Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
Sandy Alderson met with Michael Bourn and his agent, Scott Boras. David Wright called Bourn to sell him on Citi Field. The Mets are clearly interested, but will not do a deal until they know MLB will protect their first round draft pick.
In the meantime, though they aren’t willing to offer more than $15 million per season, the Mets have discussed a three-year deal for Bourn, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The New York Post’s Joel Sherman believes they’re willing to offer four.
The way I understand, from people connected to the team, the Mets are comfortable guaranteeing three years to Bourn, and they’re open to discussing an opt-out clause after one season, as well as options for a fourth (and maybe a fifth) year. The thinking must be that the Mets are so far behind in outfielders, with little in the farm system, and with the future free agent market projected to be weak, this is a case where it may justify overpaying for an older player that traditionally this front office would ignore.
The Mets are confident in their proposal to Bourn, it seems. But, as expected, Boras says he has better offers, according to Sherman.
Earlier this month, the Rangers said they were 100 percent out on Bourn. Yesterday, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney said the Indians could get involved if Bourn lowers his demands and the price drops.
In regards to MLB ruling on Alderson’s draft pick, I can’t get a good read. I’ve talked to people with other teams who believe the Mets don’t stand a chance of getting the exemption they’re seeking for their draft pick. I’ve talked to people at MLB who feel they do, some who don’t. However, most people connected to the Mets are giving off confidence that things will work out, as do most agents I’ve asked. There’s only one way to find out, which is to force a ruling. But, as I’ve said, MLB will not do this until Boras and Alderson have a deal agreed to in principal, because they don’t want to set an unnecessary precedent with their ruling if Bourn is going to end up signing in Cleveland or Seattle or some place other than Queens.
In other words, as I said earlier this week, MLB is likely waiting on Alderson, who is waiting on Boras, who is probably waiting on other teams who had interest in Bourn, specifically the Indians, Mariners and Rangers, and I’m pretty sure all of this is still the case today. My bet is: The Mets feel they’ve put a good deal together, one that no team is going to beat, but Boras is sitting still hoping either the Mets, or some other team, get antsy and up their offer. This is par for the course…