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. Video: George Springer makes another catch at the wall

    May 5, 2015, 11:00 PM EDT

    springer getty Getty Images

    George Springer has been robbing opponents all season, and he did it again Tuesday night …

  2. Christian Yelich expected to rejoin Marlins on Friday

    May 5, 2015, 10:22 PM EDT

    yelich getty Getty Images

    Some very good news here for the Marlins …

  3. Devin Mesoraco could need hip surgery

    May 5, 2015, 9:15 PM EDT

    Screenshot 2015-05-05 at 5.21.58 PM Getty Images

    Mesoraco is still unable to squat and acknowledged to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer on Tuesday that he might need surgery to get over the injury — a surgery that would come with a four-month rehab.

  4. Video: Todd Frazier takes NL lead with ninth home run

    May 5, 2015, 8:29 PM EDT

    Screenshot 2015-05-05 at 7.08.27 PM Getty Images

    Frazier’s last five hits have been home runs and he has now leapfrogged Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez for the National League lead in that category (at nine total).

  5. Marco Gonzales to return from AAA disabled list Saturday

    May 5, 2015, 7:47 PM EDT

    marco gonzales getty Getty Images

    He’ll be on a pitch count in his first game back, but if the outing goes well and Lyons struggles there will probably be strong consideration given to promoting Gonzales late next week.

  6. Padres lose Brandon Morrow to shoulder injury

    May 5, 2015, 7:03 PM EDT

    morrow getty Getty Images

    The 30-year-old righty was looking like a tremendous offseason find for the Padres on a one-year, $2.5 million free agent deal.

  7. Alex Cobb confirmed to have elbow ligament tear

    May 5, 2015, 6:18 PM EDT

    cobb getty Getty Images

    It’s an awful situation for the Rays, who are off to a surprising 14-12 start this season. Cobb, 27, boasts a 2.82 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, and 8.2 K/9 over his last 309 2/3 innings.

  8. Royals expected to get closer Greg Holland back tomorrow

    May 5, 2015, 5:05 PM EDT

    Greg Holland Getty Getty Images

    Kansas City’s bullpen has an MLB-best 1.00 ERA this season.

  9. Indians activate Nick Swisher, demote Tyler Holt to Triple-A

    May 5, 2015, 4:22 PM EDT

    Nick Swisher AP

    Nick Swisher has made it back from a pair of knee surgeries.

  10. Brewers activate Scooter Gennett from DL after shower injury

    May 5, 2015, 2:32 PM EDT

    Scooter Gennett Brewers AP

    As far as silly injuries go slicing your hand open while reaching for some shampoo in the shower is pretty bad.

  11. Alex Cobb may have a torn elbow ligament

    May 5, 2015, 1:30 PM EDT

    alex cobb getty Getty Images

    It’s just “informed speculation” at the moment. But the speculator tends to be pretty well-informed.

  12. Four men in a hot tub, Johnny Damon’s naked pull-ups and Curt Leskanic’s naked monkey walk

    May 5, 2015, 12:30 PM EDT

    Red Sox

    Pedro Martinez says his Red Sox teams led the league in hugs, handshakes and bad hair. Sounds like they led the league in being buck naked too.

  13. Marlins didn’t find a taker for Jarrod Saltalamacchia, will release him

    May 5, 2015, 12:25 PM EDT

    Jarrod Saltalamacchia AP

    Miami cut Saltalamacchia loose with about $15 million remaining on a three-year, $21 million deal signed last offseason.

  14. The Brewers may deal, but they aren’t going to deal Jonathan Lucroy

    May 5, 2015, 11:32 AM EDT

    Jonathan Lucroy Getty Getty Images

    The Brewers’ catcher is on a team-friendly deal and is viewed as a cornerstone of the franchise.

  15. Mets GM: “It’s just hard to say” when David Wright will return

    May 5, 2015, 10:47 AM EDT

    David Wright Getty Getty Images

    “Until he gets into a game situation and feels confident with the leg, we’re not going to know.”

  16. Josh Hamilton played his first game since October

    May 5, 2015, 10:15 AM EDT

    Josh Hamilton AP

    GM says Hamilton “seems to be 100 percent” healthy.

  17. Joc Pederson’s last five hits have been homers

    May 5, 2015, 9:41 AM EDT

    Joc Pederson

    He’s also struck out ten times over that span, so he’s becoming Dave Kingman I guess.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. A. Rendon (3585)
  2. A. Cobb (2928)
  3. J. Hamilton (2851)
  4. D. Wright (2802)
  5. A. Colome (2649)
  1. D. Span (2599)
  2. A. Pujols (2540)
  3. A. Escobar (2385)
  4. G. Holland (2332)
  5. D. Jennings (2300)