With just over two weeks until the start of spring training, the Mets are continuing to “express interest” in high-profile players that they are unlikely to sign.
Thursday, we started to hear about the Mets’ supposed interest in free agent center fielder Michael Bourn. But according to MLB.com’s Richard Justice, they have no interest in signing him if it will cost them their first round draft pick.
Under the current basic agreement, the first 10 picks in the draft are protected from being forfeited if those teams sign a free agent that requires compensation. The Mets should have had the 10th pick in the draft, but because they Pittsburgh Pirates didn’t sign their first round pick last year they get a make-up selection that pushes the Mets’ pick to #11. The Mets are hoping to get Major League Baseball to preserve their pick, but it probably won’t be any more successful than their bid to get R.A. Dickey a no-hitter by overturning a scorer’s decision last year.
I’m not sure how much use a 30-year-old outfielder who relies on his speed for almost all of his value is to a team that’s still rebuilding, but Bourn would make the 2013 Mets outfield less laughable.
And the Mets have not exactly gotten a lot of value out of their first round picks. Since 2000, they’ve had 18 first round selections. Leaving aside the Sandy Alderson‘s four picks from the last two drafts because they haven’t had enough time to move through the farm system, just 11 of the other 14 reached the major leagues. David Wright became a bona fide star, Ike Davis is the second or third best hitter on the Mets and Matt Harvey has the potential to be a member of the starting rotation for years to come. Of the rest, Scott Kazmir and Mike Pelfrey are the only ones who made significant contributions over their major league careers.
Still, I’m not convinced that signing Bourn is a smart move for the Mets. And that’s ok, because I am convinced that the team’s supposed interest is just intended to convince fans that Alderson really wants to improve this year’s team, but he just can’t because the rules would make him give away too much of the Mets’ future. We’re supposed to believe that Alderson’s going to suddenly start handing out long-term contracts to players in their 30s now, and start with a left-handed hitting outfielder with no power? Please.
Saturday, we got word that the Mets are supposedly interested in free agent starting pitcher Roy Oswalt. Only one problem: Oswalt’s agent says he’s not aware of it.
This is what the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo wrote about Oswalt two weeks ago:
The feeling of one NL GM is that Oswalt may still want to pitch, but, again, on his terms and perhaps for only a half a season. Many teams have given up trying to persuade him to pitch, feeling the vibe is that he just doesn’t want it bad enough.
Is this really a guy you want to see on the Mets, assuming their supposed interest is real and Oswalt would consider a team that’s not a pennant contender?
Even SNY is getting in on the act: according to the Daily News’ Bob Raissman, they’re interested in hiring Bobby Valentine for a limited studio role on Mets telecasts.
Enough already. Let me know when you have something substantial to report.
Condolences to the family of minor league catcher Landon Powell, who lost their five-month old daughter to hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis.