David Wright reached out to Michael Bourn and plugged the Mets. Last night, Ike Davis said he’d also like the Mets to bring Bourn to Flushing.
The Mets have done nothing this winter to improve their outfield, and while Bourn would not make them an elite team, he could make them competitive. At least moreso than an inexperienced Kirk Nieuwenhuis and a possible platoon in center.
Bourn is a good defensive center fielder and a contact hitter. He won’t hit for power, but he will get on base for Wright and Davis. The latter said as much last night when speaking at the Thurman Munson Awards Dinner in Manhattan.
“As a guy that likes to drive in runners, I would love Bourn to be on the bases when I’m hitting just because how he changes the game,” Davis said. “We’re going to see more fastballs if he’s on the team, he’s definitely going to help out the second hole hitter, Davis and me, in every aspect of the game. Yeah, it would be great. He’s also an amazingly good defender out in center field.”
The biggest splash the Mets have made this winter was extending Wright’s contract and trading R.A. Dickey. GM Sandy Alderson has tweaked the bullpen, but the outfield lays barren. Bourn could at least give the impression the organization is interested in more than just a casino around Citi Field. Their current plan seems to be hoping for everybody to getting better.
Hoping is not a good strategy.
The Mets do not want to part with the 11th overall draft pick as compensation and that’s understandable. The players don’t care about the pick because by the time that player reaches Citi Field they might be gone from the Mets.
By record, the Mets would have a higher pick, but Pittsburgh leapfrogged them because the Pirates were unable to sign their pick. It hardly seems fair the Mets should be penalized because the Pirates failed. That’s a decision that should be overturned.
If the draft pick weren’t such an issue, Bourn would be an improvement, but he’s certainly not worth a $100-million package as has been suggested. Two, three years at the most plus an option. Anything longer is just putting the Mets in the position of taking on another bad contract. Long-term burdensome contracts have held back the Mets and the last thing they need is another.
Davis believes the Mets are heading in the right direction, but you didn’t expect him to say anything else, did you?
“I think the signing of David means the Mets are getting more aggressive. Just shows that we’re not too far away and we are in the year, or the next year or two, are trying to put winning baseball on the field,” Davis said. “I’m excited David’s going to be here for a long time, hopefully I can join him, and hopefully we can change the culture around here a little bit.”
Davis is thinking two years down the road and that’s about right, that is if the Mets are willing to spend. They have no significant trade pieces and are trying to hold onto their prospects. That leaves the free-agent market as the immediate source for building.
So far, the Mets have gone on the cheap in free-agency in recent years. That must change.