Andy Martino of the NY Daily News, free agent center fielder Michael Bourn went to the Indians.
The 30-year-old, an All-Star for the Braves last season, agreed to a four-year, $48 million deal with Cleveland.
According to Martino, the Mets also offered Bourn four years and approximately $48 million, but their pursuit of the All-Star was fatally complicated by an unprecedented situation involving the team’s first-round draft choice.
Under the terms of the new collective bargaining agreement, the team that signed Bourn would surrender its top pick this year, unless that team has a top-10 selection.
The Mets were the 10th-worst team in baseball in 2012, but were pushed to 11th overall in this year’s draft because Pittsburgh failed to sign its top choice last season. The team believed that in the interest of competitive balance and what it considered the spirit of the rule, its top pick should have been protected had it made a deal with Bourn.
The issue would have been decided by an independent arbitrator, unless the Players’ Association and Major League Baseball had reached a settlement. According to a person with direct knowledge of the process, discussions about the pick issue never became serious.
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