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.

Michael Bourn 1

Michael Bourn (Photo credit: SBoyd via Flickr)

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.

Roy Oswalt

Roy Oswalt (Photo credit: Scott Ableman)

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?

Bobby Valentine (Photo credit: Bart Miller)

Bobby Valentine (Photo credit: Bart Miller)

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.

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About Paul Hadsall

I'm the former editor of a weekly community newspaper and current contributor to Hot Stove Baseball. I've been a New York Mets fan for most of my life and I've been blogging about them, minor league baseball, baseball cards and autograph collecting since 2007. Contact me at paul@randombaseballstuff.com

9 responses

  1. Let’s see if the Mets are “interested” in winning 70 games.

    It’s going to be a long summer at Citi Field–maybe a long three summers, at least.

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  2. Hey, if 11 of the Mets last 14 1st round picks have made the Majors, I’d say that’s a pretty good percentage. I’d say keep the draft picks and avoid Michael Bourn. I don’t think even Jason Bourne could help this outfield, anyway.

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    • Watch Toronto.

      The reason why I say that is that both the Jays and Mets were in the same boat as Toronto won 73 and the Mets 74. In order for either team to compete for a playoff spot, they have to buy about 20 wins during the off-season. That’s a very tall and expensive order. And that’s what the Jays are trying to do. Buying a half dozen wins is hard enough. 20? Come on!

      I think the Mets are taking the smarter road, hoping that their draft picks and acquisitions pan out. It’s just going to be dry out at Citi Field for a while. So, expressing interest in Bourn is just BS. What’s he going to do that’ll substantially help the team? Nothing. And it’s going to cost some decent change for nothing. If the Mets were one or two players out, Bourn might be worth a shot. A half dozen or more? No way.

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      • Couldn’t agree more.

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      • Paul says:

        I don’t think Toronto really needs to “buy” 20 wins – they had an unusual number of injuries & things going wrong last year and could realistically have expected to improve without making major changes. However, I don’t know that they’ve done enough or that their new additions will work together well enough to make the Blue Jays a championship team in 2013.

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    • Paul says:

      I think draft picks are overvalued. Successful first round picks turn into players like Aaron Heilman – stars are few and far between. That said, I agree that all Michael Bourn could do is add a small touch of respectability to an awful outfield. It’s almost certainly not worth it by the time you factor in the money commitment along with the draft pick.

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  3. Paul,

    Prefacing by saying that I don’t pay much attention to the Blue Jays, except for Bautista and Drabek–and the latter hasn’t given any indication why he was a first round pick, I don’t see how they could have been even a .500 team. Encarnacion played far better than he ever has and picked up Bautista’s slack. Other than Lawrie, who did miss a month and might have cost the Jays a little, I don’t see much else on that roster.

    So, let’s say Bautista bounces back, Encarnacion is for real and Lawrie plays a whole season. 15 wins, maybe? Not that “I’ll stand by my statement” means much, but the Jays might get 5-6 wins if those three guys above play their best ball. That still leaves a lot of slack and hope to get to 93 wins, which is what it took to make the wild card last year.

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    • Paul says:

      I’m not disagreeing with your main point, I just think Toronto was starting from a bit better position than the Mets. The Blue Jays had things go wrong to get to their 73 win figure last year. The Mets played way over their heads for two months to get their 74 wins.

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