NY Times, Sandy Alderson, the general manager of the Mets, suggested the loss of a first-round pick would be too steep a price for the team to consider signing Michael Bourn, the best outfielder left on the free-agent market.
If they signed Bourn, a speedy 30-year-old
center fielder, the Mets would be forced to give up the 11th overall
pick of the draft as compensation.
During an interview Sunday with MLB
Network Radio, Alderson said the Mets had been “very reluctant to
consider that,” as it would undermine their vision for the future.
added, “The blueprint here is to rebuild the farm system at the same
time that we try to be competitive and for us to lose a first-round pick
would be counter to that approach.”
The top 10 picks of the draft
are protected, and the Mets were originally supposed to have the 10th
overall pick this year. But they were bumped down a spot when the
Pittsburgh Pirates failed last year to sign their top draft selection.
So they would appear to have at least some argument that their pick
should be protected.
“Obviously we want to have some sense of
which way that interpretation would go before we made any final decision
but at this point it’s all speculation,” Alderson said.
Alderson said the Mets would continue their search for outfielders,
through the free-agent market or by trade, but he did not sound
optimistic about acquiring a significant talent.
“We continue to
look but I think, realistically at this point, there’s not a lot left on
the shelf,” Alderson said. “So at some point we have to realize that,
well, perhaps the outfield is not the strength of our team.”