NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – General manager Sandy Alderson says the Mets are “still in the mix” for Michael Bourn, though it seems increasingly likely New York would have to choose between its top draft pick and the free-agent outfielder.
“I certainly understand why fans are interested in our position vis-a-vis Michael, and we’d like to get it resolved one way or the other,” Alderson said Thursday during a video chat with fans hosted by MLB.com. “I think we’re still in the mix, but I couldn’t really predict anything at this point.”
The 30-year-old Bourn, represented by super agent Scott Boras, hit .274 with 9 home runs, 57 RBIs and 42 stolen bases for the Atlanta Braves last season.
“Right now our specific need in the outfield is somebody who can cement that outfield defense. His defense becomes a little more important in our circumstance perhaps than it might be in some others,” Alderson said. “He’s also a leadoff guy and brings some speed to a club. Those are areas we’d like to improve as well.”
According to Newsday, the Mets “have entertained three-year offers for Bourn.” But the bigger issue seems to be the team’s first-round draft choice (No. 11), which they’d lose as compensation for Bourn unless Major League Baseball makes an exception.
The top 10 picks are protected. New York has argued it should keep its selection since the team was among the 10 worst in baseball last season. The Pittsburgh Pirates jumped ahead in the draft when they failed to sign their top pick in 2012.
MLB has “has held firm in its stance” that New York would lose its pick, Newsday reported.
“For us, he would be a very nice fit,” Alderson said of Bourn. “But at the same time we have to keep it in perspective.”
The Mets signed outfielders Corey Patterson and Mike Wilson to minor league deals earlier this week.
“Frankly, we don’t know what some of the outfielders already in spring training are going to be able to do for us this year,” said Alderson, who added it’s “conceivable” infield prospect Wilmer Flores could see some action in the outfield.
Here’s the question, Mets fans: Bourn or No. 11 pick? Make your case in the comments…