ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Scott Boras had some words for the New York Mets, Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros, and they were far from kind. And he also backed the Tampa Bay Rays' desire for a new ballpark.
On the third day of the general managers' meetings, the baseball agent with the highest profile stood in the hotel lobby for a question-and-answer session that gathered an amount of media so large that hotel security told him to move to a remote corridor.
Boras wants to goad teams into spending more on free agents. When he focused on the Mets, he pointed out their concentration on captain David Wright and young pitchers such as Matt Harvey — his client — and Zack Wheeler.
"The Mets are like NASA," Boras said. "They have big rockets, a lot of platforms and very few astronauts. Astronauts are hard to find. They've got one guy with the 'Wright' stuff, that's for sure. And they've got a lot of Arm-strongs, too. But they're certainly a club that I'm sure that's in pursuit of a higher level of talent."
Boras has been stepping up his criticism of large-market teams lacking lofty payrolls. Following the collapse of Bernard Madoff Ponzi's scheme, the Mets have cut payroll by about one-third over the past two seasons and were 17th at about $95 million in the latest 2013 figures.
"I think the ability to spend and actually spending are two different things. And that's only for the Mets to diagnose," Boras said. "Certainly their franchise value has gone through the roof — they're well over $2 billion. They're a very successfully run business operation. The Mets have the ability to do pretty much what they want to do. But it's hard to find astronauts."
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson responded in a low-key manner: "I don't think his intergalactic metaphor is exactly right."