The Mets will consider signing free-agent OF Michael Bourn if he reduces his asking price and length of commitment, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.
However, Bourn received a qualifying offer from the Braves, which he declined. However, Bourn’s new team would be forced to surrender their first round pick in exchange for signing Bourn as a result of the qualifying offer.
Earlier this month, Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger said the Mets are not interested in surrendering their first round pick.
In 155 games with the Braves last year, Bourn hit .274 with a .348 OBP and .739 OPS, 9 HR and 57 RBI with 42 stolen bases in 55 attempts.
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
I still expect Bourn to either go back to the Braves or sign with the Rangers, but time will tell… He had a career year in 2012, so I’d be leery on overpaying and overcommitting to a guy who is 30 and relies so much on his legs. I like him, but not at the cost of Sandy Alderson’s first-round pick, nor in return for a long-term deal. Also, when Alderson decides one day to spend big bucks on a free agent, be it this winter or next, he needs to pay for power not speed. The Mets need outfielders today, but they don’t need the wrong outfielder.
Michael Baron, Contributor
Ideally, yes, Bourn is a fit and he would give the Mets outfield some instant credibility. He does strike out a lot, but he’s become an excellent top of the order catalyst as an outstanding base stealer with triples speed. The Mets don’t have much of that, and it’s something they have desperately needed since both Jose Reyes and Angel Pagan departed after 2011. But, a) he’s left-handed and the Mets need right-handed outfielders (although beggars can’t be choosers at this stage of the off-season), b) they need power in the outfield, c) Bourn is a Scott Boras client, and there’s no doubt he will try and get someone to overpay for Bourn, and d) he received a qualifying offer from the Braves, and so the team Bourn signs with will have to surrender their first round pick in the 2013 draft – it’s not logical for the Mets to give up that pick for Bourn right now, especially for a shorter term deal. On top of that, Bourn depends on his legs to be successful, and he’s now 30 years old; it remains to be seen how quickly those skills diminish in the coming seasons.