Originally written on MetsZilla  |  Last updated 10/29/14
The rumors of the New York Mets interest in free agent Michael Bourn have been escalating in recent days, some going as far as to say the team would seriously consider a backloaded deal if it wouldn’t cost them their first round pick in 2013.  As I wrote the other day, I just don’t buy it.  We are talking about a 30-year-old free agent outfielder that makes his living with his legs and whose demands appear well beyond any price tag the Metsecutives have come close to approaching in recent years.  To me it seems pretty clear that the time will come for the front to shift the way they approach free agency, Michael Bourn won’t be the kind of guy that creates the paradigm shift.  Today, MLB Insider Ken Rosenthal that sentiment in his post on Fox Sports: First off, I’ll believe the Mets are signing Michael Bourn when I see them introduce him at a news conference and present him with a ceremonial cap and jersey. So, the debate over the type of draft pick they should forfeit for him probably is a pointless exercise. Oh, the Mets’ interest in Bourn is serious, according to major league sources. Heaven knows they need outfielders. They have only $33.55 million in commitments for 2014, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts, giving them the flexibility to sign Bourn — or any free agent, for that matter — to a back-loaded deal. But forgive me for being skeptical. Photo by Michael G. Baron Stranger things have happened, particularly when a team awakens from a slumber one day and asks: “How the heck are we going to sell tickets?” But then there is the matter of the first-round pick that the Mets would lose if they signed Bourn. For a rebuilding club, that should be a deal-breaker. Except if the pick is a second-rounder instead. The arguments on both sides are worthy, but let’s see the Mets force the issue on Bourn before delving any deeper into the legalities. Let’s see them spend big on a free agent for the first time since signing Jason Bay three years ago. I’m not holding my breath waiting for the Michael Bourn news conference.” I’m not really sure where Bourn’s demands have dropped to, but they were high enough for the Rangers to apparently lose interest, leaving the Mariners and Mets as ‘favorites’ to land him. https://twitter.com/BNightengale/status/294524583917281280 Again, I just don’t see it happening and I can’t really see the value of giving Bourn a long-term deal that might cost as much as much as the 5-year/$72.5 million B.J. Upton recently landed.  I know Bourn is good and I know he would make this outfield better (which isn’t saying much), but when I looked at his offensive numbers I was reminded of Angel Pagan.  Coming off a career year in 2012 Pagan landed a 4-year/$40 million deal with the Giants this offseason and I’m not sure that Bourn, who is just a year younger, is worth twice that.  Especially when you consider how much he struck out in 2012. I know defense can’t be overlooked and I can certainly see the value of having someone like Bourn patrol the spacious confines of Citi Field, but just how good was his defense last season?  I’m smart enough to know what I don’t know, so when it comes to sabermetrics I turn to our resident expert Joe Kikel.  I simply asked Joe what he thought the difference was between Pagan and Bourn and to him, it really came down to defense: Photo by Michael G. Baron If you have the Bill James Handbook Bourn was the best defensive player in baseball. Pagan was Avg at best. Pretty much all the UZR’s and Runs Saved of the world have Bourn as the best CF in baseball. Offensively, there isn’t that much of a difference (bourn is more consistant and his OWAR is higher in some cases because the extra ABs). And Bourn’s 2H was worrysome, he struck out 30% of the time, stopped running as much and was getting caught stealling more. Public perception is there’s a huge difference (and there is defensively) – but offensively there really isn’t much.” O.K., so maybe my Bourn/Pagan comparison doesn’t hold much water, but from an offensive perspective it should at least open eyes as to the type of numbers that can be expected from Bourn.  I still don’t think he’s worth the money he’s reportedly been seeking (let alone giving up a first round pick), but that price tag might change, since the fact that he is still unsigned points to most major league clubs sharing a similar opinion.  If it does and the Mets are in position to capitalize on it then so be it, but like Rosenthal, I’m not holding my breath.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

DeMarco Murray: 'I'm not worried about the Cowboys'

Turner has great quote in defense of Bridgewater

Gary Bettman's quote about expansion makes no sense

Beltre sends Richards invoice for three broken bats

Herschel Walker: Vikings should trade Adrian Peterson

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Raiders fielding calls about fourth overall pick

WATCH: UAB football player brings helmet to graduation

Andrew Luck to students: 'I'm only 25, I don't have advice'

Mark Sanchez: Tebow is another arm while Bradford recovers

Report: Former LSU CB Jalen Collins failed multiple drug tests

Six players suspended for White Sox-Royals brawl

WATCH: Demetrious Johnson wins with last-second submission

WATCH: Jerryd Bayless beats Bulls with buzzer-beater

John Legend catches Belichick checking out Chrissy Teigen

Jim Rice to Jim Palmer: 'Quit complaining'

Time Warner-Comcast failed merger hurts Dodgers fans

WATCH: Bucks mascot devours fan

Protestors tried to have Orioles-Red Sox game called off

Greg Hardy abandons his Bentley during flash flood

WATCH: LeBron James hits full-court shot after practice

Peyton Manning announces $3 million gift to Tennessee

WATCH: Leah Still scores TD in Temple spring game

WATCH: Todd Gurley shares video of himself sprinting

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

UAB player brings helmet to graduation

Leah Still scores in Temple spring game

Sanchez shares thoughts on Tebow

Stephen A. Smith blasts Tom Brady

Kris Humphries apologizes for Jenner tweet

Five most boring NFL prime time matchups for 2015

Bruce Jenner: "For all intents and purposes, I am a woman"

Jameis Winston vs. Marcus Mariota: Perception vs. reality

Report: Gronk dating former Patriots cheerleader

NFL exec compares Jameis Winson to JaMarcus Russell

NFL does not care about Rams' future in St. Louis

Nothing gleams like late-round draft gold

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.