Agents of fortune

A neighbor was nice enough to lend me his snow shovel so I could dig out my car. It was falling apart, and the crack running through it widened by the time I finished, so I'll buy him a new one to show my gratitude.

He'd rather have Jason Bay, but he'll settle for a shovel.

Does anyone want Bay? The Mets look like they're the only bidder, though I still expect another team to jump out of the shadows, similar to the Yankees with Mark Teixeira last winter.

Bay apparently wants a fifth year added to that four-year, $64 million proposal from the Mets. Or he's waiting for the Mariners to take him up on his offer to stand on his head and dance if they sign him.

It'll be a long wait. The Mariners traded for Milton Bradley and no longer need Bay's services, though they'll probably regret it the minute Bradley wears out his welcome again. The over/under is June 15.

Bay's agent, Joe Urbon, also represents free-agent reliever Mark Hendrickson. Urbon hasn't returned any of my calls, but I'm guessing that he's a bit preoccupied with Bay at the moment. And that he has no idea who I am, which is fine.

Maybe we'll chat once the Orioles re-sign Hendrickson, though I won't need him as much. It's the negotiating process that brings writers and agents together.

I find it curious that Erik Bedard's agent, Mark Pieper, isn't doing more to spread the word that the former Oriole is healthy and will be ready to pitch by April or early May. You'd think that Pieper would want to shoot down the rumors that Bedard won't be available until the second half - unless, of course, Bedard won't be available until the second half.

Scott Boras is almost impossible to track down, but he gladly returned my calls the year Magglio Ordonez was a free agent and teams were hesitant to pursue the outfielder because of a knee injury. Boras wanted the media to report that Ordonez was healthy and would work out for anyone who had interest in signing him.

I felt a little used, but it served our purposes. And hey, if I'm going to be used, better that it's by an agent than a bleach-blonde drama queen with overdue bills.

I don't recall whether Ordonez worked out that winter, but he later signed a five-year, $85 million deal with the Tigers. And I kept Boras' number in my cell phone.

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