Sandy Alderson told reporters that the 5th year option was the big issue with signing Michael Bourn, and also that indications changed whether or not they would keep the 11th pick after an arbitrator ruling. This according to Kevin Burkhardt.
Original Post 2/12/2013
The long and dragged out pursuit is over, and the Mets came up empty. The Cleveland Indians have signed Michael Bourn to a four-year, $48 million dollar deal says Jon Heyman via twitter. The deal has a $12 million option for a potential fifth year. That option vests if Bourn reaches 550 plate appearances in the final year of his deal reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. A team could easily avoid that from happening if they wanted to.
Bourn represents the second blockbuster free agent signed by Cleveland this winter. Nick Swisher inked a four-year, $56 million dollar deal with the Tribe back in January. As a result, their second round pick will be lost to the Yankees for Swisher, and their “competitive balance pick” (around 71st overall) for the signing of Bourn, says Rosenthal via twitter.
The Mets apparently came very close to getting the 30-year old speedster, says Joel Sherman, offering nearly the same four-year deal as the Indians; however it came down to the draft pick issue. The process was reportedly expected to take as long as 2-3 weeks and Bourn could not wait that long, so he opted for the Indians instead.
Ken Davidoff of the Post believes that the Mets played chicken with agent Scott Boras and lost, which puts them in good company but, more relevant for now, keeps the Mets a fourth-place team.
Compared to the B.J. Upton deal for five years and $75.25 million, Bourn’s deal sounds like a steal. Especially considering that Bourn is better than Upton both offensively and defensively.
So with Mets failing to land the 2012 All Star, the Mets will move forward with an outfield lacking major league experience. Lucas Duda will play everyday in left, Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Collin Cowgill will platoon in center, and Mike Baxter in right.
In the end, the outfield that general manager Sandy Alderson mocked and joked about back in Nashville at the Winter Meetings, is the same outfield he’ll start the season with in 2013.