For better or worse, Michael Bourn fell off the New York Mets radar Monday when he agreed to a four-year, $48 million deal with the Cleveland Indians.
Mets/MLB beat writer Anthony DiComo suggests, if history is any indication, Sandy Alderson committed an error. DiComo wrote:
The 11th overall Draft pick has a bizarre history of busts relative to the picks around it. Of the 48 players in history taken 11th overall, only five have amassed more than 10 Wins Above Replacement (WAR), according to Baseball Reference … 17 of the 48 players never made the Majors …
Couldn’t that be said about the eighth pick? How about the six pick? Or, the 12th pick? DiComo’s logic is founded on coincidence, not any legitimate connection that the 11th pick is cursed. If there is truth in this logic, there is legitimacy in black cats, walking under ladders and idea that a Billy goat holds the key that unlocks the Cubs future hopes of winning a World Series.
Metsmerized Online writer Connor O’Brien takes a more common sense approach, claiming the Mets suffered from “lack of preparedness.” Alderson was “too passive,” he wrote. The Mets GM needs to be “more aggressive.”
To those three claims: Maybe. OK. I guess.
Doesn’t Alderson’s inaction reflect a consistency in his approach? Since 2010 the Mets GM has systematically dismantled and rebuilt the organizational infrastructure. In are: J.P. Ricciardi and Paul DePodesta. On the field, Ruben Tejada, Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, Matt Harvey, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Jenrry Mejia, Josh Edgin, Jordany Valdespin, Zack Wheeler (eventually), Travis d’Arnaud (soon). Out are: Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, Francisco Rodriguez, Angel Pagan, R.A. Dickey, Scott Hairston, Mike Pelfrey. (these lists are not exhaustive)
Younger, talented, building success from within, or as the Mets GM said, “We’re going to strive for consistency, but above all, excellence.”
This was the promise, right?
“I’ve always had a preference for holding on to our own talent and seeing how far it can go,” Alderson told the media at Citi Field in November 2010. “If it succeeds and realizes its full potential, we benefit. If it doesn’t, I think we’ve still made the right decision in terms of our fan base.”
Instead of analyzing decisions we can’t control, how about we ask a really intriguing question: Who will the Mets select as the 11th overall pick in the June 2013 MLB Draft? Imagine being that guy!?
The good news: That guy will be fresh out of high school (or college) and he will have the distinct honor of calling himself a first round pick in the MLB June Draft. There’s a story for your grandchildren one day.
The bad news: Will that guy have to live in the shadow of Alderson’s decision to keep the draft pick instead of signing a legitimate MLB center fielder? Will he feel pressure? New York alone has wilted the careers of both young and established veteran ballplayers, but this scenario will create a new level of expectation for No. 11.
The jury is out – and will be for a couple years – on whether or not Sandy Alderson made the right call on letting Bourn slip away for the price of a first-round draft pick.
Still, I wouldn’t want to be that guy. Would you?