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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Mets mulling ways to land OF Bourn

Max Bourn Prize winner is…

The Mets have talked to the agent for free agent speedster Michael Bourn and discussed internally several scenarios how they could make signing the outfielder work, according to someone familiar with the club’s thinking.

It’s unclear how serious the Mets are about Bourn, but the person characterized the possibility of adding him as “not off the table,” perhaps depending on a ruling from Major League Baseball about whether the Mets would have to forfeit their first-round draft pick.

...The Mets currently hold the 11th pick in this year’s amateur draft, even though their 74-88 record was the 10th-worst in baseball in 2012. Under normal circumstances, the Mets would have had the 10th pick, but they were bumped one spot lower because the Pirates failed to sign Stanford right-hander Mark Appel, who Pittsburgh picked eighth last June. The current system calls for teams that don’t sign their first-round pick the previous year to get a pick one spot lower the next year.

Had the Mets stayed in the top 10, the pick would be protected, and signing a free agent such as Bourn would result in them losing only a second-round pick.

The Mets confirmed Wednesday night that their draft pick this year is No. 11 and therefore not protected, but one source said they don’t believe the ruling by the league is final. Some in baseball don’t believe the Mets would sacrifice such a high pick to sign Bourn.

“I don’t think they want to lose that pick,” said a baseball executive who requested anonymity because he was speaking about another team. “They’re in a division with the Nationals and the Braves and they’re not in that category. Timing is everything and they’re not in a position to win. I don’t believe they’re on the guy.”

Repoz Posted: January 24, 2013 at 07:41 AM | 44 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mets

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   1. formerly dp Posted: January 24, 2013 at 08:16 AM (#4353874)
If only the Mets had lost a few more games in 2012...I blame Dickey.
   2. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: January 24, 2013 at 08:19 AM (#4353875)
Mets mulling ways to land OF Bourn
layaway?
   3. bobm Posted: January 24, 2013 at 08:27 AM (#4353877)
The Mets use layaway for disposal of outfielders, e.g., Bonilla and Bay.
   4. philly Posted: January 24, 2013 at 08:53 AM (#4353882)
but one source said they don’t believe the ruling by the league is final.


If Heyman picks this up, I guess we could assume Boras as the source. This suggests an interesting, disruptive strategy to try to get one of his comp FAs a big deal though.

Would a threatened lawsuit about all draft related issues get MLB to amend the rule that comp picks count towards the 10 protected picks? He'd need the Mets to be willing to go along and give up their 2nd for a big pay day to Bourn.
   5. Chris Fluit Posted: January 24, 2013 at 09:18 AM (#4353891)
I can see the Mets' point here: we would have had a protected pick if Pittsburgh had signed their guy; we shouldn't be punished because the Pirates couldn't make a deal. I'd have no problem with MLB amending the rule to top ten picks plus comps.
   6. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: January 24, 2013 at 09:46 AM (#4353903)
It's a crappy rule, and this is why.
   7. billyshears Posted: January 24, 2013 at 09:46 AM (#4353904)
If the Mets can get their pick protected (and I think their argument is right on the merits), this would be an excellent move. Bourn appears to be an undervalued asset at the moment, he makes them significantly better and the Mets have no legitimate CF prospect anywhere close to the majors. There is no virtue in losing for the sake of losing. Signing Bourn would reduce the number of crazy unexpected things that have to go right for the Mets to contend by 1. And if they can sign him to a reasonable contract, he could always be traded for younger talent at some point.
   8. Xander Posted: January 24, 2013 at 10:09 AM (#4353916)
The complaint would have more merit if it was made, you know, when it didn't directly affect the Mets. We've known that this was going to be how the rule applied since the CBA was ratified. Complaining about it as soon as you become the aggrieved class comes off as lazy.
   9. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 24, 2013 at 10:27 AM (#4353920)
we shouldn't be punished because the Pirates couldn't make a deal


It's worth keeping in mind here that the Pirates offered Appel every dollar they could without forfeiting next year's first-rounder. They didn't go out of their way to screw the Mets here - Appel just has a grossly overinflated sense of his own worth.
   10. Conor Posted: January 24, 2013 at 10:36 AM (#4353927)
I have to admit I didn't realize quite how good Bourn was until I saw his fangraphs page a few months back. I knew he was a good player, but he's been 4.9, 4.7, 4.1, and 6.4 fWAR the last 4 years. All Mets OF combined had about 4 WAR last year.

I get that he just turned 30 and he relies on his speed a lot, but the Mets really have no one coming up in the OF any time soon. If they can keep their first rounder protected they should be all over Bourn.
   11. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 24, 2013 at 10:37 AM (#4353928)
Appel just has a grossly overinflated sense of his own worth.
That doesn't quite follow. Appel projected as a top three pick, he expected top three pick money. In 2011, the Pirates would have gladly spent top three pick money to sign Appel. Under the new system, as you point out, they couldn't do that.

Appel basically decided that unless he could force the Pirates to go over budget, he'd rather return to the draft pool and play out the college season well enough to earn a top three pick this year. It's a big risk, and Appel may be overconfident in his abilities, but it's not really a problem of Appel misrecognizing his worth.
   12. Der-K thinks the Essex Green were a good band. Posted: January 24, 2013 at 10:44 AM (#4353930)
mets sign shaun marcum, 1 yr
   13. formerly dp Posted: January 24, 2013 at 10:48 AM (#4353931)
mets sign shaun marcum, 1 yr
Well, not as good as the Feliciano signing, but I think it's a nice buy-low move. Cubs have signed Hairston, 2 years and up to $6 M. At that price, I would have liked to see him back with the Mets, but it's not like it'll really matter.
   14. John Northey Posted: January 24, 2013 at 10:48 AM (#4353932)
Smart for the Mets to sign Marcum, even if just for 1 year as he costs nothing but cash. As to the free agency comp I wonder if they should adjust it so if a guy gets a final deal worth less per year than the qualifying offer (ie: he wasn't as good as he though) then no draft pick. There would have to be a rule about years and stuff there too of course, perhaps no longer than a 2 or 3 year deal as well.
   15. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 24, 2013 at 10:50 AM (#4353934)
It's worth keeping in mind here that the Pirates offered Appel every dollar they could without forfeiting next year's first-rounder.


Who would have though Bolshevik Bud's latest scheme to artificially depress compensation to the proles would have a downside?
   16. zonk Posted: January 24, 2013 at 10:52 AM (#4353936)
Appel basically decided that unless he could force the Pirates to go over budget, he'd rather return to the draft pool and play out the college season well enough to earn a top three pick this year. It's a big risk, and Appel may be overconfident in his abilities, but it's not really a problem of Appel misrecognizing his worth.


I don't know... Appel was a consensus top 3, yes, but that was more a reflection of the pool, no? I.e., he was more of a Bobbie Brownlie "someone's gotta be the best college pitcher in the draft just because" than "top college pitcher who generates some level of excitement".

I suppose some guys get lucky with their draft class and some don't, but seems to me like there's a layer of value here being ignored in this statement -- the draft class is what it is, so pay accordingly -- but that draft class ultimately goes into the hopper with both past and future draft classes among the total pool of players, so just because a guy is "best in class" might make him less valuable 25th ranked 'best in class' from previous drafts.
   17. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 24, 2013 at 10:55 AM (#4353938)
marcum is a good fit for both teams. marcum needs a ballpark that can suppress homers and citi is a better option than miller park.

he could use bourn in centerfield as well.

it's also possible that marcum regains his 89 mph fastball which is key to him. nobody lives on the edge of velocity more than marcum who is a change up pitcher. if his fastball is 88-89 his 80 mph changeup works. if he's throwing 85/86 he's doomed. know this sounds silly but brewer fans saw it firsthand.

doug melvin certainly thought he was looking at jeff suppan ii when he watched marcum. it was painful to see.
   18. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: January 24, 2013 at 10:59 AM (#4353939)
Thank goodness I'm not a Mets fan. That organization has absolutely no clue whatsoever of what the hell it's doing.
   19. attaboy Posted: January 24, 2013 at 11:08 AM (#4353948)
Why would the Mets ever sign Bourn? They have no hope of competing in the division unless competing means beating the Marlins (which I don't believe is a given even after this winter). It is a waste of money unless the idea is to trade him at the break but I doubt that. My guess is that they are wasting all of our time with this and they have no intention of putting out a competitive bid. Sure if he drops to one year at 8M they might figure out a way to sign him but we all know that ain't happening. Play the kids and lets get back to building a team from scratch that can compete in 2015 (or 2016) for 5+ years.
   20. Bob Tufts Posted: January 24, 2013 at 11:09 AM (#4353950)
Mets mulling ways to land OF Bourn

layaway?


No. Sandy Alderson will issue an ultimatum.
   21. attaboy Posted: January 24, 2013 at 11:09 AM (#4353951)
Thank goodness I'm not a Mets fan. That organization has absolutely no clue whatsoever of what the hell it's doing.

Exactly, stay the course and stop wasting out time with false public relations BS
   22. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: January 24, 2013 at 11:11 AM (#4353955)
Appel just has a grossly overinflated sense of his own worth.
That doesn't quite follow. Appel projected as a top three pick, he expected top three pick money. In 2011, the Pirates would have gladly spent top three pick money to sign Appel. Under the new system, as you point out, they couldn't do that.


I paid less attention to the 2012 draft that I usually do, having said that, looking at various mock drafts/forecasts, yeah Appel was *supposed* to go top 3...

Of course as someone else is fond of saying the downside risk for every pitcher is, "never throws another pitch"

The upside for Appel is a few mil extra upfront- then again this worked out extremely well for Hochevar- if he'd signed with the Dodgers he would have gotten a couple mil less upfront, and being a better and deeper organization, he likely would have spent a good chunk of the past few years in AAA rather than the MLB, and he'd be making far less in 2012/2013 than what KC is paying him... so financially it worked out great for Hoch

of course if Hoch had signed with and been developed by LA instead of KC, maybe he'd be a good pitcher now.
   23. JJ1986 Posted: January 24, 2013 at 11:13 AM (#4353956)
Why would the Mets ever sign Bourn? They have no hope of competing in the division unless competing means beating the Marlins (which I don't believe is a given even after this winter). It is a waste of money unless the idea is to trade him at the break but I doubt that. My guess is that they are wasting all of our time with this and they have no intention of putting out a competitive bid. Sure if he drops to one year at 8M they might figure out a way to sign him but we all know that ain't happening. Play the kids and lets get back to building a team from scratch that can compete in 2015 (or 2016) for 5+ years.


The young pitchers they are trying to develop would benefit greatly from having a real fly-catcher in CF.
   24. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: January 24, 2013 at 11:15 AM (#4353958)
Why would the Mets ever sign Bourn?


He's the type of pop free speedster tools goof the Mets have had an inordinate fondness for since as long as I can remember- Bourn at least is a very good example of the type, but it's type of player I'm far less enamored of than the Mets have been...

The WAR scores given to him by both BBREF and fangraphs causes me no small amount of cognitive dissonance.
   25. Conor Posted: January 24, 2013 at 11:19 AM (#4353960)
Bourn is a good player, and he plays a position that the Mets have literally no good players at.

Theoretically, the Mets would be looking to compete in 2014 or 2015; Bourn is likely going to be a better player than whoever they have in CF otherwise.
   26. The District Attorney Posted: January 24, 2013 at 11:28 AM (#4353970)
If it's short-term and there's no draft pick given up? Sure, go nuts.
   27. GregD Posted: January 24, 2013 at 11:31 AM (#4353973)
Thank goodness I'm not a Mets fan. That organization has absolutely no clue whatsoever of what the hell it's doing.
I, too, am glad not to be a Mets fan, but I don't agree with the second sentence. Alderson clearly has a plan of letting everything wind off the books, developing the young players, distracting the media with jokes and unlikely scenarios, and biding his time to see if the Mets can be good in 2014 or, more likely, 2015. It's an unusual plan for a big-market team, but it is a plan.
   28. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: January 24, 2013 at 11:35 AM (#4353981)
Thank goodness I'm not a Mets fan. That organization has absolutely no clue whatsoever of what the hell it's doing.

Seems to me that the Mets are following the Nationals road to success. Sucking for 5-10 years and developing their farm system.

I really like the Marcum deal. I don't expect them to sign Bourn although he'd be a nice fit. If not him, they need to get a no-hit all defense centerfielder.
   29. formerly dp Posted: January 24, 2013 at 11:36 AM (#4353983)
The WAR scores given to him by both BBREF and fangraphs causes me no small amount of cognitive dissonance.
Yeah, sort of startled me when I looked at his B-Ref page.

The young pitchers they are trying to develop would benefit greatly from having a real fly-catcher in CF.
I would think there's a rangy CF on the cheap, if you're totally unconcerned with offense. I think their interest is more likely the result of hoping they can score Bourn at a lower price this late in the off-season.

I am surprised there wasn't more interest in Marcum. If he's healthy, the drop-off from Dickey shouldn't be that terrible.
   30. Conor Posted: January 24, 2013 at 11:45 AM (#4353992)
My main problem with the Mets plan is I don't think they have been adding enough talent to keep a legit contender in the next 2 years. It was easy to point to the 2014 season as a chance to be a contender, since they had the Bay and Santana contracts coming off the books (though not anymore since they deferred some of the Bay money) but they have no OF right now. It seems unlikely they will be able to add a full OF between now and the start of 2014, so 2015 seems like a more reasonable chance for them to contend. It's possible Wheeler and Harvey turn into Lincecum and Cain or something, in which case anything is possible, but it seems more likely that they are at least 2 years away.
   31. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 24, 2013 at 12:03 PM (#4354010)
Appel projected as a top three pick, he expected top three pick money.


Appel was being projected as a top three pick because the Astros had the #1 and analysts thought they might go for a polished guy with Houston roots who'd sign quickly. When he tried to hold them up, they went in a different direction (and got a better player as well). Appel wasn't a #1 overall-type talent: BA had him at #4 on their final pre-draft rankings, for example, and he was seen as a basically interchangeable quantity with Gausman or Zimmer.

He wasn't even the best pitcher available at the Pirates' pick - that honor belongs to Giolito, who dropped for medical reasons but is still a better bet in the long term.

If Appel thinks he can get more money out of someone else next year, he's welcome to try, but I don't think it's a very smart play. Still, it keeps the Pirates from getting stuck with a player I didn't like all that much, so in that respect, I'm grateful.
   32. billyshears Posted: January 24, 2013 at 12:08 PM (#4354014)
My main problem with the Mets plan is I don't think they have been adding enough talent to keep a legit contender in the next 2 years. It was easy to point to the 2014 season as a chance to be a contender, since they had the Bay and Santana contracts coming off the books (though not anymore since they deferred some of the Bay money) but they have no OF right now. It seems unlikely they will be able to add a full OF between now and the start of 2014, so 2015 seems like a more reasonable chance for them to contend. It's possible Wheeler and Harvey turn into Lincecum and Cain or something, in which case anything is possible, but it seems more likely that they are at least 2 years away.


I don't know if it's possible to get in on a Justin Upton deal without including Wheeler or D'Arnaud (it's almost definitely not possible), but there are some merits to an approach that involves signing Bourn and trading for Upton. There are some apparently undervalued assets on the market right now, and I think it's almost always a good move to go after undervalued assets.
   33. The District Attorney Posted: January 24, 2013 at 12:18 PM (#4354023)
Definitely would have been willing to include Wheeler to get Upton (Murphy too?), but it's not an option now.
   34. attaboy Posted: January 24, 2013 at 12:20 PM (#4354028)
Bourn is a good player, and he plays a position that the Mets have literally no good players at.

Theoretically, the Mets would be looking to compete in 2014 or 2015; Bourn is likely going to be a better player than whoever they have in CF otherwise.


I wish I could think this way and if you think that the mets can compete by 2015 then this would be fine but I just don't see it. The other teams are so strong right now, especially the nationals, and so young, I don't see the mets competing until 2016 if everything breaks about as good as can be hoped. Given who they have in the majors, given their upper level farm teams, 2013 and 2014 are pipe dreams and signing Bourn is not a help to getting to 2016.

The young pitchers they are trying to develop would benefit greatly from having a real fly-catcher in CF.

This is very true and giving the young pitchers confidence that someone out there could catch their mistakes is a big plus I didn't think of but honestly, so what, they lose less games but are still well under .500?
   35. Conor Posted: January 24, 2013 at 12:35 PM (#4354046)
I wish I could think this way and if you think that the mets can compete by 2015 then this would be fine but I just don't see it. The other teams are so strong right now, especially the nationals, and so young, I don't see the mets competing until 2016 if everything breaks about as good as can be hoped. Given who they have in the majors, given their upper level farm teams, 2013 and 2014 are pipe dreams and signing Bourn is not a help to getting to 2016.


Well I did say "theoretically"..

I hear what you are saying, and I'm not saying I expect the Mets to compete in 2014. I think in baseball no team, unless you are a complete no hope team like the Astros, should write off until 2016. Too much can happen between now and then.

I really thought they should have made a run at Melky.
   36. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 24, 2013 at 12:54 PM (#4354066)
Can someone with keys please fix that tag?

Edit: Much better!
   37. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: January 24, 2013 at 01:36 PM (#4354101)
Still, it keeps the Pirates from getting stuck with a player I didn't like all that much, so in that respect, I'm grateful.


somehow I suspect that your opinion of Appel is not shared by anyone within Appel's circle. Plus I've looked at about 7-8 mock drafts, he was usually #1 and never lower than #3. BA's #4 depth ranking is the worst I've seen for him- and the Pirates best offer (which I do not blame them at all for not going higher given the system in place) was less than #4 slot money.

Allegedly Appel was offered 6mil pre-draft by Houston, he said he wouldn't sign for that, and they said, "pass."

psychologically it has got to be very very hard to take 3.8 2 months after saying "no" to 6.

I'm sure he's also praying that there's only one Matt Harrington...
   38. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 24, 2013 at 01:59 PM (#4354128)
Plus I've looked at about 7-8 mock drafts, he was usually #1 and never lower than #3.


Again, those are mock drafts, not player rankings (which assess players purely on merit). Totally different animal. Mock drafts expected Houston to take the Houston kid, for obvious reasons.

psychologically it has got to be very very hard to take 3.8 2 months after saying "no" to 6.


If he wasn't prepared to deal with that, he should have taken the $6M offer.

Think he's going to get even a $4M offer this time around? It's not out of the question, but I wouldn't bet on it.
   39. Ravecc Posted: January 24, 2013 at 02:09 PM (#4354138)
Eh. If they don’t lose the pick, why not? Can’t imagine his price will fall far enough for the Mets to afford him, but what the hey.

Upton wouldave been a better fit. They need a RH corner OF starter BAD. At least in center, they have the Kirk/Cowgill platoon to play and MAYBE Den Dekker on the way. They have Mike Baxter (!!) penciled in RF right now, with no one close from the minors.
   40. Conor Posted: January 24, 2013 at 02:28 PM (#4354164)
I saw Hairston's contract was for like 2/6, which includes incentives. Seems like the Mets should have matched that.
   41. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: January 24, 2013 at 03:19 PM (#4354256)
Think he's going to get even a $4M offer this time around?


I have no idea, I was shocked when Hoch was taken #1 the year he went back in the draft, by WAR he's the 13 best pitcher taken in the 1st round that year (OTOH he has out-pitched Reynolds and Miller...)

But FWIW both Bleacher Report and MLB.com have Appel still on top:

For the second year in a row, Stanford right-hander Mark Appel sits atop the rankings.


Drafted No. 8 overall by the Pirates last June, it will be hard for Appel not to be the No. 1 pick in 2013. He opted to return to Stanford for his senior season and still has room to improve.

If the right-hander is anywhere near the pitcher he was last season, he should be the top player in the country.


Big League Futures most recent Mock Draft had him going 3rd...

my quick perusal seems to indicate that the 2013 class is expected to be weak fwiw
   42. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 24, 2013 at 04:12 PM (#4354301)
But FWIW both Bleacher Report and MLB.com have Appel still on top:


MLB.com is a decent source, so when you add in the debit for Bleacher Report, that totals out to zero...
   43. billyshears Posted: January 24, 2013 at 06:27 PM (#4354414)
Well, the college baseball season hasn't started yet, so none of the risk that Appel assumed by not signing has amortized. MLB draftees have so little leverage, and those incremental years of development are so important, it always surprises me when players don't just take whatever deal is on the table when the deadline comes (and most do). What if Appel gets drafted 8th again and offered slot? Is he really going to walk away again?
   44. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: January 24, 2013 at 07:55 PM (#4354475)
What if Appel gets drafted 8th again and offered slot? Is he really going to walk away again?


Other than Harrington I can't think of anyone who has done that.

Plenty of guys drafted out of HS have turned down the $ and gone to college 2 or 4 years... but Appel is graduating college...






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