Most likely outcome? It won’t.
It’s been four seasons since Bourn was last an effective player, and he’s already been released twice this season. But he’s a big name and people are talking about it, so let’s look into some of the ways the Michael Bourn signing will affect the Diamondbacks:
Firstly, Bourn has been assigned to Double-A. He couldn’t even crack Triple-A. It’s going to be an uphill battle for him to make it to the Bigs at all. He batted .257/.366/.371 with four RBI and one steal in nine games with the Blue Jays’ High-A ball team this season. These aren’t exactly encouraging stats, especially considering he’s playing against a bunch of A-ball scrubs.
But on the off chance he does make it to the majors, Bourn could theoretically help the team in a fifth outfielder role. Rickie Weeks has struggled at the plate all season, and Bourn could give the team a solid baserunner off of the bench. He has batted .253/.313/.336 since 2013, which is better than the .214/.233/.321 slash Weeks has mustered this season. Bourn is still a so-so defender as well; he saved a defensive run above average last season.
Don’t get your hopes up on this one. After all, Bourn was cut from the Braves– who are quite possibly one of the worst teams in baseball history. But this is a low-risk, high-reward signing. It’s not likely that Bourn will ever regain the speed that allowed him to steal 257 bases from 2008-2012, but if he can regain 20-steal speed and bat .270 off the bench, the Diamondbacks could use that.