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April 3, 2014

An Agent's Take

Spring Training from the Agent's Perspective

by Joshua Kusnick


Joshua Kusnick is an MLBPA-certified agent who periodically writes about his experiences representing professional players. You can subscribe to his podcast on iTunes, and reach him via email at JoshuaKusnick@aol.com and on Twitter @JoshuaKusnick.

A busy spring has come and gone, and my clients and I are ready for another season. I missed Arizona this year due to the fact I had so much going on here in Florida. With technology making communication from afar convenient, it just made better business sense to stay in state. However, I stayed in touch with all of my clients and attended games almost every day. And there were a lot of personal highlights, like Adrian Nieto becoming the first rule 5 catcher to stick on a roster since Jesus Flores, Jeremy Jeffress breaking camp with the Blue Jays, Michael Brantley earning an extension and leading the exhibition leagues in hitting, and Steve Clevenger hitting almost as well and winning a backup job in Baltimore, not to mention all of the progress my minor league clients made.

Perhaps most exciting of all was watching Nieto’s evolution from rule 5 pick to major league player. I’ve known Adrian since he was 14, so I’ve seen the entire ride: the missed junior year in high school, the Aflac All-American game as a senior, the state championship where he homered from both sides of the plate, which led to the draft, the draft negotiations, and me being cursed out by Jim Bowden for rejecting 180k, only to get 376K the next day from Mike Rizzo. Then the climb through the minor leagues, the 50-game suspension, the apologies, the comeback, this past season in the Carolina League, the Arizona Fall League, the rule 5 draft, the endorsement deals with New Balance, All-Star, and Cutters, and spring training, then finally being told that Adrian had made the major league roster. He came over from Cuba as a child and has always beaten the odds, and now he can proudly say that he’s made it to Major League Baseball. I’m grateful that I’ve gotten to be a part of the trip. All told, I’m working with five players who made an MLB roster on Opening Day. Not my highest total, but not my lowest by far.

There are also disappointments every spring, like Bobby Cassevah getting released by the Rockies and David Herndon not breaking camp, plus the inevitable releases of minor league kids, which is always painful. Overall, though, it was a very productive spring both on and off the field. But what does an agent do once spring training is over, and what does spring mean for major and minor leaguers?

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Related Content:  Spring Training,  Adrian Nieto

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<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article Free Agent Watch: Week... (04/03)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article An Agent's Take: Three... (02/11)
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Premium Article An Agent's Take: How a... (04/30)
Next Article >>
BP Top 101 Prospects (04/03)

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