While the Mets try to make do with an outfield made up of what would likely be utility outfielders on most other teams, John Harper of the Daily News sheds some new details on the Mets’ failed pursuits of Justin Upton and Michael Bourn.
Regarding Upton, the Mets were hoping he would just fall in their laps for either Daniel Murphy or Ruben Tejada plus two A-Ball pitching prospects, believing Arizona GM Kevin Towers was desperate for a third baseman or shortstop.
In addition to either Murphy or Tejada, the Mets would have included one or more of lower-level pitching prospects, presumably someone from the likes of Rafael Montero, Luis Mateo, Michael Fulmer, or even recently-acquired Noah Syndergaard.
But while Alderson actually thought he was in the game, a baseball executive from another club who knows Towers well says the D-Backs GM never got close to doing anything with the Mets before finally trading Upton to the Braves.
As for the Bourn situation, for one thing it’s now clear other teams complained about making an exception to the terms of the collective bargaining agreement just to appease the Mets and also let Scott Boras beat the system.
The Mets were going to have to win a grievance to keep the draft pick, and Alderson didn’t want to go through that process before having an agreement because he believed it would give Boras more leverage. It was that fear and tentativeness that blew any chance to sign Bourn, sources told Harper.
“They can say this happened or that happened but the bottom line is they didn’t act decisively,” one major league executive said. “They should have gotten the draft pick decision settled — it wasn’t going to change Bourn’s market. To let the delay of the draft-pick decision get in the way of a deal was small-time thinking.”
The executive added that while neither Bourn or Upton was going to make the Mets winners in 2013, it now makes building a contender-worthy outfield in 2014 considerably more difficult, and that Alderson will be under the gun to finally deliver a winning season in his fourth and final year of his contract.