Wright: Bourn, Can We Buy You?


The Official Unofficial Captain.

The Official Unofficial Captain.

David Wright joined the Mets push to acquire Michael Bourn on Monday.

While the Mets engage in draft jujitsu with Major League Baseball over their eleventh round draft pick, and play a game of cat and mouse with Scott Boras, Wright contacted Bourn personally to lobby the center fielder to come to Flushing.

Wright talked, and exchanged text messages with, the speedy center fielder in an effort to sell him on the Mets.

“I just wanted to let him know that he would be a great addition here and he’d obviously be welcomed here,’’ Wright said after his first early workout at Port St. Lucie.

“I talked to him a couple weeks ago, and I told him, ‘You’re always in the right place at the right time, your work counts,’’’ Wright said. “I’ve always had great respect for him and the way he plays the game and have always kind of chatted with him when he gets to third base.”

Wright tried to sell Bourn on the young arms the Mets have coming up, such as Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler, telling him “we’re not far off.”

Sandy Alderson sounded optimistic in his his guarded, close-to-the-vest Alderson way.  “We’re getting to the point where we can be in the mix,’’ Alderson said. “If you look at the fundamental composition of our team, it wouldn’t take more than a couple of moves to change the whole perception of things.’’

Would the acquisition of Bourn help the Mets compete with the Nationals, Braves, and Phillies?  It certainly doesn’t seem so on paper.  But signing him to a long-term deal while the young arms come up to speed and the budget becomes more flexible?  It would help.

Of all the Mets’ weaknesses, two of the most wanting are A) Outfield and B) Leadoff man.  SS Ruben Tejada would make a great number two hitter, given the bat control we saw from him in 2012.  He could be to the Mets what Elvis Andrus is to the Texas Rangers.  But he’s not a leadoff man.

He worked out with Jose Reyes this winter to get some base stealing advice, but Ruben is certainly not a Reyes or a Bourn when it comes to swiping bags.

Bourn is 30 years old, and is not stealing at the rate he did when he was younger.  Like Reyes, gone are the days when he could pile up 60 or more SBs in a season.  But he did rack up 42 of them last year.  The Mets would drool over base stealing like that.  Plus Bourn’s gap-to-gap hitting makes him perfect for Citi Field.  He’ll also upgrade their outfield defense (3.0 Baseball Reference dWAR last year).

What else does a leadoff man do? (Points at Jonah Hill) Gets on base.  Since 2009, Bourn has averaged a .348 OBP.  Not Rickey Henderson good, but about the same as Jose Reyes, and that will do just fine.

The questions remain about whether the Mets can sign Bourn without surrendering their first round draft pick (and whether they should worry about it), and if they can afford him.  Bourn and Boras reportedly want 5 years, $57 million.  I’m not sure what the Mets want, but it’s definitely not that.

The fact that Wright has been in contact with Bourn tells me the Mets are serious about this, however.  It tells me the Mets – yes, the Mets – may actually sign a somewhat big-name free agent before all is said and done.

Paul is a freelance writer, blogger, and broadcast technology professional residing in Denver. A New Jersey native, he is a long-suffering Mets fan, a recently-happy Giants fan, and bewildered Islanders fan. He's also a fair-weather Avalanche and Rockies supporter. In his spare time, he enjoys the three Gs: Golf, Guitars, and Games.
  1. DaveSchneck February 5, 2013 at 1:20 pm
    This DW recruiting is no big deal, I’m sure he’s done it plenty of times and guys have gone elsewhere. He is not going to sell Bourn on anything. It will come down to the $ as always. Bourn is now 30 and as was the case with RA is at the point where this is most likely his last chance at a big payday, so why not maximize. I have seen talk about a 1 year opt out offer, but that would be a significant risk to Bourn as well. It will be hard for him to top a 6 WAR year, and he will be 31 next offseaseon, so unless he ups more traditional figures like avg. and runs scored I think the Mets offer him the best chance at a “big” deal. The “big” deal will be nowhere near what Boras wants, but 3 years and low $40 million + to play a game isn’t bad for most of the other 99.9% of the population.
    • Izzy February 5, 2013 at 2:14 pm
      Agree the recruiting thing is n o big deal, and the Met PR dep’t must thing people buy into every little piece of nonsense they spew out. Its been told many times about players trying to helpwith the recruit. its not an Alderson bit of genius and creativity. as for the supposed 1 year deal with buy out, if this sacred 11th draft pick is as valuable as the lord keeps telling us it is then it makes absolutely no sense to gt a guy for one year and lose thir almighty pick which will bring the greatest prospect in baseball history into the fold.
  2. mikeT February 5, 2013 at 3:07 pm
    The longer this drags on the more it is clear to me that it is serious. Think about it this way: if the league was not going to protect the 11th pick, then they would have just said so and saved everyone the trouble. They would not at this point let the contract get done and then decide that no, they are not going to protect the pick.

    So it comes down to Boras. He is clearly looking to find a better fit for Bourn: either more money, more years, or a better team. I think they have everything set to go for once Bourn and Boras decide they are fine with the Mets.

  3. norme February 5, 2013 at 5:48 pm
    I’m tired of this demeaning charade. Alderson has stated that
    he’s not looking for a rule change but an interpretation (favorable to the Mets). MLB can do that, protecting both the Pirates and the Mets. Or, they can tell the Mets no go. But, this delay in a clarification (interpretation) makes MLB look inept.
    Another way of looking at it is that Selig and Alderson/Wilpon are playing a game to protect the Mets from having to spend real money. String it out so that Bourn goes elsewhere or the Mets just announce that they are moving on.
    Either way, let’s end this nonsense.
    • mikeT February 5, 2013 at 5:59 pm
      I just don’t see the end game. This makes everyone look bad if he ends up elsewhere. MLB could have killed it immediately and saved face for everyone if that was ultimately what they were going to do. What would be the end game if they were doing it as you say? It doesn’t make sense.

      To me, it seems like this is seriously close to happening, but if the Mets don’t agree to terms with Bourn then MLB should NOT rule until it does.