Conflicting reports on the Mets’ interest in Michael Bourn

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There has been a lot of chatter about the Mets and Michael Bourn in the past day or so. It breaks down like this:

  • John Harper of the Daily News says that he has been told that the Mets have a real interest in Bourn.
  • He also reports that the Mets not signing Scott Hairston, who just went to the Cubs, had more to do with playing time than with money, meaning that the Mets do not think they can give enough playing time to Bourn.
  • Given that the Mets outfield, currently constructed, is butt, the strong suggestion here is that the Mets plan to get an outfielder who is better than Hairston, which describes Bourn.
  • Bourn would cost anyone who signs him a first round pick, as long as it’s not in the top 10. The Mets current first round pick is the 11th. It would have been the tenth, however, if the Pirates had not been granted the 10th pick as compensation for their inability to sign their first round pick this past summer. So, Harper says, the Mets have petitioned the league to protect their 11th pick, surrendering  a second round pick instead, in the event they sign a player, like Bourn, who was given a qualifying offer.

So, that adds up to the Mets being in on Bourn, right? Well:

 

That kind of throws cold water on it.

Still, what is Boras’ price for Bourn at this point? It’s pushing February, and his client, one of the guys most folks assumed would snag top dollar this winter, is unsigned. Could that price be plummeting? It’s hard to imagine that it is given Boras’ track record. But we have seen him do things like agree to deferred money (the Rafael Soriano contract) so maybe he’s willing to be uber creative in order to ensure that Bourn, you know, gets a job.

Anyway, that’s the Michael Bourn-Mets situation right now.  It’s hard to imagine the Mets going in on him either because of the money or the draft pick, but throw in both and, boy, it’s even harder.  But people are still chirping about it, so it’s worth keeping an eye on.

Former Yankees prospect Manny Banuelos signs a minor league deal with the Dodgers

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Remember Manny Banuelos? He was once a top pitching prospect for the Yankees and then, apparently disappeared from the face of the earth. Or at least it felt like it. Now he’s in the news, however, as the Dodgers have signed him to a minor league contract.

OK, Banuelos didn’t disappear. He was traded to the Braves in 2015, had a cup of coffee with them, pitching pretty ineffectively in seven big league games, was released by Atlanta in the middle of 2016 and then latched on with the Angels. This past season he posted a 4.93 ERA over 95 innings while being used mostly as a reliever at Triple-A Salt Lake.

Banuelos pitched in the Future’s Game in 2009 and was a star in the Arizona Fall League in 2010. He was a top-50 prospect heading into 2011 before falling to Tommy John surgery in 2012. With Atlanta he suffered some bone spur problems and then some elbow issues that never resulted in surgery but which never subsided enough for him to fulfill his potential either. He suffered injuries. A lot of pitchers do.

It’s unrealistic to think that Banuelos will fulfill the promise he had six years ago, but he’s worth a minor league deal to see if the 26-year-old can at least be a serviceable reliever.