NL East Notes: Mets won't give up pick to sign Bourn

NL East Notes: Mets won't give up pick to sign Bourn
January 26, 2013, 4:15 pm
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Spring training begins in a few weeks, but the Phillies are still looking to improve their roster with the possibility of adding a catcher or pitcher to the team (see story).

Here is a look at news around the NL East:

Mets lukewarm on signing Bourn
The New York Mets have an interest in bringing in two-time All-Star outfielder Michael Bourn, but under one condition.

With draft compensation attached to Bourn's free agency, the Mets would be required to give up their 11th overall draft pick in this year's draft, which they have "zero interest" in doing, according to Richard Justice of (via HardballTalk).

Despite finishing with the 10th-worst record in baseball in 2012, the Mets hold the No. 11 overall selection because of a new rule in the 2011 labor agreement that gave the Pirates an additional first-round pick this year since they didn't sign their first-round pick from last season, Mark Appel.

Bourn hit .274, stole 42 bases and parked nine home runs last season with the Atlanta Braves.  He led the National League in stolen bases for three consecutive years, from 2009-11, and has twice earned gold gloves, in 2009 and 2010.

Nationals add fifth president to race
The Washington Nationals announced they have added a fifth president to their gameday president's race at Nationals Park (via HardballTalk).

Who is the lucky fifth president?

The 27th President of the United States, William Howard Taft.

"Listen up, @Teddy26Nets," Taft tweeted (@NatsBigChief27),"We've run against each other in the past, now we'll run together in 2013! #5thpresident."

Taft began the tradition of throwing out a ceremonial first pitch when, on April 14, 1910, he tossed the first one in history at Griffith Stadium in Washington.

Marlins sign Chad Qualls to minor league deal
The Miami Marlins have signed right-handed reliever Chad Qualls to a minor league contract, reports the Miami Herald's Clark Spencer (via HardballTalk).

Qualls has an invite to major league spring training.

Qualls spent time with the Phillies, Yankees and Pirates last season.  In 52.1 innings, he posted a 2-1 record and 5.33 ERA.

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