Michael Bourn Rumors

Mets Made Four-Year Offer To Bourn

News of Michael Bourn's four-year, $48MM deal with the Indians is still fresh in the air, but the Tribe wasn't the only team to extend him such an offer. Two sources have confirmed to Joel Sherman of the New York Post that the Mets also made a four-year offer, which Sherman adds was also in the $48MM range but contained no options (Twitter links).

Of course, the Mets had far more hurdles to clear than just years and dollars. The team currently holds the No. 11 overall pick in this year's draft — the first pick that is unprotected from free agent compensation. General manager Sandy Alderson and his staff felt that because they finished with one of baseball's ten worst records, they were deserving of draft pick protection. However, the Pirates have a compensation pick due to their failure to sign No. 8 overall selection Mark Appel last season, which pushed the Mets out of the Top 10. The Mets were said to be pursuing an exception to the new CBA that would allow them to retain the No. 11 pick.

A Major League source told Sherman's colleague, Mike Puma, that the Mets were "definitely" Bourn's first choice, but the draft pick compensation issue would have taken two-to-three weeks to resolve. The two sides were down to small details such as the hotel rooms in which Bourn would stay on road trips, according to Puma (All links to Twitter).

Sherman adds that the Mets elected not to initiate the arbitration process to resolve the draft pick issue because they wanted a finalized agreement in place first. Having an agreement in place would keep agent Scott Boras from gaining extra leverage and drive up Bourn's price (Twitter links).

Ultimately, the allure of a fifth year and the certainty of Cleveland's offer looks to have enticed Bourn to pass up on his preference to play in the Big Apple.

Michael Bourn Rumors: Monday

Could this be the week Michael Bourn signs? Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reported yesterday that the Mets remain hopeful that they can complete a deal with the free agent center fielder. However, it’s still too early to rule out teams such as the Rangers and Mariners. Here’s the latest on Bourn with the most recent updates up top:

  • MLB.com's Carrie Muskat says Bourn to the Cubs "isn't happening" (Twitter link).
  • The Cubs continue to be on the fringe of the Bourn talks, according to ESPN's Buster Olney (on Twitter). As Olney notes, the Cubs — unlike the Mets — already have a protected first-round pick, so Bourn would only cost them their second-round selection in this year's draft.

Earlier updates:

  • The Mets have a “decent” chance of winning the argument that their first round draft choice should be protected even if they sign Bourn, a source told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Rosenthal notes that other clubs could be more interested than they’re letting on publicly. The Cubs, Indians, Rangers and Mariners are potential suitors for the Scott Boras client, Rosenthal writes.
  • MLBPA general counsel David Prouty said he has been in talks with MLB via the Mets regarding Bourn and the issue of draft pick compensation, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports (on Twitter). The Mets wish to sign Bourn without forfeiting the 11th overall pick. They could take the issue to an arbitration hearing, arguing that they deserve a protected pick for finishing with a bottom-ten record in 2012.
  • One person described talks between MLB and the MLBPA as "inquiring/position nature at this point in time,"Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reports. Another person said the sides had engaged in superficial talks. It doesn't appear that substantive talks would take place unless the Mets sense a deal with Bourn is within reach.

Latest On Michael Bourn, Mets

The Mets are still hopeful that they can sign Michael Bourn, but there are currently "no discussions" between the union and league about the draft pick issue, a source tells Andy Martino of the New York Daily News (on Twitter).  The union, not the club, would have to file a grievance in order for the Mets to retain their first round pick.

If the union does go ahead and file a grievance, then they and the league would go before an arbitrator.  The two sides could also settle in advance of said hearing, but nothing has been done to begin that process yet.  

Quick Hits: Indians, Mark Prior, Phillies, Mark Lerner

On this day in 1971, Satchel Paige became the first Negro League player to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. The oldest player to make his Major League debut, Paige took the field for the Indians for the first time at the age of 42. Here's the latest news and stories making headlines across MLB.

  • After making a series of deals this offseason in hopes of making a strong push toward the playoffs, the Indians may not be done adding pieces to their roster just yet, writes Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer. Kyle Lohse and Michael Bourn remain on the radar for Cleveland as the organization would only have to give up a third round draft pick in order to sign either player.
  • Mark Prior hasn't given up on his goal of returning to the Major Leagues as he's working on strengthening his shoulder in hopes of receiving an invitation to Spring Training, says David Kaplan of CSNChicago.com. Currently in the best shape of his life according to reports, Prior spent the 2012 season at Triple-A Pawtucket as a member of the Red Sox organization before being released in August. For more on Prior, Doug Miller of MLB.com takes an in-depth approach to telling the past and present story of the former sensation's life on both a professional and personal level.
  • The contracts for recently-signed members of the Phillies organization are broken down by Todd Zolecki of MLB.com as he provides the financial incentives players would receive based upon meeting specific goals. For example, Delmon Young would be awarded $100K if named NL MVP next season and $250K for reaching 600 plate appearances, among others. 
  • Nationals principal owner Mark Lerner told college students at a conference directed toward finding a career in sports that he often learns of deals made by his GM Mike Rizzo by visiting MLB Trade Rumors, writes James Wagner of The Washington Post. A special thanks to Mark for publicly recognizing the work done at MLBTR by Tim Dierkes and his staff.

Michael Bourn Rumors: Friday

For the last few weeks many of the details related to Michael Bourn's free agency have remained unknown. Which teams are interested other than the Mets? Could the Mets sign Bourn without surrendering the 11th overall draft pick this June? Would they commit more than $40MM? What we do know is that the Mets are interested in signing Bourn to a multiyear deal and that they intend to keep their draft pick. Here are today’s Bourn-related rumors, with the most recent updates up top:

  • Mets GM Sandy Alderson stated in an online chat with fans that the Mets would like to sign Bourn. “For us, he would be a very nice fit,” Alderson said. “I think we’re still in the mix, but I couldn’t really predict anything at this point” (video link with text via Matthew Cerrone of MetsBlog.com).
  • Cerrone hears from people connected to the team that the Mets are thinking three years and around $40MM for Bourn. Agent Scott Boras is still seeking at least four years and $15MM per season, according to Cerrone.

Michael Bourn Rumors: Thursday

The Mets have discussed three-year deals for Michael Bourn, and might be willing to offer a fourth season. However, they don’t seem willing to spend close to $15MM per season and they would only sign the center fielder if their 11th overall draft pick becomes protected. Here are today's Bourn-related rumors, with the most recent items up top…

  • Joel Sherman of the New York Post doesn't get the sense that the commissioner's office would relent to help the Mets sign Bourn (all Twitter links). Bud Selig doesn't want to create the perception that he favors Mets owner Fred Wilpon and the commissioner's office isn't inclined to help agent Scott Boras. Arbitration remains a possibility, however. Sherman's hunch is that the Mets would offer three years and $30-35MM. Boras appears to want to obtain at least $13MM per season on a deal that surpasses Angel Pagan's four-year, $40MM contract.

Earlier updates:

  • It's likely that the Mets' 11th overall draft pick would be protected if they sign Bourn, Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and MLB Network Radio reports (Twitter links). This would be accomplished through negotiations between MLB and the MLBPA, Bowden adds. Both parties negotiating the CBA intended to protect the picks of the teams with the ten worst records, Bowden reports. This would strengthen the Mets' argument for keeping the 11th overall pick.
  • Bowden hears from an interested team that Bourn is more likely to sign for $14-15MM per year than for $11-12MM per year (Twitter link).
  • The Mets are still “very motivated” to sign Bourn and their interest in him is sincere, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports. The team remains adamant about keeping its first round draft choice, the 11th overall selection. The process of filing a grievance on Bourn’s behalf has not yet been initiated, according to Martino. If the Mets do push for resolution on the issue, it’ll end up in front of an independent arbitrator who will hear arguments from MLB and the MLBPA.

Mets Notes: Bourn, Davis, Collins

The Mets are interested in Michael Bourn and, based on the most recent rumors regarding the free agent center fielder, may be pursuing him more aggressively than any other team. Here’s the latest on the Mets, starting with a Bourn-related update:

  • Ike Davis would like to see Bourn sign with the Mets, but he'll leave the recruiting to David Wright, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post reports. Davis joked that Bourn wouldn't know who he is, while acknowledging he'd like to have Bourn getting on base ahead of him in the New York lineup.
  • Mets manager Terry Collins said he doesn't intend to let his contract status become a distraction this year, Kevin Kernan of the New York Post reports. “I don’t want this to be an issue; it’s not with me,” he said. “I’ve reached that stage in my career where I love what I do.” Collins, who’s entering the final year of his current contract, pointed to Dusty Baker and Jim Leyland, who led their respective teams to the playoffs in 2012 under similar circumstances.

Michael Bourn Rumors: Wednesday

It's no secret that the Mets would like to add Michael Bourn, the top free agent remaining. They dined with him, and their franchise player reached out to express interest. Though it's difficult to pinpoint other suitors for Bourn, the Indians could get involved if his asking price drops "a lot," Buster Olney of ESPN.com reported yesterday. Here are today's Bourn-related rumors with the most recent updates up top…

  • Agent Scott Boras is telling the Mets he has attractive offers for Bourn, and the Mets are essentially challenging Boras to prove those proposals exist, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports. The Mets have discussed a three-year deal for Bourn and hinted at a willingness to offer a fourth season, Sherman adds. It’s possible the Mets would match the four-year, $40MM contract Angel Pagan obtained, but only if their 11th overall draft pick becomes protected. Interestingly, the Mets would prefer to wait until they have an agreement with Bourn before challenging the existing draft pick compensation rules, Sherman writes.
  • The Mets have discussed a three-year deal with Boras, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. However, the team isn’t willing to spend anywhere close to $15MM per season on the center fielder. Still, Boras maintains that interest remains strong in Bourn and free agent right-hander Kyle Lohse. “Bourn and Lohse have very viable markets and we’re negotiating with the clubs currently,” he told Rosenthal. The Braves never made Bourn an offer other than their qualifying offer, Rosenthal writes. Atlanta executives didn’t believe him to be worth more than $10-12MM per season for four years. Rosenthal lists the Mariners, Rangers and Cubs as potential suitors for Bourn.

Michael Bourn Rumors: Tuesday

Yesterday Mets general manager Sandy Alderson acknowledged to reporters that the Mets are in on free agent center fielder Michael Bourn. “We’re getting to the point where we can be in the mix,’’ Alderson said. “If you look at the fundamental composition of our team, it wouldn’t take more than a couple of moves to change the whole perception of things.’’ The Mets would have to surrender the 11th overall pick in the upcoming amateur draft to complete a deal with Bourn, but would ask MLB for a rule modification in the event they're close to a deal. Here’s the latest on Bourn, a Scott Boras client who recently dined with the Mets

  • The Indians are among the teams that might have interest in Bourn if his asking price drops "A LOT," ESPN.com's Buster Olney reports (on Twitter).

Earlier updates:

  • David Wright told Kevin Kernan of the New York Post that he spoke with Bourn and exchanged texts with him to persuade him to sign in New York. “I just wanted to let him know that he would be a great addition here and he’d obviously be welcomed here,’’ Wright said. He explained to Bourn that the Mets aren’t far off from contention with the young talent they have in place. Wright noted that he’s happy to help the organization recruit free agents if it makes a difference on the field.
  • The Mariners and Rangers have also been linked to Bourn, the top free agent remaining.

Mets Notes: Bourn, Lyon, Matsuzaka

The Mets are nearing a deal with right-handed reliever Brandon Lyon less than a week after adding Scott Atchison and LaTroy Hawkins. Here’s the latest on the Mets’ roster…

  • New York GM Sandy Alderson said the Mets will probably be done adding to their bullpen, assuming the deal with Lyon goes through, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reports (Twitter links). The club had interest in a number of relievers as recently as last week, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork reported.
  • Alderson sounds serious about pursuing free agent center fielder Michael Bourn, DiComo reports. However, the GM said the Mets could end up going to Spring Training with their current roster. The Mets have sincere interest in Bourn, but don't intend to forfeit the 11th overall pick in the 2013 draft to complete a deal with the Scott Boras client.
  • One Mets official indicated to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe that the team has no interest in Daisuke Matsuzaka (Twitter link). Cafardo reported yesterday that teams like the Astros and Mets were considering the possibility of bringing the free agent right-hander to camp.