His point is supported by the fact that the previous CBA specifically protected the top 15 picks from compensation and specifically exempted draft compensation picks from counting. The new CBA protects only the top 10 picks and makes no mention of draft compensation picks. It seems apparent that the negotiators for MLB and the union actively removed the exemption for the Pittsburgh/Appel compensation pick situation. They saw it there in the last version and had it deleted. They knew exactly what they were doing. Rather than leveling the playing field, it looks more like the intent of the rule is to limit the market for the most desirable free agents and drive down their salaries.
Given that fact, it is difficult to imagine that MLB will allow the Mets an exception to the rule, based on the argument that they had the tenth-worst record in baseball. The rule is accomplishing exactly what it was intended to do. It has reduced Michael Bourn’s value. The Mets hope, their impossible dream, is that the Commissioner and his bosses, the owners, will conclude that a public debate of this issue will reveal their hypocrisy, and is therefore not in their best interest. That the MLBPA has indicated that it is prepared to join the Mets in challenging the rule will give added visibility to the arguments.
We will only find out which way the pendulum swings if the Mets first reach a deal with Bourn, since Alderson has stated that he will wait until he has something concrete with Bourn before filing a formal request for a ruling. Alderson’s recent statements indicate that he realizes the import of signing a high visibility free agent like Bourn, and appreciates the impact it could have on the Mets fortunes, both on the playing field and the balance sheet. This is getting very interesting. Stay tuned.