Throughout the winter, Mets people insisted privately that Sandy Alderson would not be telling jokes in public about the club’s outfield situation if he weren’t reasonably sure he was going to acquire at least one major upgrade.
So now there’s no getting around it: barring some unlikely spring-training deal, the GM came up empty in his quest for outfielders, and, well, the joke is on Mets fans.

“We tried to do some things,’’ Alderson said when asked about the outfield, “and, unfortunately, nothing worked out.”
Alderson wouldn’t go into details, but from all indications there was a time in mid-to-late January when he felt strongly that he was going to land either Justin Upton or Michael Bourn.
At that time, according to a club source, the Mets were discussing the possibility of trading Daniel Murphy or even Ruben Tejada, along with some of their younger pitching prospects, to the Diamondbacks for Upton.
And they were also getting favorable signals from MLB that they would be able to keep the now-famous No. 11 pick if they signed Bourn as a free agent.
So what went wrong?

The view from inside the organization, according to sources, is that circumstances and timing simply worked against the Mets.
The view from baseball people outside the organization, meanwhile, is more cynical: that Alderson was hoping that Upton or Bourn would fall into his lap, and if not he was content to stand pat and wait until next winter to get serious about trying to win again.
In any case, details have emerged from sources on both sides that add some intrigue to the failed pursuit of both Upton and Bourn.


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