D-backs, Bourn strike Minor League deal

D-backs, Bourn strike Minor League deal

DENVER -- After passing on a chance to sign him three weeks ago, the D-backs agreed to terms with center fielder Michael Bourn on a Minor League contract on Tuesday and assigned him to Double-A Mobile.

Bourn, 33, hit .221 for the Braves last season, and he was designated for assignment by Atlanta on April 2.

The D-backs lost center fielder A.J. Pollock for the season on April 1, when he fractured his right elbow while sliding headfirst into home plate during an exhibition game. Bourn seemed like a natural fit for the D-backs and the team had discussions about signing him at that time.

Instead the D-backs passed on him and the Blue Jays signed him to a Minor League deal. The two-time All- hit .257 in nine games for Class A Dunedin before the Blue Jays released him May 7. This time the D-backs jumped at the chance to add him.

"Nothing bad can come from signing him and having him go and play," D-backs GM Dave Stewart said. "If he proves that he can help our big league club then it gives us another option to play in center field."

Bourn is owed $14 million this season, the final year of a $48 million free-agent deal he signed with the Indians after the 2012 season. The Braves are responsible for the $14 million less a prorated portion of the Major League minimum salary, which the D-backs would pay him if he were to be called up to the big leagues.

To replace Pollock in center, the D-backs have primarily used Chris Owings, a middle infielder throughout his pro and high school career. David Peralta -- who is best suited as a corner outfielder -- has seen time there, as has prospect Socrates Brito, who is currently with Triple-A Reno.

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.