MLB could rule to protect the Mets’ first-round draft pick for Bourn

Michael Bourn 2 polaroidThis morning on MLB Network, Peter Gammons said he had feels MLB will protect the Mets first-round draft if they sign a player requiring draft-pick compensation.

If that happens, there is “real optimism,” according to Gammons, that free-agent OF Michael Bourn will sign with the Mets.

However, later in the broadcast,’s Ken Rosenthal said he doesn’t believe the league will protect the pick because it sets a precedent.

In either case, as has been reported time and time again, Gammons said the Mets will not give up their top draft pick to sign Bourn.

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

The Mets are interested in Bourn, that is clear. My sense from talking to people is, Alderson and Boras have an idea for what could get a deal done, including opt-outs, options, etc., which they probably discussed when meeting in Houston. Now, Alderson and his staff are either debating how or when or waiting on MLB to rule on if their pick is protected or not. If it’s not, the Mets move on. If it is, they’ll get back in contact with Boras and start figuring out details for a deal. But, in no situation will the Mets be signing Bourn if it’s going to cost that top pick. That’s a deal breaker, it seems, as it should be…

Jan. 31: The length of contract that Bourn is seeking, plus knowing he’ll cost a first-round pick as compensation, serve as impediments to signing the free-agent outfielder, Sandy Alderson said on SNY’s Mets Hot Stove last night. According to Alderson, potentially losing a top draft pick is not just about the talent that may be selected during that round, but it also impacts how much a team can spend in the draft due to newly imposed rules in the recent CBA.

Jan. 29: Alderson recently met with Bourn and Scott Boras last week in Houston, however the Mets do not want to offer Bourn more than a three-year deal (Sherman, New York Post).

Jan. 28: Bourn is still seeking a five-year deal (Puma, New York Post).

Statistics, information and analysis on Michael Bourn...

Jan. 27: Sandy Alderson said on MLB Network Radio he would like some sense of how the league will rule on the pick before signing a free agent who is subject to draft compensation, such as Bourn.

Jan. 20: The Mets will consider signing Bourn if he reduces his asking price and length of commitment (Cafardo, Boston Globe).

Stats: In 155 games with the Braves last year, Bourn hit .274 with a .348 OBP and .739 OPS, nine home runs and 57 RBI with 42 stolen bases in 55 attempts.

Contract: Bourn earned $6.8 million to avoid arbitration with the Braves last season.

Because Bourn received a qualifying offer from the Braves, his new team would lose their first round draft pick in the upcoming draft, unless they are among the top ten protected picks which are typically reserved for the ten worst teams in the prior season.

While, the Mets had the tenth worst record in 2012, the Pirates failed to sign their first round draft choice in 2012, and so they have been awarded the tenth overall pick in the upcoming draft, bumping the Mets to the 11th pick which is unprotected.

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.