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January 30, 2014

An Agent's Take

Navigating Free Agency

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.

There is no offseason for agents. I’ve had a full plate this winter, putting in many hours of marketing work, free agent work, and arbitration work. I can’t go into specifics of the arbitration process for obvious reasons (mostly self-preservation), but I can discuss the marketing process and free agent process to some extent.

Because of the service time of my clients, I had only six-year minor league free agents this year. Two players have signed or resigned with their respective clubs, while three remain in the player pool. Free agency has three waves: the opening crush, the second wave (which started in January this year), and the final flurry before spring training, though sporadic signings occur throughout the spring depending on injuries and team needs. In most instances, when six-year free agency begins ( five days after the World Series ends), clubs contact the agent about their client or clients. Two of my client decided their best opportunities to reach the major leagues in 2014 were to stay with their 2013 clubs. While I still have three players available in free agency, I am optimistic about all of them signing contracts for the 2014 season.

This year was bizarre in the sense that all of free agency came to a halt because of the Masahiro Tanaka situation. It trickled down all the way to six-year free agents, even if they weren’t pitchers. Teams froze the market until Tanaka signed, and now that he has I’m hoping to have several deals done soon. With six-year free agents, you have to do your homework just as you would for a major league free agent. Finding a team that can offer a combination of opportunity and compensation is key. Some players go for the money, while others do in fact take less to join a club that’s more likely to land them in the major leagues again. Another aspect of six-

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Rumor Roundup: Orioles... (01/30)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article An Agent's Take: An Ag... (12/27)
Next Column >>
Premium Article An Agent's Take: Three... (02/11)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Skewed Left: Saying Go... (01/30)

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