When I’m wrong I’m always the first to admit it. It’s a habit I picked up while serving my country and learning how some mistakes, no matter how slight, could have significant ramifications on the rest of my company, division, etc. Better to get it out of the way so that we can reassess, readjust and reengage. That said, you always go with whatever your best intel is at the time. This morning we received some new intel.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post, reported that Sandy Alderson and John Ricco traveled to Houston last week to have dinner with free agent OF Michael Bourn and his agent Scott Boras.
For days I’ve been screaming my head off about needing to see some evidence that the Mets were serious in their pursuit of Bourn, and it seems now that their interest was real and legitimate.
Still, there is the matter of the five-year deal Bourn and Boras (The Killer B’s?) are seeking — an amount the Mets will never consider. Sherman believes the Mets do not want to give Bourn more than a three-year deal or more than $13 million annually. They question whether another team is willing to go beyond those thresholds either.
To keep from losing their first-round draft pick as compensation for signing Bourn, Alderson has said he wants MLB to rule that his pick is protected, instead giving up their second pick. But he may not get that ruling until after he makes an offer to Bourn.
“They have vowed not to forfeit the 11th pick in June’s draft, no matter how much they could use Bourn to bat leadoff and upgrade what is currently a flimsy outfield assortment,” Joel Sherman wrote.
So the story that will not die wages on, and it may come down to a battle of nerves and determination. Who will blink first?
Incidentally, Adam Rubin discussed Bourn in his 20 Questions feature on ESPN New York. He asks:
Why wouldn’t Major League Baseball just give in to the Mets and protect the pick?
MLB owners like it when teams are reluctant to give up draft picks and therefore become hesitant to bid for a top free agent. That limits the bidding, and therefore helps to keep salary costs contained. The more picks that are protected, the worse collectively for the owners. Which is why they would fight any attempt to alter the language.
The Mets want Michael Bourn, but not at the risk of losing their first round draft pick. No surprise there, but even if they could get MLB to protect their pick, are they suddenly going to splurge with the money it would take to sign the Scott Boras client?
Or is this just another attempt to dupe fans into thinking that the Mets can still act like a big market team even though in the end it’s just much ado about nothing?
Apparently, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports isn’t buying it either:
First off, I’ll believe the Mets are signing Michael Bourn when I see them introduce him at a news conference and present him with a ceremonial cap and jersey. So, the debate over the type of draft pick they should forfeit for him probably is a pointless exercise.
Oh, the Mets’ interest in Bourn is serious, according to major league sources. Heaven knows they need outfielders. They have only $33.55 million in commitments for 2014, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts, giving them the flexibility to sign Bourn — or any free agent, for that matter — to a back-loaded deal.
But forgive me for being skeptical.
As for the Mets petitioning MLB to protect their top draft pick the rules clearly state that only the top ten picks are protected. It’s unfortunate that the Mets were bumped to the 11th pick when Pittsburgh failed to sign their pick in 2012, but most say the Mets would probably get their pick protected without any resistance. However, MLB wants to see the Mets make a real move for Bourn before they render a decision — and who can blame them?
Let’s see the Mets make a legitimate offer and put their money where their mouth is first. So far there has been no evidence of that.
If Sandy Alderson wants Bourn so bad, why hasn’t he been invited to New York for some wining and dining, or a Knicks game, or a pastrami sandwich at Katz, or a round of miniature golf for crying out loud?
The last time the Mets met with Bourn in New York was on Sunday, September 9th. Bourn went 2-5 with a stolen base, and he drove in the game winning run as the Braves edged the Mets 3-2.
Make a move Sandy… Make an offer or do that other thing you like to do with the “parameters” or something.
The Mets want me to buy what they’re selling, but I can’t and I won’t because I’ve seen this dog and pony show too many times in the last two years.
The Mets haven’t splurged on a free agent since signing Jason Bay three years ago, and suddenly they decide they are going to break that streak in the form of Michael Bourn? Really?
Look, as I told Ken Rosenthal on Friday, I’m not holding my breath for a Michael Bourn press conference and a Kodak moment at Citi Field anytime soon.
But that’s just me…
Please don’t let my skepticism stand in the way of your own happiness and excitement about the Mets going after Bourn. Go right ahead and be happy and excited if you want… We can share stories about what ultimately happens on Opening Day.