Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said yesterday during a chat with fans that free agent Michael Bourn would be a "nice fit" for the team, adding that he believes New York is "still in the mix" for the center fielder. However, contract talks continue to drag on, as Bourn and the Mets remain apart on guaranteed years and total value, according to Matthew Cerrone of MetsBlog.com.
Cerrone adds that he's hearing from people connected to the Mets that the team is "thinking three years and around $40 million" for Bourn. Meanwhile, Scott Boras, Bourn's agent, is seeking at least four guaranteed years and at least $15 million per season, according to Cerrone.
Unless another team -Cerrone mentions the Cleveland Indians, Seattle Mariners, New York Yankees and Texas Rangers - steps up and seriously enters negotiations for Bourn, Cerrone doesn't believe Boras "has enough leverage to milk the deal."
The Mets have shown that they're not interested in bidding against themselves in order to sign Bourn. Alderson has played the role of a general manager that could potentially have a nice player fall into his lap. If Bourn proves too expensive and signs elsewhere, so be it. But, at this point, the Mets don't appear to be convinced that another team is willing to pay Bourn more than $40 million.
The draft pick issue is the other part of the Bourn equation for the Mets. It sounds like the subject won't be heavily pursued until an agreement is reached, but there are reports that negotiations with the MLBPA would result in New York's first-round pick being protected.