On December 1st there was a Newsday report of the following:
As the market unfolds it appears that Michael Bourn is not going to receive an offer even close to his original demands that were rumored to be for more than the 5/75 BJ Upton received. Honestly, I never believed he was that type of player to begin with considering age and skill sets (yeah I went there).
However, with Pagan netting 4/40M and Upton his 5/75, it appears that Bourn’s price might finally be set. The soon-to-be 30 year old speedy CF in my opinion will receive some type of 5 year deal for around 60M total. Obviously Bourn isn’t a natural fit for the Mets as he is another LH and has boasted a SLG % over .400 only once in his career. His OBP is going to be in the .340s almost every year and while he does steal bases, he often steals them at the wrong time or at ineffective times and gets caught stealing a lot as well. That being said, the Mets are missing speed not only on offense but on defense as well and adding Bourn to the top of the lineup would certainly lengthen the lineup and provide that missing element that has been lacking since the Reyes injury in 2011. Defensively the Mets appear to be trotting out Duda into LF and possibly a guy like Hairston in RF so a strong defensive CF is certainly a priority.
With all this said, could the Mets and Bourn come to a back-loaded agreement and would that move even be something the Mets should consider?
Assuming the answer is that they should consider bringing in Bourn, would a contract like the following be of interest to him?
This deal would be similar to the structure reported for David Wright. Light in the front, heavier in the middle and decreased final year. I would also say that including a NTC would be a stickler because if I were the Mets there’s no way I would include that in the deal.
Back to the second question, should they even consider this deal? The Mets uh…strength in their prospects (albeit not really a strength at all, I guess I should say depth) is LH CFs in Kirk and Den Dekker. Den Dekker is 25 years old and struggled terribly in his first taste of AAA. Kirk is a free swinging “gritty” 25 year old who really caught Mets’ fans attention when he was first called up only to seemingly be exposed later in the year.
Fangraphs shows the Bill James projection for Kirk in 2013 as the following:
.259, .329, .414 .743
It also has Michael Bourn with:
.273, .344, .363, .707
Sorry Mets fans, while Kirk may not achieve those projections, there is no way that paying Bourn the kind of money he demands is worth the production improvement over Kirk. Give the kid a chance and look for that RH bat like Cody Ross or Ludwick and save some cash for catcher and bullpen improvements.