One the Mets’ most pressing needs are that of a legitimate leadoff hitter and centerfielder. So then it would make perfect sense for the Mets to make a run at signing Braves free-agent Michael Bourn.
Obviously, the Mets have to upgrade the outfield if they want to piece together a somewhat competitive team in 2013. Lately there are reports that the Mets-despite what we have been led to believe-are not denying the fact that they are thinking of making a push for the services of Bourn.
Bourn was supposed to command a lucrative deal this offseason, but so far the quest to find a taker meeting his demands (of course spearheaded by Scott Boras) has hit a snag. In the process Bourn’s asking price has significantly come down. Hence, why the Mets have entered the mix.
This is where the Mets could conceivably come in and swoop up Bourn at a much-discounted price. Leave it to the slow-playing Sandy Alderson to make a splash and give many Mets’ fans what they wanted for a long time: an outfielder who can bat leadoff and be a threat on the basepaths. The signing of Bourn would give the Mets what they have sorely lacked since Jose Reyes left town.
Bourn is coming off a season in which he hit .274 with a .348 OPB to go along with nine home runs, 57 RBI’s, 96 runs and 42 stolen bases. For his career, Bourn has a .272/.338/.365 slash line.
Besides the possibility of spending a few extra bucks, one sticking point for the Mets against signing Bourn is forfeiting a first-round pick (11th overall) to obtain his services. Alderson has stated on occasion he has no intention of giving up that draft pick. However, if signing Bourn doesn’t burn a massive hole in the Mets’ pockets, than maybe Alderson could relent and back off that stance.
After all Bourn, who is 30, is a player in his prime. He probably has a good 4-6 good years left in the majors.
If nothing else, Alderson would be showing the fanbase that he wants to be competitive and demonstrate he and the organization are willing to spend some money. This would be a good way to show commitment to the ticket-buying faithful.
Something has to be done to remodel the Mets’ outfield. The Mets simply can’t go into the 2013 season with Lucas Duda, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Collin Cowgill and Mike Baxter as there outfield. They can bring back Scott Hairston-who is also dragging out his negotiations. (UPDATE: Hairston just signed a two-year deal with the Chicago Cubs) But is that enough?
Sure, the Mets have a blueprint for future success and that is stocking the farm system and building from within. However, they have to act like major players one of these days and eventually sign a major free agent. For what the Mets lack and need, the signing of Bourn could fix a lot of what ails this team.