Free agent OF Michael Bourn could end up in a Rangers uniform, regardless of the Mets’ glaring need for a qualified center fielder, let alone one with a recent NL East pedigree. The Star-Ledger’s voice of reason aka Andy McCullough, points out there’s almost no chance of the Mets pursuing Bourn, his analysis vetted by none other than Sandy Alderson (“we don’t want to lose our first-round draft pick,”)
The Mets were never considered to be all that interested in Bourn. To start, they don’t want to spend much. Bourn himself isn’t all that appealing as a long-term solution. He turned 30 last month. His game is predicated on his legs. As he ages, his speed is expected to decline. He’s a below-average hitter (his .320 wOBA ranks 20th among qualified center fielders since 2010). And he won’t come cheap. His agent is Scott Boras.
And that doesn’t even hit on the biggest reason why the Mets are wary of signing him. Because Bourn declined Atlanta’s $13.3 million qualifying offer earlier this offseason, the Braves will receive draft pick compensation. A few days ago, Derrick Goold from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch explained how this phenomenon is hampering starter Kyle Lohse.
For the Mets, signing Bourn would mean forfeiting the No. 11 pick and the money allotted to them ($2.625 million in 2012). The Mets can’t just spend that money on later picks. That money disappears from their pool.