Michael Bourn is the top unsigned free agent, but it will cost a top draft pick to sign the center fielder. He declined the Braves’ qualifying offer earlier this offseason, meaning the team that signs him must surrender a top selection in June (the precise placement of the pick would vary from team to team). Teams seem reluctant to part with their draft picks for Bourn, but agent Scott Boras appears to be seeking a $75MM contract for his client nonetheless. Here’s the latest…
- Bourn's camp is working to persuade Alderson that signing Bourn would give the Mets credibility when pursuing free agents a year from now, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports (on Twitter).
- Mets GM Sandy Alderson and assistant GM John Ricco travelled to Houston last week to dine with Bourn and Boras, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports. Though the sides didn’t engage in intense negotiations over dinner, it’s clear there’s a gap between Bourn’s asking price and the Mets’ interest level. The Mets don’t want to offer more than three years and they wonder if any other team is willing to go beyond the $40MM range.
- It’s possible that Bourn could accept a shorter term deal if it includes an opt out clause that would provide him with the option of hitting free agency again a year from now. The Mets “could be amenable” to such a deal, Sherman writes.
- Alderson will not sign Bourn without complete assurances that the Mets get to keep their first round selection, Sherman reports. The Mets’ 11th overall pick is unprotected, but the commissioner’s office doesn’t seem willing to grant the team the exception it seeks. Other clubs are lobbying MLB not to do the Mets this favor, Sherman reports. Though the MLBPA would file a grievance supporting the Mets if Bourn asks the association for support, an arbitrator wouldn’t necessarily rule in favor of an exception.