Michael Bourn has agreed to a four-year, $48 million deal with the Indians, which includes a fifth year vesting option that could bring the contract’s value to $60 million, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
Bourn’s first choice was the Mets, who he had an agreement with on the years and dollars, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post. However, Puma says, it would have taken 2 to 3 weeks to resolve the draft pick issue.
The Mets offered the same deal as the Indians, only they did not include a fifth-year option, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
11:20 pm: I last heard the Mets discussed a three-year deal with Boras, which included options for a fourth and fifth year. However, Sherman reports the fourth year was guaranteed. I’m surprised to read this, because I was under the impression Sandy Alderson had no interest in going beyond three… but, maybe that changed toward the end of negotiations.
In either case, this is a tough pill to swallow, because again it feels like we were all jerked around. But, the Mets and Bourn made the right choice tonight. I don’t blame Bourn for taking Cleveland’s offer, especially if was going to have to wait around for the Mets, MLB and the MLBPA to rule on the team’s draft pick. At the same time, while I wanted Bourn, he’s not even close to being worth a five-year deal… also I’m glad the Mets still have their first-round draft pick. Remember, because of the new CBA rules, losing that pick would have also eliminated half of the team’s designated draft budget. The Mets are no in position to give a five-year deal (and wreck a draft) for a guy whose value is based on his defensive skills. Three years? Fine. Five at $60 million is foolish. If they’re going to spend that kind of money over the next five seasons, the guy has to hit more than nine home runs…
The idea of getting Bourn was tantalizing, and if the Mets could have gotten assurances the 1st round pick would have been protected, I think it would have been a perfect fit. Bourn would have given the Mets a true lead off man, and a defender that boasted an UZR upwards of 20 last year. I suppose the Mets felt surrendering half their draft budget for a 30 year old outfielder whose primary asset his speed wasn’t worth it. In fairness to the Mets, Bourn’s on-base percentage isn’t great, and his BABIP has been .329 or higher each of the last four seasons, which suggests a decline might not be out of the question. His propensity to hit line drives, however, limits his volatility. Nevertheless, it’s all a moot point now, so the Mets will desperately need to get some surprise production from their current crop of outfielders.
Michael Baron, Contributor
That’s a real downer. Bourn was an ideal fit for the Mets, and he would have given the Mets outfield some instant credibility. Based on what Puma reported, it seems the time needed to resolve the draft pick situation was the ultimate problem in this scenario. I suppose this means the Mets are going with what they have: Lucas Duda in left field, Kirk Nieuwenhuis in center field, and Mike Baxter in right field.
I wonder if this means Matt den Dekker will get more consideration for a spot in the outfield. Yes, he’s left-handed, but so is everyone else in the outfield, and so the Mets have nothing to lose by seriously looking at him now.