You knew it had to end like this. You knew that all the hulabaloo about whether the draft pick was going to be protected or not for Michael Bourn would end with Bourn taking such great lengths to avoid the issue by joining a team who haven't won anything since Dewey supposedly beat Truman. Which is kinda what all the Bourn/Mets rumors seemed like. With all the talk about draft picks, it was almost like it was a done deal that Bourn was coming here. And then Dewey lost, and Bourn went to Cleveland.
Truth be told, they can have him. Sure, the Mets have no outfield. But Michael Bourn, at least by himself, wasn't going to make the difference this year for the Mets. And by the time he would have a chance to make the difference, he might be too old to do it. Besides, it didn't seem too long ago that Bourn had the tag of somebody who was fast as hell but couldn't steal first base. I could never wrap my head around Michael Bourn as slam dunk difference maker … not one worth 4 years and $48 million, with a vesting option for another $12 million. Sandy Alderson just spent three years trying to get out from under a bunch of horrific contracts. Did anybody really think he was going to take on another one and risk losing this season's first round pick?
And about that pick … first off, how is it that the archaic organization that is MLB really couldn't give a resolution on a hypothetical scenario such as the one the Mets brought up with that 11th pick pushed back from ten because Mark Appel doesn't want to sign anywhere? They could only do it if the Mets actually signed Bourn and then take another 2-3 weeks to come up with a decision after a grievance was brought up by the union, forcing the Mets to roll the dice on their future and sign Bourn without knowing whether they'd lose the 11th pick or not? Unbelievable. Like I said, that whole ruling should have taken a day. "Hey Mr. Torre, shouldn't the 11th pick be protected if it was pushed back by a compensatory pick?" It's a simple question that should have had a simple answer! But nooooooooooo, we have to have a hearing where we all put on our George Washington wigs and sit at a large wooden table under the light of black table lamps. Nonsense.
And second, there's a notion that now that the Mets lost out on Bourn that this 11th pick had better be Andrew McCutchen. More nonsense. Here's what the 11th pick of the draft has to be: A guy good enough to make it to AAA in without arm problems or a hitch in his swing, so that in three years he can have enough progress to be included in a trade for somebody much better than Bourn. I'd hope that in three years the Mets will have enough money in the bank to be able to acquire such a player. We know that can't happen now, and that's fine. But the time is going to come where that excuse will fly out the window, and that time is coming very soon. I'd rather save some of this money for that time, and not spend $60 million of it on a guy who couldn't steal first base not long ago. The 11th pick of the draft is mere currency, but currency more valuable than another bad contract will be.
If the Mets really want another outfielder, our friend Drew Stubbs has now been rendered kinda sorta available with the Bourn signing. Problem is that he's a center fielder, just like Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Collin Cowgill, and sliding one of them to right field doesn't really make a lot of sense, especially for a guy who while good defensively, hit .213 last season and struck out more than Bourn did last year, and struck out more than 200 times the previous season. Stubbs' only asset is that he's cheap and only has one more season left. So he's a warm body to add to the litany of warm bodies the Mets have in the outfield. So really, why bother? (Except for the fact that any warm body would be an upgrade at this point.)
So it looks like the Mets are stuck with what they have, just like in 2004 when they made a similarly futile attempt at an outfielder, trying to get Vladimir Guerrero on the cheap when his obvious suitors seemingly dried up, only to have the Angels swoop in and sign him to a real contract. Instead, the Mets went into that season with Karim Garcia as their right fielder. The more things change, right? Actually, I wonder if Garcia can be bought out of his contract with the Hermosillo Orange Growers …
Forget it. No outfield situation can be quite that bad.