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MLBTR: When Agents Get Played.


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When Agents Get Played

Baseball players jumping from one agency to another is nothing new. In fact, it seems there are some who will change affiliations more frequently than they change their underwear. When agents and baseball executives talk about an instance of that happening, they often use a phrase that conjures up images of evildoers chasing ivory-rich elephants in sub-Saharan Africa: ?player poaching.? That terminology focuses on the unscrupulous agents who make it common practice to steal players out from under their colleagues and while that certainly takes place, not every case is exactly alike and things are never that cut and dry in the agency world. Sometimes, it?s the players who are acting unscrupulously. In the case of some minor leaguers, they?re employing two, three, or four agents at once in an effort to rack up as many gifts and favors as possible.
?You see this a lot with guys from the Dominican Republic and in the Latin markets,? the agent said, echoing a sentiment shared by many in the field. ?They don?t understand that there are rules and limits as to what an agent can give you. So they?ll employ two or three agents and they all have regular contact with the player. You have one giving them money, one giving them equipment?I?ve seen cases of guys having three or four agents at one time. There?s really no one policing it.?
The end game of staffing multiple agents is almost always to rack up as much money and as many gifts as possible. Agents who want to avoid being turned into a walking Amazon wishlist can protect themselves by complying with MLBPA regulations. The union stipulates that an agent cannot spend more than $2K on any single player within a year, a mechanism designed to help cut back on player poaching. Staying inside of that dollar figure also leaves agents less susceptible to getting worked over or, at the very least, lessens some of the sting if their minor leaguer does get into bed with other agents.

Long article but good read.

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