New York Mets News

League Source: Mets 1st Round Pick Likely Protected if Michael Bourn is Signed

By Danny Abriano

UPDATE, 4:06 PM – It’s clear that Jim Bowden and Adam Rubin have different sources.  As Rubin promised earlier (and as noted below), he checked with his source and reported the following:

"A source briefed on the draft-pick compensation issue related to Michael Bourn said Major League Baseball’s stance on whether the 11th pick ought to be protected has not changed.  MLB still believes the collective bargaining agreement is clear — that the first 10 picks in the draft are protected, not the picks of the teams with the 10 worst records the previous season."

…Bowden’s source says the league would likely rule in the Mets’ favor.  Rubin’s source says the league hasn’t changed its stance regarding the language of the rule.  Now, we continue to wait.


Jim Bowden of ESPN just said the following on Twitter:

"According to a league source if the Mets were able to sign Michael Bourn it is likely through negotiations w/union pick would be protected…According to source the intent on both sides were to protect teams with 10 worst records rather than the first 10 picks in language…According to a team source that has been involved in Bourn negotiations deal more likely to end up with AAV $14-15m range than $11-12m range."

…If accurate, this is enormous news.  Not only is Bowden stating that the pick is likely to be protected in the event the Mets sign Michael Bourn, he’s also providing one of the main reasons why the pick would be protected.  According to Bowden’s source, it was the intention of both Major League Baseball and the players union to initially write language that protected the draft picks of teams with the 10 worst records.  Instead, the language written protects the top 10 picks.

October 3, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Atlanta Braves center fielder Michael Bourn (24) steals second base ahead of the throw to Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman

Josh Harrison

(5) during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

If MLB and the union both agree that the language is flawed, it seems evident that the Mets would win their argument and be allowed to keep their first round pick (11th overall).

Assuming the ruling goes in the favor of the Mets, it would then come down to money and years.  Bowden is citing a source who says the average annual value of the contract would be between $14 million and $15 million.  The Mets should attempt to keep the dollar number a bit lower, while maxing their offer out at four years guaranteed, but really pushing to hold it at three guaranteed.

The always guarded Adam Rubin of ESPN just said the following during his current chat:

"Just read from ESPN’s Jim Bowden that he believes MLB would allow the 11th pick to be protected. That’s contrary to what an MLB source was telling me in recent weeks, so I’ll have to reinvestigate after this chat. Clearly, agreeing to a contract with Scott Boras is an uphill battle in itself, but the draft-pick issue would be a major hurdle overcome if Jim is correct."

Perhaps this saga is finally nearing its conclusion…

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