the 2016 Diamondbacks than anyone bar Yasmany Tomas.

Admittedly, his All-Star days were a memory, Bourn hitting .261/.307/.362 for a 75 OPS+. He had a pair of four-hit extra-inning games, but his biggest contribution was probably the June 24th win over Colorado at Coors, where Michael’s single in the ninth drove in the go-ahead run. Those were the exception, however, and even taking defence into account, his overall value was close to replacement level, both by fWAR and bWAR. Still, he appears to have been a consummate professional in his role with the Diamondbacks, and we wish him all the best.