ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Agent Scott Boras has a new metaphor this offseason, saying teams should desire to spend money on players and move to "Playoffville."
Boras, who represents dozens of major leaguers, uses his availability at the annual general managers' meetings and the winter meeting for colorful gibes at clubs.
He said in previous years that the New York Mets shopped in a supermarket's "fruits and nuts" department, then elevated "frozen foods."
"The team cutting payroll is treating their family where they're staying in a neighborhood that has less protection," he said. "They're not living in the gated community of Playoffville. And certainly they're saving a de minimis property tax, but the reality of it is there is less firemen in the bullpen. There's less financial analysts sitting in the press boxes. ... The rooms in the house are less, so obviously you're going to have less franchise players when you move to that 12-room home in Playoffville."
He compared the property tax to baseball's luxury tax on high payrolls, which starts at $197 million next year.
Among Boras' free agent clients this year is first baseman Eric Hosmer, and the agent laid it on thick.
"He's Playoffville Federal Express," Boras said. "He can be overnight delivery, one-day, two-day, three-year, whatever. He fits every franchise."
Boras claimed no major league teams lose money, even those with low attendance.
"You talk about what Major League Baseball provides them in revenues, just without selling a ticket, and then you look at their local TV revenues, you look at their radio and you look at their parking, concessions and others," he said, "where is the money going? And then it's Casper finance. Where's the ghost?"
He said an owner who sells off most high-priced veterans and uses an inexpensive roster as part of a rebuild impacts competitive balance by allowing other teams within the division to pile up wins. Boras said some ownership groups do that to use the savings to pay off loans used to acquire the franchise — appearing to criticize Miami Marlins for shopping star slugger Giancarlo Stanton since Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter took over.
Boras said new rules should be put in place.
"If you do choose to do this," he said, "you will suffer economic penalties for creating records that are below 60 and 50 (wins)."
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