INDIAN WELLS, Calif. – With baseball awash in record revenue as the signing season starts, Scott Boras compares the habits of teams to families sifting through supermarket shelves.
At the winter meetings in Dallas last year, the agent had this to say of the financially troubled Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets: "Normally, they're in the steaks section, and I found them in the fruits-and-nuts category a lot."
Since then, the Dodgers have been sold for $2 billion. The Mets owners have agreed to pay up to $162 million — and likely much less — in a deal with the trustee for Bernard Madoff's fraud victims.
So on Wednesday at the general managers' meeting, Boras said his view of the Dodgers had changed.
"I think they bought the store," he said.
And as for the Mets?
"The best you can say is that they might be in the freezer section," he explained. "But there's a lot of good, longstanding products that they can acquire there."
Slugger Josh Hamilton and pitcher Zack Greinke are among the top players in a relatively weak free-agent class that also includes outfielders B.J. Upton, Michael Bourn, Torii Hunter and Nick Swisher; first baseman Adam LaRoche; and pitchers Kyle Lohse and Rafael Soriano.