The Mets reportedly have lost out on signing one outfielder, though they might be setting up to pursue another target instead.
Free agent Scott Hairston, whose power from the right side made him a potential fit for both the Mets and the Yankees, has agreed to a two-year deal with the Cubs, according to a FoxSports.com report Wednesday night. But the Mets reportedly have moved on, exploring the idea of signing Michael Bourn.
The free-agent centerfielder may still remain out of the Mets' price range. But the Mets, according to a Daily News report, are working to clear one major hurdle that stands in the way of any agreement with Bourn.
By rule, the Mets would have to surrender their 11th overall draft pick in June as compensation if they were to sign Bourn. However, the top 10 picks in the draft are protected by rule, and the Mets are looking to see if their pick qualifies for protection because it originally was within the top 10. The Mets were bumped out of the top 10 only after the Pirates were awarded a draft pick as compensation for not signing first-rounder Mark Appel last year.
Earlier this offseason, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson told the Star-Ledger of New Jersey that he had no interest in forfeiting his draft pick for the lefthanded-hitting Bourn. But even if the Mets get their draft pick protected, Bourn may prove to be out of their price range.
The 30-year-old hit .274 with nine homers and 57 RBIs while stealing 42 bases for the Braves last season, when he was an All-Star for the second time. The two-time Gold Glove winner began the winter as one of the front-line names on the market but he has gone unsigned, with agent Scott Boras angling for a multiyear commitment.
With camp set to open in a few weeks, the Mets' outfield features a lefty-heavy mix led by Lucas Duda.