Michael Bourn takes the money and runs -- 4 years, $48 million with the Indians -- where he'll toil on a losing team for 3.5 seasons and then get traded to a contender in July of his final year.
If anything, this is the case study which shows how second-tier, good-not-great free agents are the big losers under the new CBA. If a team is signing a Hamilton or a Greinke, they're trying to win now, and they're also rich as fuck, so who cares about draft picks? But so many more teams should have been in on Bourn and Swisher, and they got way less than expected. And a guy like Angel Pagan, who's a tier below Bourn, got nearly the same contract.
Every writer in the country is saying that the Mets had a four-year deal out on Bourn (and presumably a better one), and got screwed when the league office came back today with the 2-3 week time frame for a decision regarding the 11th overall draft pick. The Mets weren't willing to guarantee a deal no matter the resolution of the case, so Bourn took the second best deal because it might not have been on the table in March.
Usually there's supposed to be some benefit to your owner being an in the pocket crony of the commissioner.
That being said, I'm of the opinion the Mets should have just gone ahead and guaranteed the offer, no matter what the league decided regarding the draft pick, considering how much of a crapshoot the draft is. Sign the deal unconditionally, appeal the loss of the pick, and even if you don't win the appeal
, you've got four years of a decent player with a reputation far above his actual value signed well below market value, which makes him a piece that you could almost certainly spin off for 11th-overall quality prospects as early as this year's trade deadline, if things go south on a macro level (which, the Mets being the Mets and the NL East being what it is, especially with the Braves now having the Up Up and a Hey outfield, is a non-zero possibility).
Then you try to sign a short-term deal with Lohse for the same reasons.