February 26, 2013
The Mets' Outfield Blues
Mets claim they had legitimate interest in Michael Bourn, Justin Upton
John Harper, a columnist for the New York Daily News, spoke with multiple team and rival sources over the weekend, and discovered that Alderson and company once had much higher hopes for their now-bleak outfield picture. Myriad rumors connected the Mets to Bourn, and many believed—in advance of the former Brave’s four-year, $48 million deal with the Indians—that Major League Baseball would eventually agree to protect the 11th overall draft pick that stood between him and a ticket to Queens. Meanwhile, although the Braves were generally considered a likelier destination for Upton, Harper’s sources added that the Mets had a more realistic chance of landing him than the volume (or lack thereof) of buzz might have suggested.
Mets insiders told Harper that the culprit that saddled manager Terry Collins with his current mess was timing. ESPN’s Adam Rubin reported in the wake of Bourn’s signing with the Indians that the Mets had a similar offer on the table but were unwilling to cross the T’s without knowing the fate of their first-round selection, and an impatient Scott Boras pushed Bourn to head to Cleveland. On the Upton front, the Diamondbacks overcame a failed trade with the Mariners by securing a Martin Prado-based package from the Braves, leaving the Mets—who had considered parting with Daniel Murphy or Ruben Tejada during the lull between those deals—in the dust.
Your opinion of the Mets’ outfield outcome depends largely on whether you believe that Alderson’s interest in Bourn and Upton was genuine (as the team claims), or if you think the third-year general manager was merely trying to spice up a drawn-out rebuilding period. Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler will soon fortify New York’s rotation, but based on the prospect list from Jason Parks and our minor-league staff, there is little high-upside outfield talent on the immediate horizon. And that’s why, as Harper noted, plugging those three holes could be Alderson’s most formidable challenge when ownership places him “under the gun” in 2014-2015.
Giancarlo Stanton extension on the backburner for Marlins
Palm Beach Post beat writer Joe Capozzi relayed Loria’s comments in a blog post, and the most salient remarks concerned Stanton, who publicly expressed dismay when news of the blockbuster trade with the Blue Jays broke over Twitter in November. The 23-year-old Stanton has logged two years and 118 days of major-league service time to date, which means that at this time next winter, his representatives at Wasserman Media Group could seek a hefty sum in arbitration. Unless the sides get to work on a long-term pact, that may be the likeliest path, assuming that Stanton does not join the export list.