Mets GM Sandy Alderson says he is "very reluctant" to lose the club's first-round draft pick to sign a free agent such as Michael Bourn.
"The blueprint here is to rebuild the farm system at the same time that we try to be competitive. For us to lose a first-round pick would be counter to that approach," Alderson said during an interview Sunday morning on SiriusXM Radio with hosts Jim Bowden and Jim Duquette in which Alderson also revealed he'll be taking a second look at free-agent reliever Brian Wilson next week.
"We have added significantly to our minor-league system with the trade of R.A. Dickey and the acquisition of Zack Wheeler last year, so the farm system is in much better shape than it had been," Alderson added. "And, so, we're in a position to at least consider the possibility of losing a draft pick. But, at the same time, we're very reluctant to do so."
The Mets hold the 11th pick in the draft and would lose it if they signed Bourn because only the top 10 picks are protected under the latest collective bargaining agreement. The Mets had the 10th-worst record in baseball last year but were bumped out of the draft's first 10 picks because the Pirates received a top-10 pick because they failed to sign their first-rounder last year, Stanford's Mark Appel.
There's been talk that the Mets could petition Major League Baseball that their first pick be protected because it's not really the spirit of the rule for one team to be penalized when another jumps back in the top 10 after not signing their No. 1. If a team with a protected pick signed a free agent who turned down a $13.3 million qualifying offer from his previous team, they'd lose a second-round pick.
Wilson is the former Giants closer who is recovering from Tommy John surgery but intends to pitch this season. Alderson watched Wilson throw 20 pitches at a workout at UCLA earlier this month, but a few days later said in an interview on WFAN that Wilson's velocity "wasn't there. He's got a ways to go."
A source said the Mets have internally discussed pitcher Roy Oswalt as a potential free agent target, but there's been no offer made and it's unclear whether the Mets will actually pursue Oswalt.
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Mets reluctant to lose first-round draft pick they would surrender for signing free agent outfielder Michael Bourn
New York Daily News | Jan 28