Bourn returning to Orioles

Though it took a little longer than expected, the Orioles re-signed outfielder Michael Bourn to a restructured minor league deal.

Bourn requested and was granted his release on March 27, the date of his opt-out clause. The move came less than a week after he broke the ring finger on his right hand while trying to catch a football toward the end of a workout in Sarasota.

Michael-Bourn-running-black-sidebar.jpgInitial projections had Bourn unable to play before the middle of April.

The Orioles will send Bourn to extended spring training in Sarasota.

Bourn originally agreed to a minor league deal on Feb. 20 that paid $2 million if he reached the majors and included another $3.5 million worth of incentives. He broke the finger four days later.

Bourn played in 24 games with the Orioles last summer after being acquired from the Diamondbacks for outfielder Jason Heinrich, who came back to the organization this year on a minor league deal.

Acquired in large part to upgrade the Orioles' outfield defense, Bourn batted .283/.358/.435 with two home runs and eight RBIs in 46 at-bats.

Triple-A Norfolk's outfield currently includes veterans Logan Schafer, Chris Dickerson, Michael Choice and Pedro Álvarez, the latter learning to play right field after working exclusively as a corner infielder and designated hitter.

The Orioles recently placed outfielder Henry Urrutia on Norfolk's roster after assigning him to short-season Single-Abardeen, the equivalent of a temporary inactive list.

Bourn is a career .266/.329/.357 hitter in 11 major league seasons with the Phillies, Astros, Braves, Indians, Diamondbacks and Orioles. He's a career .270/.337/.366 hitter versus right-handers, and a two-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove winner.

It's been another stressful spring for Bourn. The Braves released him on April 9, 2016 and the Blue Jays released him on May 7. He signed with the Diamondbacks three days later. first reported that the Orioles were re-signing Bourn.

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