02/14/2013 7:09 PM ET
Indians prepping for Bourn's arrival
By Jordan Bastian / MLB.com
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Indians' public relations team spent some time on Thursday re-arranging furniture in the media workroom at the team's player development complex, setting things up for a news conference.
Michael Bourn is almost a member of the Indians.
Bourn arrived at Cleveland's complex on Thursday afternoon to undergo a physical, representing the final step in the completion of a four-year contract worth $48 million. The Indians are expected to hold a news conference to officially announce the signing at 3 p.m. ET on Friday.
"He just walked through the doors. I just stopped and said hello," Indians manager Terry Francona said during his sit-down with reporters on Thursday. "As long as he gets his medical stuff done, he'll work out [with the team on Friday]."
Bourn's contract will include a vesting option worth $12 million for the 2017 season. The option will kick in if the 30-year-old center fielder achieves 550 plate appearances during the 2016 campaign, and then passes a physical following it. Bourn has averaged 677 plate appearances in each of the past four seasons.
Last year, Bourn hit .274 with a .348 on-base percentage and a .391 slugging percentage in 155 games with the Braves. He established career bests with nine home runs and 57 RBIs, and added 26 doubles, 10 triples, 42 stolen bases, 70 walks and 96 runs scored for Atlanta.
Cleveland will lose its third pick (69th overall) in the First-Year Player Draft -- the fifth pick in a sandwhich round between the second and third rounds -- for signing Bourn. The Indians lost their second-round selection for signing free-agent Nick Swisher. The Tribe's first pick (fifth overall) is protected.
Rap song the latest distraction for Bauer
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Trevor Bauer is off to a rough start when it comes to his efforts to focus on the upcoming season and move beyond the controversies of last year with the D-backs. On Thursday, a rap song served as the latest distraction.
Bauer's long-time friend and Pepperdine University ballplayer, Connor Garelick, posted a rap on Twitter titled "You Don't Know Me," which they recorded in December.
Bauer re-posted Garelick's tweet to his own 18,000-plus followers. The timing proved unfortunate, considering the lyrics came a few days after D-backs catcher Miguel Montero criticized the pitcher for being unwilling to listen.
Bauer said the song was not about Montero or the D-backs. The 22-year-old pitcher claimed instead that the lyrics were aimed at negative followers on Twitter.
"I completely understand the timing," Bauer said on Thursday. "It's unfortunate that it happened that way and that it got interpreted that way now, but that's not what it is. I have no hard feelings toward the Diamondbacks. I enjoyed my time there. I have no hard feelings toward Miguel Montero. I would just like to now move forward."
In the chorus of the song, Bauer raps, "You can say what you want/even if hate's all you got/ But you don't know me/You don't know me."
He ends the chorus by saying, "You hide behind a mask to facilitate a task/But you don't know me/ You won't know me."
The mask reference could be interpreted as being meant for Montero.
On Thursday morning, general manager Chris Antonetti and manager Terry Francona both met with Bauer to discuss the situation, and to hear the pitcher's explanation. Francona said Bauer -- a contender for a rotation job this spring -- offered the same story he gave reporters.
"We talked to him this morning," Francona said. "He was really, genuinely upset. That's an interest of his. That had been recorded a long time ago. His buddy is the one that puts it out. ... We've got to laugh about it, and we'll move on."
Bauer said rapping is simply a hobby -- a way to blow off steam -- and he is well aware that his lyrical skill set leaves something to be desired.
"When you put yourself out there," Bauer said, "you're going to get flak for it, but it's just a hobby. I know I'm not good at it. It's just fun."
Francona looking forward to first team meeting with Tribe
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Indians manager Terry Francona is not big on calling team meetings, but he is looking forward to the one he has planned for Friday morning. It will be Francona's first chance to speak to his new team as a group.
"For me, it's the biggest meeting of the year," Francona said on Thursday. "It sets the tone for how we want to do things. It's an important day."
Cleveland's position players reported on Wednesday and went through mandatory physicals on Thursday. Friday will be the first time the entire team will be gathered this spring. Francona will have various members of the organization speak to the players.
Francona said his own message to the team will be a simple one.
"Basically, in a nutshell, we don't want to reinvent the wheel," Francona said. "We just want to do it better than other people. There are ways to do that -- like outworking. I would imagine that [Tigers manager] Jim Leyland or whoever, they're probably having the same [message]. It's just whoever does it better.
"That's an important part of our staff: trying to create an atmosphere where these guys want to show up every day and do the right thing. That's a really important thing. You just can't take it for granted. It's easy on a day like today when it's 65 [degrees] and sunny, but there's going to be days when it's rainy and windy and you want the guys to go out there and fight through it.
"There's days they wake up and they don't feel good, but they've got to want to show up and do the right thing. It's a mentality. It's an atmosphere. It's just a way to get everybody on the same page so they understand expectations."
Quote to note
"I don't like to live in the past. I like to live in the now and plan on how I'm going to get better and go forward and try to help the team win. That's what I'm trying to focus on. Somehow, we're all still talking about 2012 and it shouldn't be that way."
--Indians starter Trevor Bauer
• Playing intrasquad games has been a decades-old tradition for the Indians. New manager Terry Francona has scrapped the common practice this year. Francona never liked intrasquad games as a player or manager, and he does not have any such contests in the plans for Cleveland this Spring Training.
"If we're sloppy the first game or two in the Cactus League, that's not the end of the world," Francona said. "I just hate [intrasquad games]. I don't think our guys like facing our guys. I don't think our hitters like facing our pitchers. And then you've got a bunch of guys sitting around. I just think that we'll do enough stuff at full speed."
• Indians reliever Joe Smith (left oblique) took a day off from throwing on Thursday. The right-handed sidearmer is scheduled to resume his throwing program on Friday. Barring any setbacks, Smith might be cleared to throw off a mound by the end of next week.