Found February 06, 2013 on Fox Sports:
No free-agent position player of Michael Bourn's caliber has ever taken this long to find a new team. Not when fully healthy. Not in a true open market. In 2007, outfielder Magglio Ordonez needed until Feb. 7 to sign with the Detroit Tigers, but only because the two sides had to work out complex language due to a pre-existing condition in Ordonez's left knee. In 1987, victims of collusion such as Andre Dawson and Tim Raines did not sign until after the start of spring training, and in some cases after Opening Day. But that market was rigged, and hardly comparable to what Bourn, 30, is facing. Though the odds seem increasingly slim, I'm not ruling out that Bourn will land a big deal, perhaps even beating B.J. Upton's five-year, $75.25 million free-agent contract with the Atlanta Braves. By now, all of us should know better than to doubt Bourn's agent, Scott Boras. Then again, what is Bourn's true value? It's still unclear. The Braves, unwilling to meet Boras' expectations, never made an actual offer to retain Bourn, according to major league sources. Braves officials believed that Bourn merited no more than a four-year contract for $10 million to $12 million per season, one source said. The New York Mets, Bourn's most aggressive public suitor, have discussed a three-year deal with Boras, according to another source. But the Mets, too, are not willing to pay Bourn anywhere close to $15 million per season, the source said. Such talk could mean little -- the Mets and other clubs might be telling Boras that they are willing to give Bourn five years at bigger dollars, but won't formally offer it until the player signals that he is willing to enter into serious discussions. The Seattle Mariners also have shown interest in Bourn, and teams such as the Texas Rangers and Chicago Cubs still could get more active at a price they deem to be a bargain. The perception among some clubs is that Boras lacks leverage with both Bourn and his other top remaining free agent, right-hander Kyle Lohse. Boras says otherwise. "Bourn and Lohse have very viable markets and we're negotiating with the clubs currently," the agent said Tuesday night. The expected loss of St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Chris Carpenter for all of 2013 could create an opportunity for Lohse to rejoin his previous club. With Bourn, the plot is thick, and could get thicker still. The Mets say they will sign Bourn only if they can retain the 11th pick in the amateur draft; Bourn, who received a qualifying offer from the Braves, is subject to draft-pick compensation. Under the new collective-bargaining agreement, only the top-10 picks are "protected." Teams holding those picks can sign a qualifying free agent such as Bourn without losing their first-round choice, and forfeit their second rounder instead. The Mets had the 10th-worst record in the majors last season, and fell to the 11th spot only because the Pittsburgh Pirates did not sign their No. 1 pick, the eighth overall selection, Stanford right-hander -- and Boras client -- Mark Appel. As compensation, the Pirates will pick ninth this year. Mets GM Sandy Alderson said earlier this week that according to "the spirit of the rule," the teams with the worst 10 records should get the first 10 picks. The union agrees with Alderson, sources say, and likely would file a grievance on the matter, trying to ensure that the Mets would bid freely for Bourn. I don't see how baseball can justify changing a rule that it enacted only last year. But I do know this: If there is a draft loophole to be found, Boras will find it, just as he has done for his entire career. I also know this: commissioner Bud Selig is close with Mets owner Fred Wilpon, and has supported him throughout his team's financial crisis. As if Selig doesn't have enough problems with the latest PED eruptions, he now faces the prospect that Wilpon's Mets will align with Boras, baseball's least favorite agent, to dispute a provision of the CBA. As one executive put it, "The commish can't be happy that Wilpon's club and (Selig's) hand-picked GM (Alderson) would join Boras -- sworn enemy of the state! -- to challenge Bud legally. "It takes some guts on the Mets' part. I'm sure the union and Boras would handle the grievance independently, but the Mets obviously would be party to it." In other words, the fun might only be beginning. I'm setting Feb. 20 as the over/under for a Bourn agreement. And I'm taking the over.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Latest On Bourn: Independent Arbiter Will Decide If Mets Pick Is Protected

According to Andy Martino of the Daily News, while the Mets remain very motivated to sign free-agent center fielder Michael Bourn, they won’t make a deal if it will cost them their first round draft pick. It turns out that the decision about the draft pick would be in hands of an independent arbitrator, not the commissioner’s office. Here is how the process could work: The...

Report: Michael Bourn Having ‘Ongoing Discussions’ With Mets

Spring training is right around the corner and, shockingly, free agent Michael Bourn still hasn’t signed on with a new club. The latest team to show interest in the speedy outfielder is the New York Mets, according to The Star-Ledger. Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said there is “ongoing discussion” with Bourn. Since Bourn’s former team, the Atlanta Braves, sent Bourn...

Mets Still Want MLB To Protect Pick, Will Go All Out For Bourn

A Mets source told Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe that the front office is still trying to get MLB to allow them to keep their first-round pick if they sign Michael Bourn. They are still trying to determine whether they can convince Bourn to sign a potential backloaded deal and that they will go “all out on the compensation”  if they know their pick will be protected...

Why Bourn, If Not Reyes?

As the possibility of Michael Bourn landing in Queens seems more and more like a reality, there are a faction of fans who feel Bourn wouldn’t be such a necessity, had the Mets simply resigned Jose Reyes.  On the surface, they’re correct, however as is the case with everything New York Mets, there is always more to it.  Its easy to compare the two players.  Both center their...

Michael Bourn rumors: Rays, Mets, Mariners fits for free agent?

Michael Bourn remains a free agent, and Jim Bowden of ESPN speculates that the Tampa Bay Rays, New York Mets and Seattle Mariners are the three teams that make the most sense for the talented center fielder. What teams make the most sense for Michael Bourn at this point? in my opinion: TB, NYM & Sea....and for Kyle Lohse? Box,TX,LAA,Milw,Balt — JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm...

Do the Mets players need the boost of sign Bourn

I think Michael Bourn is a perfect fit for the Mets, he would be a true lead-off hitter, a base stealing threat and a defensively skilled center fielder.  All are areas of the current roster that the Mets have glaring holes.  Bourn just turned 30 y/o at the end of December which means he would be 33 y/o at the end of a 4 year contact. Ever since the Mets made their case against...

Mets rumors: New York serious about pursuing Michael Bourn?

The New York Mets have been tied to free agent Michael Bourn throughout the offseason, but they continue to be considered a longshot to sign the center fielder. Still, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com feels general manager Sandy Alderson “sounds serious” about pursuing Bourn. Sandy sounds serious about pursuing Bourn. But also admitted what you see right now may well be what you...

Wright Reaches Out To Michael Bourn, Things Could Be Heating Up

David Wright  told The NY Post yesterday, that he has spoken with and exchanged texts with free-agent center fielder Michael Bourn in an attempt to lure him to Citi Field. “I just wanted to let him know that he would be a great addition here and he’d obviously be welcomed here,’’ Wright said after his first early workout at the Mets’ spring training complex. “I talked...

Bourn will dictate shape of Mets outfield and bench

By Dave Mills The New York Mets signed two more outfielders today, but neither was named Michael Bourn and neither is likely to have an impact on the major league roster. #bbpBox_299246508249849856 a { text-decoration:none; color:#FF3300; }#bbpBox_299246508249849856 a:hover { text-decoration:underline; } In addition to signing RH relievers Scott Atchison & LaTroy Hawkins to...

Team Source Says Bourn Could Get $14-15M In Average Annual Salary

Here are two significant updates from Jim Bowden of ESPN XM Radio: “With Victorino getting an average annual salary of $13 million,” Bowden says. “And with Bourn turning down a qualifying offer of $13 million, it only makes sense that he would get north of that.” A team source (presumably the Mets) also told Bowden that if the Mets were able to sign Michael Bourn, negotiations...

How Can We Predict Stolen Base Talent?

Predicting the ability to steal bases is not something you think you need to do. You did not say to yourself over breakfast, “I wonder if Michael Bourn can steal bases?” You already knew he could. And maybe that’s what made breakfast so delicious. But if we want to push the frontier of base running, if we want to see the end of the home run era become the beginning of the efficient...

Indians One Of Many Teams That Will Consider Bourn If Price Drops

The Indians might be one of many teams that will be interested in signing free agent Michael Bourn if his price comes down according to Buster Olney of ESPN. As I wrote last week, I was afraid this would happen the longer this dragged out. Scott Boras isn’t concerned with making friends, only getting his clients the largest deals they can get. He always keeps busy working the...

Alderson Briefs Reporters On Michael Bourn and Brandon Lyon

Today at Citi Field, Sandy Alderson briefed reporters about the Michael Bourn and Brandon Lyon situations. Regarding Brandon Lyon, Alderson said that if the team agrees to a contract with him, that he is likely finished adding additional arms to the bullpen this winter. “The bullpen can’t be worse and has the potential to be a lot better,” Alderson explained. As we reported...

Boras Has Better Offers On Bourn Than The Mets At His Disposal

The Mets are willing to give free agent Michael Bourn a four-year deal, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Scott Boras is claiming that he has better offers at his disposal than whatever the Mets have discussed with him. Sherman speculates that Boras could simply be bluffing to try and get more out of the Mets or simply trying to create some buzz to drum up more interest...
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.