July 12, 2011
Don't think that players aren't very aware of the financial problems that have been facing the Los Angeles Dodgers recently, as well as the fact that current owner Frank McCourt is doing everything he can to avoid having the team wrested from his control by the league.
As a result, the team will likely have a hard time signing any big free agents this offseason, the Los Angeles Times notes. Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder(notes), who will be one of the most wanted free agents this offseason, said that he'll be looking for a team that has a real chance at winning, but would consider the team's financial stability: "That's the obvious part, especially for you to be somewhere in the long term," Fielder said, according to the Times. "Hopefully, they'll be a winning team."
Former Dodger Luis Gonzalez said the financial stability of a team could be a huge factor: "I think there's a lot of insecurity," he said, the Times reports. "If you're a big-time free agent, there's a lot of instability there right now."
Agent Scott Boras, who has a front-row seat at Dodger Stadium, agreed that the team could be a tough draw to prospective free agents this offseason: "What visiting players are saying to me is, 'It's different.' That spreads around the league," he said, the Times reports. "L.A. was always a place where there were 40,000 fans in the stands. The Dodgers were always one of the top-five teams in spending. In the player community, both of those dynamics have changed. Players are shocked by it."