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2013 MLB Draft: New York Mets Interested in Michael Bourn, but They Realize the Protected Pick Problem

February 7th, 2013 at 8:50 PM
By Donald Lappe

The 2013 NFL Draft news has been dominating our news feed, but we are taking a quick break to cover some 2013 MLB Draft news. It's a weird story about the New York Mets as they await an important ruling from the MLB on the status of what could be a protected draft pick, which is delaying their decision to sign outfielder Michael Bourn.

'Bud Selig Face' photo (c) 2010, Benjamin Kabak - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

The New York Mets are interested in signing free agent outfielder Michael Bourn, who was given a $13.3 million qualifying offer by the Atlanta Braves. That means that any team that signs Michael Bourn would have to forfeit their first round selection in the 2013 MLB Draft. Unless, of course, the selection falls inside the Top 10 picks in this year's MLB Draft.

The Mets finished with one of the ten worst records in all of MLB last season. Normally, that would put them in the protected zone. However, under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, any team that fails to sign their first round pick gets a choice in the next draft at the same spot. The Pittsburgh Pirates were unable to sign Stanford pitcher Mark Appel after selecting him with the No. 8 choice in the 2012 MLB Draft. Mark Appel decided to return to Stanford for his senior season, despite the Pirates offering him above the maximum and risking a penalty if he had signed.

For their trouble, the Pirates get an extra selection in this year's MLB Draft: at the ninth spot. No harm, no foul, except the Priates' addition of the ninth overall pick bumps the Mets down to pick No. 11, just outside the protected zone for draft picks as compensation when signing free agents. With a strong 2013 draft class, and contention this year very unlikely for the Mets, the potential signing Michael Bourn becomes a major issue if their pick isn't protected.

A big mess, right? This situation could end up being decided by an independent arbitrator. For now, the Mets are still trying to figure out if they can reach an agreement with Michael Bourn and Scott Boras. If that happens, we could see an interesting arbitration hearing about the MLB's draft rules.  

Oh, and who served as Mark Appel's advisor when the Pirates were trying to sign him? Scott Boras. Classic Scott Boras.

Also…

Tags: 2013 MLB Draft, 2013 NFL Draft, Mark Appel, MLB, MLB Draft, New York Mets, NFL, NFL Draft, Pittsburgh Pirates, Scott Boras, Stanford

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