Over the past few weeks, we have seen the New York Mets parade minor league contracts with invitations to spring training in the hopes of finding a gem or two in the mix. Then Sandy Alderson goes out and signs RHP Shaun Marcum to finalize the rotation and we realize that there might be a pulse. Now the talk has been focused on whether or not the Mets should bother with free agent outfielder Michael Bourn.
In an effort to finalize the off-season, Alderson needs to complete at least one more transaction before spring training begins. That transaction can only be in the form of Bourn. There are many angles and debates as to whether or not Bourn is a viable fit, due to his contract, and the fact that the Mets would have to give their 11th pick in this year’s draft to the Atlanta Braves to acquire him.
I say the Mets are the best team to look at their 11th pick, and understand that they can live without it. The Mets farm system is relatively strong with pitching and infield depth. Some might even argue that as of 2014, they might have too much pitching in a league when you can never have enough. If there was a time to forgo a first round pick, it would be now. But is Bourn worth it?
Bourn is 30 years old, can steal bases, has a career .272 average, and more than anything, is a major league outfielder that will not embarrass himself in Citi Field. Bourn can help form the base of what they can accomplish in 2014 and beyond. The signing will also help fans want to go to the ballpark instead of watching at home.
An addition of Bourn this year would allow the Mets to finish around the .500 mark(yes, I said it), and give a viable option at the top of the order. I have stated before that I feel as if the Mets are closer to winning than most would like to think. But beginning in 2014, the pitching staff will be the strength, and Alderson would have more money to spread around the corner outfield positions if production is not there in 2013.
Add the fact that the Mets have an infield that should be solid for the immediate future and a catching core that should be good for years to come, and adding Bourn now makes sense, even if it is only on a four or five year plan. By the time Bourn loses his legs, the Mets might have had a chance to compete in the playoffs and beyond. Pitching and defense wins championships in MLB. The Mets have the first half, and must now make sure they can solidify the second half.
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