Could the Mets make stealth play at signing Michael Bourn?

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.


17 comments for “Could the Mets make stealth play at signing Michael Bourn?

  1. January 24, 2013 at 9:13 am

    As a Scott Boras client I do not see the Mets or any team getting Bourn at a discounted price. If the offers are not what he is looking for then I would imagine that he would sign a 1 year contract for at least 15 million. I do not understand why the Mets don’t back load a 5 year deal. Give him 13 million the first year and in 2014 when Johan Santana’s 25 million comes off the books you can use that money towards 2014 and pay Bourn in the 20-23 million dollar range.

    • Marc
      January 24, 2013 at 10:53 am

      Bourne was looking for $15 per. Not sure why the Mets would offer $20-23 per.

  2. Name
    January 24, 2013 at 11:40 am

    Well, luckily for us we have finally signed a major free agent in Shaun Marcum.
    I think Bourn only makes sense on a 1 year deal. You know he is motivated to play well to get another contract, and the draft pick will probably be a moot point as they can offer him the qualifying offer and get another team’s draft pick in 2014.
    I might do 2 years if he gets really really cheap(like under 10 million annually cheap, which won’t happen), anything else and you risk huge declines from speed.

  3. January 24, 2013 at 11:51 am

    You would give him 20-23 because that way you can give him 10-12 million in the first year of a 4 year contract.

  4. Chris F
    January 24, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    I hope we dont succumb to chasing Bourn. By the time we are relevant, he will be in decline, in his last season as a Met, and all we will have accomplished is to spend a pile of money to still finish in 3rd or 4th place. Worth it? Not to me. I dont think it is time to hit the panic button. We hve this year to let the kids sow their wild oats and see if either Kirk or Duda can be an MLB-level OF. Meanwhile, we need to shed the burdensome contracts and go hard at a leadoff guy next year or before ’15 spring training. Looking at the Nats and Braves right now, and the status of the Mets does not make me think spending a lot for the next 2 years on someone already 30 yo is a smart move while we continue to rebuild. Opportunities always arise.

    The Marcum add is a good move to eat some innings up.

    • Name
      January 24, 2013 at 3:57 pm

      Kinda setting a double standard for pitchers and hitters.
      You like the Marcum deal because he eats up innings. Why wouldn’t you like Bourn to eat up AB’s?

      • Chris F
        January 24, 2013 at 7:43 pm

        I see thwm as fantastically separate matters. We need innings to be eaten up so our young arms, those of a future competitive Mets club, are not overused. Secondly, while my quick search has not turned up the deal, I doubt its gonna be anywhere near the 10-15M$ Bourn will demand for a year. As far as ABs go, the rest of our young guys need as many as possible, which is the opposite of over pitching Harvey and bringing up Wheeler too soon.

        As an aside, Im sort of all or nothing on Bourn. I can actually see going the full deal, 5/75 for his services. He then is a committed part of the answer for when we are competitive. A speedy leadoff guy is something we absolutely need. Im not happy about his age, but we would get him 30-35 age seasons, like Wright. Looking ahead at the OF FA class next year, its headed by Ellesbury, and then theres little after that. Maybe we go “all-in” on Bourn now and move to other problems next? Quite frankly, Ive already lost hope for even 75 Ws this or next year.

        • Name
          January 24, 2013 at 8:42 pm

          I don’t really think you need to be worried about young arms being overabused. We have set so many restrictions in place(pitch counts, innings limit, intense media scrutiny if it does happen) that there is little chance of someone being overworked. We should actually be debating about whether they are babied too much and being underworked.

  5. Marc
    January 24, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    @ Name – he won’t take a one year deal. He has that will Atlanta – qualifying year at $13.3 million.

    @ Pete – Bourne is not a $20 million dollar player in any year of his contract. Keep in mind we have to give up the 11th pick in the draft to get him, and that’s against our philosophy. 3 years $40 million is a top offer for a guy like him. There’s a reason he’s not signed now. No one else thinks he’s worth big money plus a draft pick

    Personally I like Adam Eaton from Arizona. excellent defender, gets on base. Question is what would Arizona take for him? Especially now that Upton is gone

    • Name
      January 24, 2013 at 3:56 pm

      And i never said that he would take such a deal, i said that i would only offer him a one year deal.
      I’m not sure what you mean by “He has that will Atlanta – qualifying year at $13.3 million”

      • Marc
        January 24, 2013 at 7:14 pm

        Name – He has a qualifying offer at $13.3 million to play for Atlanta. That’s why the Mets have to give a draft pick to sign him.

        my apologies – I meant with, not will

    • Metsense
      January 24, 2013 at 10:14 pm

      Eaton should have been Sandy’s target way back at the winter meetings. Parra also could have been a fit. If he wasn’t going to trade one of his young star pitchers for Upton, then at least get some good defensive players to augment the pitching staff.

    • January 24, 2013 at 10:40 pm

      @Marc-They’re numbers I’m just trying to show that you don’t have to make the contract proportionate for 4 or 5 years. If he compares approximately with B.J Upton then you’re looking at 15-16 million per year. I know he is a Scott Boras client. Boras will try to squeeze every last penny he can find out there. But the market for his client is dwindling as teams have turned elsewhere to fill their needs. Eaton isn’t going anywhere for Arizona and is not a good match for the Mets. So it brings us back to Bourn. Even if he signed for 1 season it’s an interesting option. Doesn’t signing Bourn solve 2 critical issues for the Mets this upcoming season? It takes the pressure off the kids while solidifying the outfield defense. Second he leads off and the Mets will be able to put Reuben Tejada in the 2 hole where he is much better suited for.

  6. Name
    January 24, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    You mean, he HAD, not has a qualifying offer.
    Anyways, on a one year deal, the draft pick is a moot point in my opinion because we would just offer him a qualifying offer at the end of this year. Of course there’s a chance that we might not get a 1st round pick, but we would get something nonetheless.
    I tend to think of the draft as mostly luck, so i value picks less than others.

  7. GDUB$
    January 24, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    Fans should give an ultimatum to get Bourn for new identity that leads to Mets supremacy! (See what I did there?)

    • Dan Stack
      January 24, 2013 at 10:24 pm

      Nice play on words GDUB$

      • NormE
        January 24, 2013 at 11:10 pm

        The next blog on this subject should be titled “Bourn Again.”

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