Sandy Alderson and the Mets are playing a little chess to try to sign center fielder Michael Bourn.
If the Mets sign Bourn, they’d have to surrender their first round pick, eleventh overall, in the upcoming draft. Giving up on the 11th best player in the amateur draft is a non-option for a rebuilding team. To compound the loss, they’d also have to give up their slot money. But there may be a loophole. The Pirates couldn’t sign the player they drafted last year, meaning they get the ninth pick overall, even though they had a better record than New York. Alderson and the Mets are lobbying the league to only give up their second round pick, since technically, they had the tenth worst record in baseball last year.
The players union is behind this request, but the league seems staunchly against it. In an appearance on MLB Network this morning, Ken Rosenthal said the league’s stance is that the Mets knew the rules when they approved the CBA.
Could the Mets even afford Bourn? Perhaps on a backloaded deal. According to Jon Heyman, Bourn and his agent, Scott Boras, are looking for a 5-year deal at $15 million per. It remains to be seen, but the Mets clearly aren’t going to pull the trigger on this one unless the circumstances are perfect.
The team pulled the trigger on Shaun Marcum, though. The 30 year-old right-hander made only 3 appearances last year following elbow surgery. He has a lifetime 3.76 ERA and 1.22 WHIP, and was an underrated member of the Blue Jays rotation before his elbow issues. It’s a low-risk high-reward move for New York.
In all, the Sandy and his Nerd Herd appear mostly focused on building from the bottom-up.
By the way, did you know that your favorite PR guy and mine is on Twitter?