One of the big headlines surrounding the New York Mets this offseason has been their pursuit of free agent outfielder Michael Bourn. Bourn has finally found a new home, and it will not be Flushing. Bourn has signed a four year deal worth 48 million dollars with the Cleveland Indians, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports. Bourn's deal will net him 12 million dollars a season, and also includes a fifth year vesting option that could push the total package to 60 million dollars. In spite of the sudden big money deal, the Mets were in on the Bourn negotiations until the very last minute. Bourn and the Mets had reached an agreement on money and years, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Bourn reportedly had wanted to come to the Mets, but the reason he signed with Cleveland came down to the Mets' insistence on not giving up the 11th overall pick in the draft. The Mets were willing to give Bourn a four year deal, but as Puma reports on Twitter the league was not going to rule on the issue of the Mets' draft pick compensation for another two to three weeks. With spring training kicking off yesterday, Bourn wasn't willing to wait that long for the Mets and took a very similar offer from the Indians.
While it may be disappointing for the Mets to miss out on Bourn, the loss may be a blessing in disguise. If Major League Baseball had forced the Mets to give up their first round pick to sign Bourn, the team would have also had to forfeit a third of their draft budget. That monetary loss would have made it difficult for the team to sign more attractive draft picks with signing bonuses throughout the draft. In addition, the money and years that Bourn received from the Indians would have been a scary proposition for the Mets. Bourn is on the wrong side of thirty and relies primarily on his speed, so there is a good chance that the contract would've come back to bite the Mets in years three and four. While the Mets outfield will suffer in the short term without Bourn, there is long term value in not adding Bourn to the big league outfield.
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