Michael Bourn To Decline Braves’ Qualifying Offer

Michael Bourn will decline the Braves' qualifying offer, Bourn's agent Scott Boras told reporters (including David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution).  Bourn, one of nine free agents to be extended qualifying offers by their teams, had until tomorrow to turn down the offer, a one-year/$13.3MM contract.  Since Bourn has turned down the offer, the Braves will now earn a compensatory draft pick if Bourn signs elsewhere. 

It was widely expected that Bourn would reject the qualifying offer given that the center fielder projects as one of the top free agents on the market this winter.  Bourn hit .274/.348/.391 for Atlanta last season and also provides great speed (an average of 51 steals per year since 2008) and a strong center field glove (a 22.5 UZR/150 in 2012).