Terry Collins was sound asleep when his phone rang Monday night with Sandy Alderson calling to deliver more discomforting news on the eve of the lame duck Mets manager’s third spring training.
“We didn’t get him,” Alderson said.
Collins didn’t have to ask who.
For a few weeks now, Collins had been clinging to the hope that Alderson would be able to address his own question — what outfield? — by signing speedy, 30-year-old free agent center fielder Michael Bourn, whose agent, Scott Boras, had seemingly overplayed his hand and left himself with a dearth of bidders. Boras’ original asking price of eight years and more than $100 million had come down considerably — as in the range of Alderson’s comfort zone, which was four years, $48 million.
However, that was conditional on whether the Mets could get a favorable ruling from an arbitrator on not having to surrender their No. 1 draft pick for signing Bourn. Their appeal became moot when the suddenly free-spending Cleveland Indians swooped in and offered Bourn a bird-in-hand, four years, $48 million with a vesting option that could make the deal $60 million over five.
For Terry Collins, the “what outfield?” question was once again Lucas Duda, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Collin Cowgill, Mike Baxter and Marlon Byrd with Matt Den Dekker and his 90 strikeouts and just 14 walks in 295 at-bats in Triple-A last year, presumably on call at Las Vegas.
When he got to camp early Tuesday morning, Collins met with his coaches and spelled out the “it is what it is” situation.

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