At what point should the Mets be interested in Michael Bourn? | Mets360

At what point should the Mets be interested in Michael Bourn?

January 11, 2013
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In the past four years, Michael Bourn has been a very productive player. He had his best year yet in 2012, posting a 6.4 fWAR, and no doubt had visions of a lucrative free agent contract dancing in his head. Yet Bourn remains unsigned here in the second week of January. Earlier, Sandy Alderson indicated the Mets were not interested in losing their first-round pick. Since signing Bourn would necessitate forfeiting their pick, it would seemingly put them out of the running for adding the speedy center fielder.

Yet the longer Bourn stays on the market, the more the Mets will have to revisit the idea of hoarding their draft picks. Because at some point, the value of Bourn, even on a one-year deal, has to exceed the amount of expected value of the draft pick.

FanGraphs calculates Bourn’s 2012 season as being worth $28.9 million, as it equates 1 WAR being equal to about $4.5 million. As mentioned earlier, that was a career-year for Bourn yet his three previous seasons were worth $18.5, $18.8 and $21.9 million so he has an established level of performance not extremely far from what he did last year.

While Bourn’s season last year was a step up, he didn’t go crazy like, say, Brady Anderson back in 1996. You might recall that Anderson hit 50 HR that year (after hitting 16 the year before) and he went from three straight 3.3 fWAR seasons to a 7.3 fWAR year. Bourn didn’t double his fWAR output in 2012. Still, let’s rate Bourn on the average of his previous four years. That means we think he’s a 5.0 fWAR talent.

A typical forecast model for an established veteran on the wrong side of 30 is to subtract 0.5 WAR per season. So, if the Mets sign Bourn to a three-year deal, they might value him as a 12-WAR player over the life of the deal, with him posting a 4.5 fWAR in 2013, 4.0 in 2014 and 3.5 in 2015. At the valuation of fWAR at $4.5 million, they might expect him to be worth $54 million over his three-year deal.

It is rare for a player coming off a big year like Bourn to be happy with just a three-year deal. Also, we have to keep in mind that free agents are often overpaid relative to a forecast like the one from the previous paragraph. Finally, his agent is Scott Boras, a person not known for having his clients settle early for bargain-basement deals.

Earlier in the offseason, it was suggested that Bourn was looking for a $100 million contract. While that number was floated around, there were no details about how many years, but six seems like a reasonable guess.

It’s next to impossible to predict if teams objected more to the dollars or years involved. Either way, if Bourn hasn’t received a $100 million deal by now, he’s not going to receive one at all, especially once B.J. Upton inked a five-year $75.25 million deal with Bourn’s previous team, Atlanta.

So, in mid-January, what’s a reasonable contract for Bourn to sign? And at what point should the Mets seriously consider him?

A three-year deal would seem to benefit both parties. Teams would not have to risk the back end of a monster contract and Bourn would still be able to command a nice size deal hitting the free agent market in time for his age 33 season. But Bourn would be right to expect a greater payout than the $54 million speculated above.

Would some team pull the trigger for Bourn at 3/$60? Perhaps, but I would suggest that the Mets should not be that club.

Bourn brings a lot to the table but if the Mets are to sink $20 million per year on a player, they would probably prefer that person to be a legitimate power threat, which Bourn simply is not. Ideally, the power threat would hit from the right side and Bourn bats lefty.

My preference is that the Mets get involved only if Bourn gets to the point where he’s willing to sign a one-year deal. We have seen Boras have his clients ink these one-year deals previously, as just last season Edwin Jackson signed a one-year, $11 million contract after he was unsuccessful in obtaining a multi-year deal at the dollars he was looking to get.

Everyone is a bit skeptical of Bourn because of his career year in 2012. If he were to sign a one-year deal and put up a similar type of season, he would be viewed much more favorably as a free agent the following offseason.

But why on earth would the Mets sacrifice a draft pick for a one-year contract?

The Mets need to do something for the benefit of the 2013 team. While it’s clear that the overall focus is on future years, they still have *some* money to spend on the upcoming year and it would be nice to get someone to be productive in 2013 without clogging up future payroll.

Bourn is likely a 2.5 to 3.0 win upgrade over Kirk Nieuwenhuis as the team’s 2013 center fielder at his projected 4.5 fWAR level and it’s not out of the picture that he provides even more value next year. Compare that with some of the pitchers that the Mets are allegedly interested in acquiring. Jair Jurrjens is coming off a (-0.3) fWAR season in 2012 and combined for 2.9 fWAR the previous two years.

Shaun Marcum has never posted a 4.0 fWAR. He notched a 2.8 fWAR in 2011 and a 1.4 mark last year. If you go through the stats of every pitcher the Mets have been linked to, you will find similar stories. Plus, you have to factor in that these pitchers either come with injury questions or would require giving up something to get. Plus, they would have to give value above and beyond with a Jeremy Hefner might give in the same role. Last year in 93.2 IP, Hefner contributed 1.2 fWAR.

So, you might be convinced that it’s in the best interests of Bourn to sign a one-year deal. You might be on board that a one-year deal to a CF makes more sense than adding a pitcher. But you still might be opposed to signing Bourn due to the fact that he would cost the Mets their first-round pick. Let’s see why that might not be so disagreeable for the club, either.

The Mets have the 11th pick in the draft. To determine what type of value that pick should have, let’s examine all of the guys selected at a similar round in the 1980s. These are guys whose MLB careers are over, ones who we can determine how valuable they turned out to be. Here’s the list, starting in 1980:

Don Schulze, Mike Sodders, Steve Stanicek, Dave Clark, Shane Mack, Walt Weiss, Thomas Howard, Lee Tinsley, Pat Combs and Calvin Murray.

That’s not very good. Mack is the star of the group and he went on to post back-to-back years that look like they would fit in nicely with what Bourn has done over the past four. So, we have a 1-in-10 chance to get someone who put up 21.3 fWAR in nine seasons in the majors.

Since the number 11 pick was such a bust in the 1980s, let’s look at what that slot produced in the 1990s. Hopefully some of these guys are still active but I think we owe it to ourselves to miss out on a player’s complete career to get a bigger sample. Here is the list, starting in 1990:

Shane Andrews, Shawn Estes, Derek Wallace, Daron Kirkreit, Mark Farris, Mike Drumright, Adam Eaton, Chris Enochs, Josh McKinley and Ryan Christianson.

That group is an even bigger bust than the ones from the 80s. Estes had a career-year in 1997, when he put up a 3.5 fWAR but in 13 years in the majors he posted an 18.6 fWAR total. We have 20 years of picks from the #11 spot and not one player matched the 6.4 fWAR that Bourn posted in 2012. We only had Mack’s two years of 5.3 and 5.6 that come above the 4.5 that we project for Bourn in 2013.

If we extend our look at the #11 pick into this century, we finally see someone who would be a shame to miss out on but we still see quite a few misses. Here’s the list, starting in 2000:

Dave Kryznel, Kenny Baugh, Jeremy Hermida, Michael Aubrey, Neil Walker, Andrew McCutchen, Max Scherzer, Phillipe Aumont, Justin Smoak, Tyler Matzek, Derek McGuire, George Springer, Addison Reed.

That’s the last 33 players drafted in the #11 slot, with a grand total of one being an impact player. For every one that turned into useful players, like Mack, Estes and Walker, you can easily name four that were total busts. The jury is still out on a handful of the players drafted this century, yet I feel comfortable that McCutchen will be the only star on this list.

If Bourn gets to the point where he would sign a one-year deal, the Mets should grab him. He would be a huge upgrade from Nieuwenhuis in center field in 2013 and provide a bigger impact than any starting pitcher that they have been discussing. They should have the cash for a deal similar to one that a Boras client signed last year and a one-year deal would not hamper future payroll.

And the final advantage to signing Bourn to a one-year deal would be to turn around and make a qualifying offer. It’s unlikely that he would accept and the Mets would end up getting a supplemental pick at the end of the first round. While it would be much lower than the #11 pick they would forfeit in the 2013 draft, the combination of one year of Bourn + 2014 compensation pick is likely to be worth more than the #11 pick in 2013.

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40 Responses to At what point should the Mets be interested in Michael Bourn?

  1. David Groveman
    January 11, 2013 at 10:40 am

    The money + the prospect makes this a total “No way” for me.

    The Mets would love a player like Bourn but he doesn’t fit

    • Joe C
      January 11, 2013 at 11:29 am

      David, I think you need to give a more detailed answer. Why is the value of a potential 6-WAR guy + a comp. pick worth less than a 1 in 33 shot in landing an Andrew McCutchen type? Especially given the history of the guys that Brian detailed? If the guys on those lists who didn’t get their name linked to Baseball-Reference are the ones who didn’t make the majors – you’re 10X more likely to get a complete bust than a star. And then you have all the guys who barely made it.

      Are you banking on Sandy Alderson to outperform 33 years of history? If he can do that at pick #11 – why can’t he do that at pick # 33 or whatever they would end up with in 2014 under the plan in the article?

      Brian – why do you think no team will give Bourn a multi-year deal? And do you really think he would sign 1/$11?????

      • January 11, 2013 at 12:43 pm

        If I were to wager on it, I would expect Bourn to get a multi-year deal. But the fact that we’re in January and there does not appear to be a bunch of suitors for him, I don’t think its too unrealistic to speculate about the possibility.

        As for 1/$11 — you’re right, that might be low.

        • Name
          January 11, 2013 at 2:50 pm

          I would think that any deal would probably be at least a bit above qualifying offer so he (and Boras) can save face?

  2. January 11, 2013 at 11:03 am

    As I stated before I do think the Mets should have at least some interest in him. Realistically I don’t see Scott Boras agreeing to three years for any amount. Either it’s going to be 5-6 years or he’ll look for a one year deal knowing that 2014 has a limited amount of quality center fielders available for free agency.

  3. Chris F
    January 11, 2013 at 11:59 am

    I dont see Bourn having a future in NY. Sandy made me bite down on the future with trading RA — and in the meantime lose interest for competing in ’13. Ive already moved on. The biggest issue I see, and that Jerry Grote has commented on, is the need to bring in pitching so as not to melt down our up and comers. Unless Bourn is the future, paying him to displace Capt Kirk in CF to still finish 4th hardly seems worth it. Id just assume they bank the money for next year (perhaps Ellsbury?) or pay down the miserable Wilpon debt.

  4. NormE
    January 11, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    I think that Bourn would add a lot to the Mets. But, if the budget is restricted the first priority is adding a starting pitcher who could help by eating up most of the innings lost in the Dickey deal. Only after that expenditure should the Mets look at other needs.

    • January 11, 2013 at 12:53 pm

      I think the Mets’ need to replace Dickey’s innings is overblown.

      From their top 5 SP in 2012, the Mets received 766 innings. It should not be too difficult to match that with the people already on hand.

      Niese – 200
      Harvey – 175
      Gee – 150
      Santana – 150
      Hefner – 125

      That gives you 800 innings right there. With McHugh, Mejia, Schwinden, Laffey and hopefully Wheeler, the Mets already have pitchers 6-10 in place, too. I think the OF is much more important than SP and I’d put competent RP as a greater need than SP, too.

      • jerrygrote
        January 11, 2013 at 3:23 pm

        Look at the assumptions there … you are basing the pitching depth of the team on four pitchers who have never tried to get through five months of major league pitching, someone that still hasn’t even completed AAA, and two major league pitchers that finished the season unable to throw.

        That’s a collection of maybes held together with duct tape.

        • January 11, 2013 at 3:30 pm

          It’s difficult to understand what you mean here.

          Niese pitched a whole season in 2012. Gee made 27 starts (and three relief appearances) in 2011 – I think that’s a full season. And of course Santana has pitched a full season numerous times.

          Santana is an injury risk. But all reports are that Gee is healthy. If you want to consider him an injury risk – go ahead – but I don’t think you can be incredulous when someone thinks differently.

          • jerrygrote
            January 11, 2013 at 8:26 pm

            Let me help you understand …
            TWO PITCHERS THAT ENDED THE SEASON UNABLE TO PITCH
            Gee made 27 starts in 2011, but he didn’t pitch a full season … unless by that you mean to say the 5.25 ERA he put up after the AS break indicates that he was capable of going a full season. If you want to take that as showing he hold up to a full season, be my guest.

            Santana closed 2012 a physical wreck. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t heard word one about his recuperation.
            A GUY THAT HASN’T FINISHED AAA
            Wheeler.
            FOUR GUYS THAT HAVEN’T GOTTEN THROUGH A FULL SEASON
            McHugh, Meija, Hefner, Schwinden. By the way, I’d be willing to bet that entire collection of this gang of four has less than 30 starts and an ERA north of 6, averaging less than 5.5 IP per start.

            I’m not sure what part of my post you didn’t understand, but hopefully that helped. That is a pitching staff put together by duct tape.

            Look, simply having lots of names doesn’t mean you have a pitching staff. The composite of your fifth pitcher looks like something like 24 starts, a 6.00 ERA, an average length of their start of about 5 IP. And you have Santana and Gee, who regardless of how much man-love you have for him, has not truly completed a season.

            Other than Niese – and for him, he’s only shown up to 200 IP – every single pitcher on that staff has immense question marks *and that includes Harvey*.

            • January 11, 2013 at 11:12 pm

              So, you’re criticizing the starters who make up 6-10 because they haven’t pitched a full season in the majors. Seems like a weird thing to criticize – but okay.

              I’d like you to look at the other teams in the NL and see how many pitchers who are their expected 6-10 guys are coming off a healthy year and have full seasons in the majors. I’m sure there are some but you’re acting like this is some major shortfall and I just don’t see it that way at all.

              The depth chart at MLB.com lists 7 SP for the Braves. Their 6th and 7th guys haven’t pitched a full season in the majors. They list 8 SP for the Marlins and none of their last three pitchers have pitched a full season in the majors, either. They only list 5 SP for the Nationals and Phillies.

              This is par for the course for MLB teams. Really, you’re just coming off as argumentative here.

              Harvey is a former #1 Draft Pick who came up and excelled in 10 starts last year. The Bill James projection is up at FanGraphs and has him for 30 starts and a 3.70 ERA. So far 16 fans have entered projections and on average they have him for 29 starts and a 3.69 ERA. And this guy is an immense question mark? Sorry, not buying that one, either.

              As for your proposed wager – bring it up again at the end of Spring Training.

              • jerrygrote
                January 11, 2013 at 11:38 pm

                Sorry if I’m the one coming off as argumentative. From my perspective it seems like you are being purposely obtuse and putting words into my mouth.

                No, it’s not that I’m just picking on pitchers 6 through 10 and I thought I’ve made that clear, over and over again. But whatever. You clearly will put a lot of faith in a whole group of pitchers, only two of which has successfully ever pitched a season to moderate success all the way through – with even one of those two injured.

                I think its a group headed straight for an iceberg and we just disagree.

      • NormE
        January 11, 2013 at 5:40 pm

        If a team needs more than 1400 innings from its staff, are you expecting more than 600 innings from the BP and fill-in starters? You are putting an awful lot of stress on a very questionnable group of arms. Yes, better arm(s) in the BP would help, but investing in relief pitchers is more chancy than
        starting pitching. Starters usually are more talented to begin with.
        I agree that the OF is a mess, but respectfully disagree on what is the top priority. Success usually begins on the mound.

        • Name
          January 11, 2013 at 5:59 pm

          Doing IP analysis is kinda fruitless in my opinion because it is hard to predict and very fickle. I think looking at depth is much more informative.

          Santana,Gee,Niese,Harvey are locked into SP spots.
          Right now, one of Laffey/Meija/McHugh will be the 5th. The other 2 will probably be the 6th and 7th starters. 8th starter are probably Schwinden. We’ll tenatively put Wheeler as #9 because no matter what happens, he’s not coming up in April. I might have even missed someone, but i guarnatee you that you can get 162 starts next season out of that group.

        • January 11, 2013 at 6:20 pm

          The Phillies had more IP from their starters than any team in the NL last year. And they got 575 IP from their BP and fill-in starters. So, yes – I do expect 600+ IP from that group from the Mets.

        • Name
          January 11, 2013 at 6:30 pm

          I think doing IP anaylsis is kinda fruitless because IP is such a fickle stat. I think looking at depth is much more informative.

          Santana,Gee,Niese,Harvey are locked into spots.
          Right now, one of Meija/Laffey/McHugh is the 5th. The other two will be the 6th and 7th. Schwindy is probably #8. We’ll put Wheeler tentativley as #9 because he has no shot of coming up in April, but he will slowly inch toward that #5 spot as the season progresses. And if you wish(i personally do not), you can throw Hefner somewhere between 5-8 as well. I can guarantee you that group can get you 162 starts. Off the top of my head, my guess is that an average teams uses 7-8? starters(who make at least 3 starts so spot starters excluded). So quantity is not an issue in my book. However, you can argue about the quality.

          I’m sure #1-4 anyone would be happy to have in their rotation. Laffey is someone who you expect to be just around league-average, and while he won’t help you, he won’t hurt you. Meija/McHugh/Schwindy are still relative unknowns and could vary from dominanting like Harvey to stinking it up like Batista. And Wheeler is also an unknown, but has high potential.
          So it would be great to get another proven MLB starter, but our current crop isn’t as bad as people are making it out to be.

  5. Wilbur Huckle
    January 11, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    Met’s need is right-handed power hitting. Bourn is a left-handed non-power hitter. I’d rather apply the money elsewhere and see what Captain Kirk can do playing every day. His tools remind me of Lee Mazzilli, and if Kirk develops into a Mazzilli-type player, I’ll take it. It seems that in this stat-focused era, we put a number on a guy, and we say that’s the player he is. Or at best, we compare him to established players whose careers started in a similar way, and we say that’s how he’ll turn out.

    And even though maybe those gauges are accurate more times than not, a lot of guys develop in ways we wouldn’t expect, based on coaching or environment or personality or some intangible. Numbers are great and an excellent tool, but not a lot of fun.

    • January 11, 2013 at 1:17 pm

      Hi Wilbur – thanks for reading and commenting!

      To me what’s not fun is watching a guy bat .123 with 36 strikeouts in his final 73 ABs, which is what Nieuwenhuis did before they mercifully sent him to the minors last year. And that streak came after Collins started to platoon him, so this is only versus RHP. Imagine what it would have looked like if he faced lefties, too.

      Even in 1981, Mazzilli didn’t put up a streak like that. And I can tell you the fans were riding Maz pretty hard in 1981.

  6. steevy
    January 11, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Wow,best to not get drafted 11th!

  7. jerrygrote
    January 11, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    Can we simply start off with the fact that you aren’t just allowing the 11th pick in the draft to go just anywhere? It lands in Atlanta, and I think that has value in the conversation. You ARE, in fact, trading within your division. I don’t want to give Atlanta my stomach lint.

    Secondly, you are passing on the greater need – pitching.

    Thirdly, making a trade for a long term solution is reasonable because it turns Kirk into a trading chip. Simply delaying his growth – especially after you’ve started his clock ticking, seems wasteful. And I happen to think a reasonably abled defensive CF capable of a 780-790 OPS is quite valuable.

    Fourth, and of course this is a kicker, who is to say this team has eight digits to throw around?

    Finally, the argument about WAR per dollar (getting Bourne at a franction of his worth) works triple time against you when trying to put a value on Neil Walker, Andrew McCutcheon or Max Scherzer in today’s baseball. How valuable is a cost controlled catcher delivering 20 HR and 4-5 WAR per year, that you still control for another two years? Tell what the 11th pick in the draft is worth; it was recently twice spun off for Cliff Lee (Smoak)(Aumont) in seperate deals. That is the value of *potentially cheap WAR*.

    No Bourne. Not nearly at any price.

    • January 11, 2013 at 2:01 pm

      First – Atlanta would not get the Mets’ pick – the #11 pick would be bypassed and the Braves would get a choice at the end of the first round.

      Second – Pitching is not the greater need

      Third – I’m not sure what reasonably-abled means but Nieuwenhuis’ rep was always that he was stretched to play CF in the majors. And after what we saw from him last year, it’s a leap to think he could post a .780 OPS in 2013.

      Fourth – Cot’s shows the Mets at $70.675 million right now and that’s counting both Bay and Wright at their full salaries. We know they deferred money, somewhere around $15 million. If the Mets are going to have a $95 million payroll like last year, they have room for an eight-digit salary.

      Finally – Walker was drafted as a catcher but he is now a second baseman. And if you asked the Mariners and Phillies if they regretted the choice to trade Cliff Lee for Smoak and Aumont — it would be an unequivocal yes.

      The whole point of this piece is that the perceived value of the #11 pick in the draft is way higher than its actual value. It’s not to say that it has no value; rather that the value that most people assign it is completely out of whack with reality.

      • jerrygrote
        January 11, 2013 at 3:05 pm

        *The Mets lose a pick, the 11th. Who gets a pick as a result? The Braves. Sorry if I inferred they would actually get the 11th pick.

        *As to whether or not pitching is the greater need, sorry I guess I disagree and so it seems do other posters. You have a reasonable facsimile of OFs on this team. You do not have the same for the rotation, and especially if you want to bank on a collection of players that have never performed in the ML or are coming off an injury or both. Optimism like that typically comes from politicians.

        *A leap? He finished the first half at 731; he’s done at least that well on the road; he’s done at least that well against RHP; he’s had an 80 AB stretch when he’s done at least that well. I don’t what a leap constitutes for you, but to me he’s shown ability. Defensively, he was able to hold his own.

        *If the Mets have the room for 12-14MM, they haven’t shown it to us as yet.

        • jerrygrote
          January 11, 2013 at 3:16 pm

          I hadn’t met to hit reply …

          to continue … if you don’t think Kirk can play CF, compare his numbers to Angel ($40MM) Pagan. DWAR -.3; OPS 778.

          And if teams were upset by trading Lee to get Aumont or Smoak in retrospect is hardly germaine. The point of the matter is that the value of cheap, long term perceived WAR is of extremely high value today as evidenced by what professional talent evaluators do to acquire it. Not by Sandy A, but by all of baseball.

          • January 11, 2013 at 3:35 pm

            Au contraire – I think it’s 100% germane. The perceived value of the #11 pick is out of whack with reality.

        • January 11, 2013 at 3:21 pm

          I completely disagree that the Mets have a reasonable facsimile of an OF. They have three guys who have yet to have one full season in the majors and all three have failed to hit LHP. Two of the guys got sent back to the minors last year for their inability to hit and their defensive ceilings range from poor to average across the board. And you think I’m optimistic about the pitching? SMH

          Meanwhile Niese, Harvey, Gee and Santana all were solid are better when healthy last year. Santana had the highest xFIP at 4.02 and you can patch a league-average 5th starter out of Hefner, Mejia and the rest. Are their injury risks – yes there are. Having said that, it’s still a much bigger concern what Duda, Nieuwenhuis and Baxter will do when healthy than what the Mets will do if/when Gee or Santana get injured.

          Yes, it’s a leap to expect a guy with a .358 BABIP to add 89 points to his OPS. I will wager anything you want that Nieuwenhuis does not finish with a .780 OPS if he gets at least 300 PA in the majors in 2013. It’s not going to happen.

          As for the money – who knows? I’m already on record as saying that the Mets are not going to put the deferments back into the 2013 team. But every thing I’ve seen coming from the Mets says that they have money to spend. And if they match last year’s Opening Day payroll, then they have the room.

          • jerrygrote
            January 11, 2013 at 3:35 pm

            LOL.

            Kirk doesn’t have to get to 780 (that would require a monumental increase); all he has to do is get to 740 and he’s established the capacity to get to 780. He’s already shown the capacity to be a 740 CF. Change can be gradual.

            My point, after all, was that signing Bourne is wasteful in the development of Kirk. He is a player that had highlight reels on ESPN and after his first 100 ABs was being talked about as a ROY candidate. He flopped a bit, but not completely down for the count. His defense was as good (bad) as a guy the WS champs signed to a $40MM contract. Hell Pagan had to get better to get to -.3 WAR.

            Insofar as the rest of the OF, well, we’ve disagreed about it a bunch so I’m fine with that. You want to see it as half full, I see guys like Duda, Baxter, Cowgill and Brown as being slightly above league average or better. I don’t see what long term value adding Bourne is to that mix, especially if we can all agree he’s not going to be the defining factor in us getting to the playoffs in 2013.

            Let the young boys play.

            • January 11, 2013 at 3:41 pm

              The article is based on the assumption of signing Bourn to a one-year deal. I think you do this so not only do you not get bogged down in an expensive contract, you don’t get in the way of Nieuwenhuis and Den Dekker, either.

              Harvey showed enough last year to deserve a spot on the Opening Day roster. Nieuwenhuis did not.

              I don’t see how it harms Nieuwenhuis’ development to spend time at Triple-A, a place where he’s had all of 367 PA.

            • January 11, 2013 at 8:28 pm

              Do you mean Duda is slightly above average as a whole? Or are you comparing his defense to other outfielders in the majors? His defense is a little more than slightly below average. Not his fault since he’s a natural first base man.

              • jerrygrote
                January 11, 2013 at 9:06 pm

                Agreed, Duda’s defense is below average. I believe his offense is capable of making him slightly above average. How much difference is there between Jason Kubel and what we potentially have in Lucas Duda?

              • January 11, 2013 at 11:29 pm

                You are underselling how awful Duda is in the outfield.

                In the past two seasons, Duda has played 1,210.2 innings in the outfield, which is roughly one year of full-time play. There are 107 players who have logged 1,000 or more innings in the outfield over the past two years. Duda ranks 106th with (-30) Defensive Runs Saved. The only reason he’s not the worst is because Logan Morrison played 290 more innings and he ranks at a (-31). In 2011, Duda played 335.1 innings in RF, slightly more than the innings edge that Morrison holds on him. Duda put up a (-12) Defensive Runs Saved in that span.

                Duda has given away 3 Wins on defense alone compared to an average outfielder the past two years. He’d have to hit like David Wright did last year to be just an average player with that type of defense.

                • jerrygrote
                  January 11, 2013 at 11:40 pm

                  fair enuf

  8. January 11, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    When the offseason started, I wanted no part of Bourn. He hits from the wrong side of the plate, his agent is Scott Boras and he’s a legs-player in his 30s. None of this has changed.

    What has changed is the atmosphere in baseball and the ball club in Flushing. Many big names have found new homes and many possible trade pieces are not being made available. Meanwhile, New York has an outfield of overachievers, scrappy, hustlers – and that’s with the rose-colored glasses on.

    I’m still interested to see what Captain Kirk’s ceiling really is – hopefully a decent average, some power and defense to play all three OF positions – and I have no desire to sell the farm on a rebuilding year. But the Mets need to have some major league talent on the roster and if, IF, Bourn’s price comes way down, I’d consider it. If Sandy can sign him, say for 3 years/$15 mil per, it gives the Mets at least one solid outfielder, a batter who can get on base and a legit stolen base threat. And at the end of his three years, unless his legs completely go by then, someone will still be willing to spend on him and the Mets can pick up their draft pick.

    We shouldn’t be writing off Bourn completely, but only if nothing else pans out and the market conditions are perfect.

    • jerrygrote
      January 11, 2013 at 10:54 pm

      The right player is out there … but you have to be willing to go to get him.

      Justin Upton can be had; he’s within our price range, he hits righthanded. Build a package around Flores and two pitchers not named Wheeler, Niese or Harvey.

      If you are going to go in for an OF, then get a goddamned OF that’s young and possibly hasn’t hit his peak years. You’ll have a potential OF you can live with for the next three years.

      • January 11, 2013 at 11:54 pm

        Let’s look at what the Mariners were going to trade to get Upton before he vetoed the deal:

        Taijuan Walker – A top 20 prospect, possibly in the 10-12 overall range
        Nick Franklin – Somewhere in the range of a top 50 prospect
        Charlie Furbush and Stephen Pryor – Two guys who would rank at the bottom of Seattle’s Top 10 list.

        For the Mets to meet that package, it would take Wheeler, Syndergaard, Tovar and Cory Mazzoni.

        If the Mariner’s deal is indicative of the talent the D’Backs are going to get in an Upton trade, there’s no way the Mets are going to get him if Wheeler, Niese and Harvey are off the table.

        • jerrygrote
          January 12, 2013 at 11:33 am

          P’raps. P’raps the whole deal with Seattle is just a smoke screen; I mean, why in the world does Kevin get involved in a deal with a team that Upton has basically said – no way, none in the world? Other than to bid up Upton, or position himself as “hey I tried”.

          AAR, it seems like everyone has panned the Seattle offer as being way too rich and over the top for Upton. No one else is going to make that kind of offer, so your using them as a basis for what we need to offer is meaningless to me.

          But … my position is that if you are going overweight the OF for a pitcher, then make it something worthwhile that will bring stability to the team for the long haul. A player in his mid 20s, MVP considered, under a reasonable contract that offers the Mets precisely what we need in a right-handed bat to bat 6th on a Wright-Davis-Upton. (Not to mention, we’d have the best Upton in the East.)

  9. January 11, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    Michael Bourn has Scott Boras as his agent. In the past Boras has made deals for one year if he feels the amount or the years teams are offering is not enough for what he deems his client to be worth. He calls them pillow contracts. Bourn would solve two major problems for the Mets. Solid defender with good range and lead off hitter. Put Tejada second where he is more suited and then move Daniel Murphy to the 6 hole to add some depth to the line up.

  10. January 11, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    Other than how much Kubel makes. We really can’t complain about a player who’s being asked to play out of his natural position for the sake of the team and doesn’t cost the Mets 10 million dollars. So that being said I would take Duda anytime with his potential.

  11. January 11, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    Justin has a no-trade veto to 4 teams. Are the Mets one of the four?

    • January 11, 2013 at 11:59 pm

      It appears that the Mariners, the Toronto Blue Jays, the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago Cubs are the teams that Upton can veto.

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