AROUND THE HORN: Shaun Marcum, Michael Bourn, “Best Units in Mets History,” Mets Pitching Prospects, the Collin Cowgill Era


* Tip of the hat to my blogging partner, Mike, for identifying Shaun Marcum as his primary target for #5 starter back on December 24th. I see Marcum as a major injury risk with high upside. For a one-year deal, a nice move. And a guy we can potentially flip in July. However, he’s not nearly as tall as Chris Young, so Jeff might be upset.

Two thumbs up from “2 Guys” on the Marcum deal.

* One thing about Michael Bourn: color us confused. Sandy is petitioning for a waiver of the CBA rule that requires the Mets, as holders of the #11 draft pick, to forfeit their pick in the event they sign Bourn. Our question: they thought of this now? Why wasn’t this petition put forward two months ago? Seems like it’s kind of a big deal, losing a first-round draft pick or not. Was this an organizational screw up?


If the pick is not protected we must pass. With the new CBA, you lose the pick AND the overall signing dollars attached to that pick. In other words, it is not like the old days, you can’t make that up with money later in the draft by going “over slot.”

The Mets outfield desperately needs gloves — well, actual outfielders would be nice — but something about this potential deal smells like desperation.


Mark Simon at ESPN ranks the Top 5 Mets infields and outfields.

He names the 1999 infield as best (Olerud, Alfonzo, Ordonez, Ventura) and the best 1988 outfield as tops (Strawberry, Dykstra/Wilson, McReynolds). Apparently, the 2013 Mets outfield is was not yet eligible for such an honor, so this list might have to be revised. Amazingly, Simon calls the series “the best units in Mets history,” but I’m above that kind of humor.

* Terrific piece by Joe at Metsmerized, “Projected 2013 Mets Minor League Rotations.”

The projected rotation at High-A looks crazy talented. Just a crucial year for the team over all. The failure of the farm system can’t be overstated. Right now, there’s no feeder program. With some luck, that should change within two years. And just as importantly, these assets will ripen into tradeable chips with value on the marketplace.

 * Joe Vasile at Mets360 analyzed the projected 2013 Mets outfield and concluded, “they are on the right track.”

Well, I myself lack faith in tallying up “Approximate fWAR*.” But if by “right track” Joe means something like this . . .

. . . then, toot-toot, I’m all aboard. I’d be happy to see our current outfield on that track.

* Credit to Sandy Alderson for correctly reading the mood of the fans and removing from our sight many of the most hard-to-watch Mets: Jason Bay, Andres Torres, Mike Nickeas. Each of them became sources of frustration and symbols of ineptitude. In other words, depressing. In this climate, how long can our pie-throwing redhead last, I wonder? Who will be the most complained about Met in 2013? I guess Frank Francisco wants a piece of this, too.

* The Collin Cowgill Era doesn’t quite have a ring to it. I know we’re supposed to be sold on this guy’s intangibles — he plays the game the right way! — but I’m not drinking the Kool-Aid. 3 XBH in 116 PA’s last season is not my kind of player. Career SLG: .311.

* And in case you missed it, we found “The Plan.”


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  1. Dan says:

    Take it easy on the Mets, they only have four GMs , all too busy to right a petition.

  2. Ken H. says:

    Blog extraordinaire Mike Geus called this one. I thought Marcum was going to be too expensive. Turns out Alderson can wait out the market with the best of ‘em. However it happened, I think it’s a great move. While we Met fans were already looking toward 2014, this transaction may make 2013 a little more interesting than originally expected.

  3. Minor note: I went back this morning to clarify something in the above post. For one paragraph only, Mike interjected an opinion of Bourne, “If the pick is not protected we must pass.” And I don’t disagree with that, exactly, but we don’t know the terms of the potential contract. First, to back up, I see this late flirtation with Bourn as an organizational screw-up. It looks like Sandy misread the market. If we were going to surrender that level of prospect, we should have been in on the Denard Span trade (which, again, Mike commented on early). That said: Bourn would certainly help, and help across a number of years. I can’t completely walk away from that possibility, despite the mismanagement that has brought us to this point. More, later.

  4. IB says:

    Maybe the price and years came down on Bourne and now Alderson’s willing to go that way. Why petition the league before if there was no way you were going to high and long?

    I see Alderson as a man who plays his card close to the vest. So far, he’s pulled some good hands out of his ass.

    • If they petitioned sooner, I assume they’d have an answer to the question. According to what I’ve read, they have to proceed now without knowing the final ruling. Which is huge, obviously. Previously, Alderson had made comments that were dismissive of surrendering a pick under any circumstances. What’s changed?

      • >> “We don’t want to lose our first-round draft pick,” Alderson told the Star-Ledger on Jan. 8. “We think that’s one of the ways we got into the predicament we’ve had over the past couple of years. We’ve very wary of that. It’s not our M.O.” < <

  5. IB says:

    What’s changed? Like I said, probably the price and amount of years Boras was demanding. But, I have no way of knowing. Besides, why can’t mgmt change their minds without it being a reflection of some ineptitude?

    • I guess I’m coming off more harsh than I actually feel. People make mistakes, no one is perfect. But with the benefit of what we know now — that this organization is interested in Bourn, and would be if the price was right — I still maintain that it would have been thorough and intelligent of them to KNOW up front what the cost in terms of draft picks was going to be. It could be that, hey, somebody in the office just thought of it the other day, “Let’s petition MLB for a waiver — what can it hurt?!” And a good idea late is better than no idea at all. But it would have been better to get the answer to that question sooner, so that it can help inform this huge team decision. We’re in the dark and I’m not convinced it had to be this way.
      Not saying they are “inept,” more that I think they missed something important.

  6. Michael Geus says:

    I think screwup is a harsh term on this, but if we are reversing course on this there is an element of original miscalcution about something. I can see why they didn’t do it, and hindsight is 20/20 but it sure seems like a miscalculation to me.

  7. IB says:

    You’re making the assumption waiting was a miscalculation. But, maybe the opposite is true. Alderson shows his hand early, Boras has the advantage and uses it as leverage. You sneak in late and, well, you might lose, but…

    Alderson impresses me.

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