The New York Mets remain interested in free-agent Michael Bourn, but their interest is tempered by draft-pick compensation rules, according to a New York Daily News report.
A team that signs Bourn must surrender a draft pick, since Bourn declined the Braves' qualifying offer over the winter.
The Mets own the 11th overall pick, even though their 74-88 record was the 10th-worst in baseball. They should have the New York the 10th pick, but they were moved down a spot because the Pittsburgh Pirates didn't sign Stanford right-hander Mark Appel, last year's eighth pick last June.
Under the current system, teams that don't sign their first-round pick the previous year are awarded a pick one spot lower the next year.
Here's the wrinkle: If the Mets remained in the top 10, the pick would be protected, and signing Bourn would cost them a second-round pick.
The prompted Mets people to seek a ruling from MLB that would allow them to keep their top pick and surrender a second-round choice instead, the paper reported.