Latest on Michael Bourn negotiations: He wants at least five years, and Mets aren’t willing to go there.
— Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) January 28, 2013
The New York Post is reporting that a meeting took place last week between the Mets front office, Michael Bourn, and Bourn’s high-powered representative Scott Boras. While Boras and Bourn are still holding out hope for a five-year deal from somewhere, the Mets know that time is running out for the free agent outfielder. New York is hoping that Bourn will settle for as few as three years, at which point paying him between $10 and $15 million per season would be easier to swallow.
Harder to swallow for the Mets would be the surrender of the 11th overall pick in this year’s draft. Sandy Alderson, John Ricco, and company remain steadfastly against making any deal with Bourn unless Major League Baseball grants gives them a break.
The Post has learned the Mets will not ink Bourn without iron-clad assurances they only would lose a second-round pick to do so. They have vowed not to forfeit the 11th pick in June’s draft, no matter how much they could use Bourn to bat leadoff and upgrade what is currently a flimsy outfield assortment.
We explained how the Mets kind of got screwed into the 11th overall pick here. If the MLB were to help out the Mets in the situation, it could create a slippery slope in which any team that falls outside the top 10 protected picks would try to create an exception for themselves in order to sign a big ticket free agent. At the same time, the Mets have to feel that signing Bourn comes at a higher price for them than for a team that did better in 2012 and would only need to give up a pick in the 20s.
To sum things up, it looks like Bourn will not be a Met unless two things happen. One: MLB would need to give New York a huge break and allow the 11th overall pick to be protected. Two: Bourn and Boras would need to lower their demands in terms of years. At this point, the second thing seems a lot more likely because of how close we are to spring training and how many free agents have already been signed.
I expect Bourn to end up with a contract similar to the one that Angel Pagan signed with the Giants (4 years, $40 million). However, if the Mets have the dollars to spend, they should shoot for something like 3 years and $50 million. Again, that doesn’t matter unless MLB decides to get very generous.