Skip to content

The Mets should not be able to keep their first round pick if they sign Michael Bourn

Jan 25, 2013, 9:13 AM EDT

bourn getty Getty Images

We mentioned yesterday that the Mets are asking Major League Baseball to allow them to keep their first round pick this year — the 11th pick — in the event they signed Michael Bourn. This despite the fact that the new CBA says that only top-10 picks are protected if a team signs a player who has been given a qualifying offer.

Ken Rosenthal lays all of the reasoning out in his column today. The thinking: the Mets would have been the tenth pick had the Pirates not been awarded their own compensation pick for failing to sign Mark Appel, their first round pick from 2012. The Mets were the 10th worst team, the thinking goes, so they should be able to keep their pick even if it’s now technically the 11th. Rosenthal notes that the Mets and the union would support this deviation but that Major League Baseball would likely fight it.

For once I’m on Major League Baseball’s side here. The reason? The new CBA’s failure to address compensation picks kicking someone out of the top 10 in such a situation is not some mere oversight that inadvertently subverts the spirit of the rule and the intent to help out bad teams like the Mets. Rather, it was a very specific and conscious omission.

Indeed, the last CBA specifically protected top 15 picks from compensation and specifically exempted draft compensation picks — like the one the Pirates got for not signing Appel — from counting.  The new CBA changes that to the top 10 picks and makes no mention of draft compensation picks. This is not merely a matter of “rules are rules.” It’s about the fact that MLB and the union actively removed protection for the Appel-pick situation. They saw it there in the last version, had someone highlight the text and hit “delete.” They knew exactly what they were doing.

To suggest, then, that the current setup goes against the spirit of the rules is simply wrong. The union and the league changed the spirit from what it was before. Why should Michael Bourn and his agent and the Mets now benefit because that rule is now in force?

If this becomes a grievance, it’s going to go to an arbitrator. I would hope that an arbitrator holds the league and the union to the bargain they actively hammered out.  A bargain that, if they don’t like now, they should be forced to changed rather than simply set aside because it’s inconvenient for them.

Latest Posts
  1. Adam Wainwright named Cardinals’ Opening Night starter

    Mar 31, 2015, 6:09 PM EDT

    wainwirght getty Getty Images

    Adam Wainwright tossed a spring-high 93 pitches in a Grapefruit League outing Tuesday afternoon against the Marlins and was declared the Cardinals’ Opening Night starter after the outing by manager Mike Matheny.

  2. Jose Mijares suspended 50 games for a drug of abuse

    Mar 31, 2015, 5:15 PM EDT

    jose mijares getty Getty Images

    Lefties never die. But Mijares is going to have a harder time now.

  3. 2015 Preview: Tampa Bay Rays

    Mar 31, 2015, 4:42 PM EDT

    Kevin Cash

    Why is this man smiling when his team appears to be destined for last place?

  4. HBT Extra: Talkin’ about the National League West

    Mar 31, 2015, 3:02 PM EDT

    Paul Sancya -- Associated Press AP

    WIll this man be smiling in October?

  5. Endy Chavez opts out of contract, released by Mariners

    Mar 31, 2015, 2:14 PM EDT

    Endy Chavez Getty Images

    Chavez appeared in 80 games for the Mariners last season.

  6. Justin Verlander could start the season on the disabled list

    Mar 31, 2015, 2:00 PM EDT

    Justin Verlander Justin Verlander

    It’s supposedly just an arm cramp, but Brad Ausmus isn’t ruling out the DL.

  7. Chris Tillman named Opening Day starter by Orioles

    Mar 31, 2015, 1:20 PM EDT

    tillman getty Getty Images

    Tillman also started on Opening Day for the Orioles last season.

  8. Baseball is working to get Spanish-speaking interpreters for every team

    Mar 31, 2015, 1:00 PM EDT

    Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 12.08.20 PM

    A long-overdue measure will, apparently, soon be in place.

  9. Rangers release veteran right-hander Jamey Wright

    Mar 31, 2015, 12:46 PM EDT

    Jamey Wright AP AP

    Wright had a rough spring, allowing 11 runs in eight appearances.

  10. White Sox to place reliever Jake Petricka on the disabled list

    Mar 31, 2015, 12:16 PM EDT

    Jake Petricka White Sox AP

    Petricka saved 14 games with a 2.96 ERA and 55/33 K/BB ratio in 73 innings last season.

  11. It’s only spring training, but Trevor Bauer is finally throwing strikes

    Mar 31, 2015, 11:50 AM EDT

    Trevor Bauer AP

    “I’m encouraged by it, and we’ll see how it carries over into the season.”

  12. Every team and fan base thinks it’s “blue collar”

    Mar 31, 2015, 11:33 AM EDT

    Blue collar

    But most people can afford tickets or are paid to play the games are decidedly not blue collar.

  13. HBT Extra: Previewing the American League West

    Mar 31, 2015, 11:02 AM EDT

    Mike Trout Mike Trout

    Jenna and I talk about the Mariners’ dynamite pitching staff, Mike Trout’s need of some support and when the Astros will finally break into the picture.

  14. Domonic Brown will start the season on the disabled list

    Mar 31, 2015, 10:30 AM EDT

    Domonic Brown Domonic Brown

    The Phillies outfield is gonna be a train wreck.

  15. MLB’s delayed Josh Hamilton ruling could keep the Angels from extending Huston Street

    Mar 31, 2015, 10:15 AM EDT

    Huston Street Angels AP

    Street is without an agent, representing himself, and has said he won’t negotiate after Opening Day.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. J. Fernandez (4827)
  2. C. Rodon (4390)
  3. Y. Tomas (4116)
  4. K. Bryant (4046)
  5. S. Doolittle (4000)
  1. A. Rendon (3971)
  2. C. Martinez (3769)
  3. C. Davis (3768)
  4. A. Cobb (3752)
  5. K. Jansen (3746)