Don’t look for the fleet-footed Michael Bourn to be patrolling center field in Citi Field, at least not as a member of the home team. Despite alleged “flirtations” between the two parties, the Mets’ interest in Bourn appears to be nothing serious. In fact, Richard Justice of MLB.com even goes so far as to write that the Mets have zero interest in surrendering its top draft draft pick to bring the 30-year-old to town.
This is a wise move for the Mets, a team who would need far more than a speedy leadoff hitter to make themselves a contributor in a division with at least two very good teams (Washington and Atlanta). Bourn is in his prime right now, and thus wouldn’t be a logical choice for an organization that needs to be mindful of the seasons to come and worry about building mainly from within.
That said, Bourn would be a very useful addition to a contending team in need of a center fielder — FanGraphs values his last four seasons at a combined 20.7 WAR, an average of a little over 5 wins above replacement per year. He may not be cheap, and he may cost the signing team its top draft pick in the coming amateur draft, but Bourn figures to be a very valuable player for the next several seasons nonetheless.