Updated 07:20 AM EST, Sun, Feb 28, 2021

Sports Business SOS: MLB Sports Agent Scott Boras Whines Big Market Teams Not Spending Money in Free Agency

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Major League Baseball (MLB) agent Scott Boras has not been shy about calling out cheapskate big market teams, specifically the New York Mets and the Chicago Cubs, for not splurging on free agents such as his clients Jacoby Ellsbury, Shin-Soo Choo, and Stephen Drew.

The Mets have been cutting on payroll over the last two seasons after their ownership was caught up in Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme, currently ranked 17th out of 30 teams in the latest figures, spending $95 million on on-field talent.

"I think the ability to spend and actually spending are two different things. And that's only for the Mets to diagnose," said Boras. "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."

The Mets have promised fans they would be more active in the free agent market this offseason, but have "sticker shock" with some of the salary ranges they are hearing from agents.

"It's definitely a little scary. I don't think it dissuades anybody," said New York Mets owner, Fred Wilpon, to the New York Daily News. "They're just numbers right now that people are asking for. It doesn't mean it's a done deal."

Boras - who would love to start up a bidding war to benefit both his clients and his own bank account - believes that the Mets are short-changing themselves and their fans, setting limits on their budget that will not deter other National League East division rivals from spending money to re-tool and rebuild their franchises.

"The NL East is going to be a lot more difficult than it was a year ago," said Boras. "I think there's a couple of teams that could be very, very different and a lot more competitive. And even the teams that are not considered to compete are going to be a lot better. So it's going to be a lot harder to get wins in the National League East."

Boras also chided the Cubs for investing more on their historic facility - Wrigley Field - than the on-the-field product, considering Chicago has not had a winning season in the four years, with a record of 127 wins and 197 losses over the last two years, since the Ricketts family bought the team for $845 million from the Tribune Company in 2009.

The Ricketts will pay $300 million to renovate venerable Wrigley Field, with $222.2 million of it qualifying for tax breaks, according to the Chicago Tribune. The Ricketts are also expecting to spend another $200 million to build a hotel, a plaza, and a office-retail complex in the neighborhood surround Wrigley Field.

Boras feels if the Ricketts have the money to spend on the team's infrastructure, they should have money to recruit for high-end free agents.

"You're developing the infrastructure but fans don't come to see seats, grass and cement. They come to see players," said Boras about the Cubs expenditures, who have not won a World Series since 1908. "They've got a really good core of young players coming but you expect more when a family buys a major-market club than what they've done on the field. It's disappointing."

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