Thursday, February 7, 2013
Mets, Bourn deal may work
By Jason A. Churchill
The speculation for weeks has been that the New York Mets would like to sign free agent centerfielder Michael Bourn but very much prefer not to surrender the No. 11 overall pick as compensation. The rule is clear: free agents that are tendered the qualifying offer by their former clubs warrant such compensation from signing teams that have picks outside the top 10. The circumstances, however, suggest the league may listen to the Mets' inquiry to have that waived, if they extend that request.
ESPN Insider's Jim Bowden goes a step further Thursday, tweeting that the Mets would likely be able to get their pick protected through negotiations with the league and player's union, according to a league source.
The Mets had the 10th worst record in baseball in 2012 and typically would be awarded the No. 10 pick, a protected selection, but the Pittsburgh Pirates having not signed right-hander Mark Appel last summer and thus being gifted the No. 9 pick pushes the Mets out of the top 10. Such an extenuating circumstance may be enough to convince the powers that be to alter the rule for the Mets, and perhaps moving forward.
Bourn has been linked to a handful of clubs this offseason, but most prominently with the Mets, Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners. The belief is that Bourn's agent, Scott Boras, is looking for a contract as long as four or five years for his client. The Atlanta Braves will receive a compensatory selection after the first round regardless of where Bourn lands and no matter what is decided about the No. 11 pick for the Mets.