Still, a match remains a long shot.
It was more a getting-to-know-you session than a dollars-and-cents negotiation, at a time when the dollars and cents remain among the most significant hurdles in doing a deal. The Mets’ strategy has essentially been this: Patiently wait and hope Bourn’s market evaporates as spring training nears, moving him to a) turn to them as the best remaining option and b) lower his financial demands.
However, the chasm remains substantial between the two sides. The Mets do not want to give more than three years to a 30-year-old whose main asset on both sides of the ball is his speed. Also, they wonder if any other team, in late January, is ready to commit more than, say, three years at $36 million-$42 million to Bourn. ... The Bourn camp continues to demand a five-year deal, reasoning he should not get fewer years than Mets castaway Angel Pagan, who is six months older than Bourn and received a four-year, $40 million deal this offseason with San Francisco.
But that brings us to the tricky matter of what kind of draft pick the Mets would lose in compensation should they sign Bourn. The Post has learned the Mets will not ink Bourn without iron-clad assurances they only would lose a second-round pick to do so. They have vowed not to forfeit the 11th pick in June’s draft, no matter how much they could use Bourn to bat leadoff and upgrade what is currently a flimsy outfield assortment.