For those who don't know who Mark Appel is, shame on you. He was the 8th pick in the 2012 Draft by the Pirates. Appel had the talent to go first overall, but because of signability issues, he dropped to eight. Those signability fears turned out to be correct, as he didn't sign with Pittsburgh and re-entered the draft.
Consequences? Many. Not the least of which being that because Pittsburgh gets a compensatory pick for 2013 which is number nine, the Mets slot in the draft moves from ten ... a protected pick from free agent signings, to eleven ... an unprotected pick. So if the Mets wanted to sign, say, Michael Bourn, they would lose the 11th pick, where they wouldn't have lost the tenth pick.
This gives me the opportunity to irrationally blame a college student for the fact that the Mets don't have an outfield. Because while argument fallacies are nothing but a house of straw, they're also fun. So thanks a lot, Appel. You're obviously here for one g*d damned specific reason ... to f**k us. And f**k us you might, as the Mets actually do have interest in Bourn, believe it or not. And they want to find out if that 11th pick is truly not protected, and they'd like a little help from MLB in that matter in the form of a ruling. But Bud Selig will probably reason that he's "helped" the Mets plenty by enabling the Wilpons to keep the team so that they could try to sign players like Bourn with the loose change in their couch cushions. So no dice.
Then again, MLB could understand the argument, deem the 11th pick protected because of "special circumstances", clearing the way for the Mets to be outbid for Bourn by the Rangers and keep the 11th pick anyway. Who knows, maybe Appel will drop again and complete this complicated circle of hell. But either way, the Mets will enter the 2013 season with an army of fifth outfielders ... their pursuit of a Grade D outfield made more complicated by Scott Hairston signing with the Cubs.
When set against the backdrop of a team that has a chance to win, Michael Bourn is a good player but not somebody to break the bank over, much less giving up a high draft pick ... weak draft or not. And Hairston? The Cubs might not be very good, but they're going to use him in the manner which will make him more successful: a platoon outfielder and a lefty masher (though it would surprise you to know that Hairston went two months without hitting a home run against a lefty pitcher.) However set against the backdrop of the Mets, yeah they could have really used one of them if not both.
Now, if that 11th pick becomes protected? Then there's no reason not to take a run at him for a season and then get a slightly higher draft pick back when somebody else signs him after this season or the one after. If it's not protected? Even in a weak draft this pick can be currency to bring a real player to Flushing when the Mets are good, so there's no reason to bring in Bourn and cost them this potential currency, especially when teams like the Braves, Rangers, or Mariners have the money to spend to keep him away from the Mets.
So don't get your hopes up. But don't worry, we'll have jokes to get us through.
Sandy Alderson to Daily News on his OF jokes: "Any humor is going to offend some people. I sort of walk a line, I think, about what’s ...— Adam Rubin (@AdamRubinESPN) January 24, 2013
...acceptable and what’s over the line. Actually, I tend to play it safe.”— Adam Rubin (@AdamRubinESPN) January 24, 2013
Man, I'd love to hear the ones that are over the line. Ooh, I think I know one of them! Okay, get ready here it goes:
"A priest, a rabbi, and a minister walk into a bar. And Sandy Alderson said: 'Oh God, this is my outfield.'"