One of the New York Mets' top priorities this offseason was improving their outfield. While the club was ultimately unable to do so, there was a time in mid-to-late January when Mets general manager Sandy Alderson felt strongly that he was going to land either Justin Upton or Michael Bourn, according to John Harper of The New York Daily News.
Alderson hasn't been willing to get into details of particular players targeted, but he has admitted to reporters that the team "tried to do some things" this winter. Unfortunately, "nothing worked out," according to the GM.
Harper notes that the Mets were discussing trading Daniel Murphy or Ruben Tejada along with some of their young pitching prospects to the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for Upton. New York was also involved in negotiations for Bourn. Upton was eventually traded to the Atlanta Braves, while Bourn signed a free agent contract with the Cleveland Indians.
The Diamondbacks were initially insisting the Mets include Zack Wheeler in any trade involving Upton, causing New York to balk. The club was also hesitant to meet the demands of Bourn and his agent, Scott Boras, while not having a clear decision on the draft choice they'd have to surrender. Their hesitancy in the case of Bourn blew their chances, and Harper heard from a source that the free agent would have preferred to sign New York's four-year offer.
Now, the Mets are left with a projected outfield that includes Lucas Duda, Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Mike Baxter, with other potentials being Collin Cowgill, Alex Brown and Marlon Byrd.