How Mets Can Sign Michael Bourn and Not Lose First-round Pick

There is one sure-fire way for the Mets to sign Michael Bourn and not lose their first-round, 11th pick overall in the 2013 draft. And it has nothing to do with getting MLB to grant a rules exception or amendment to the collective bargaining agreement.

It’s so simple it’s scary: sign Michael Bourn on June 9th.

The 2013 amateur draft occurs from June 6 to June 8. If Bourn is signed after the draft, then the Mets don’t have to give up their #1 pick — the pick would have been already made. From what I understand, there is nothing in the CBA that would cause the Mets to lose any future pick (such as in 2014).

Here is the language from the CBA that makes this possible:

Article XX — Reserve System
(4) Compensation
(a) AQualified Free Agent shall be subject to compensation only if: (i) his former Club tenders him a Qualifying Offer pursuant to paragraph (3) of this Section B; (ii) the Player declines the Qualifying Offer or signs a contract with another Major League Club prior to the expiration of the acceptance Period; and (iii) the Player signs a Major League contract with another Major League Club that is confirmed by the Players Association and the LRD before the next succeeding Major League Rule 4 Draft (“Rule 4 Draft”).

Emphasis mine. The “next succeeding Major League Rule 4 Draft” in this case is the upcoming June 2013 draft.

Why would the Mets do it? If they’re serious about signing Bourn as part of their long-term plan, then it’s assumed the contract would be for at least three — if not five — years. Over a 3-5 year period, two and a half months aren’t a big deal. So what if the Mets don’t have Bourn for April, May, and the first week of June in 2013? They’re targeting success for 2015 and beyond.

Why would Bourn do it? Easy – because that may be the only way he gets his long-term deal. If he has the security of a 3-5 year contract, why should he care one way or another if he sits out April and May? It’s all about the Benjamins.

What do you think about this option? Does it make sense? Would you do it, if you were the Mets? If you were Michael Bourn? Why or why not?

12-13 Offseason

About the Author

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.

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