CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

Premium and Super Premium Subscribers Get a 20% Discount at MLB.tv!

<< Previous Article
Premium Article The Prospectus Hit Lis... (06/06)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article An Agent's Take: Why I... (05/23)
Next Column >>
An Agent's Take: How t... (07/10)
Next Article >>
Premium Article What You Need to Know:... (06/06)

June 6, 2014

An Agent's Take

When Post-Draft Negotiations Get Strained

by Joshua Kusnick


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

As I explained last time, I decided in 2010 to avoid representing players in the amateur draft. That decision has paid dividends for my one-man agency, and today it pays dividends for you, because I’m now free to share a pair of fun post-draft negotiation stories.

The first deal I’ll discuss involved Adrian Nieto. These events took place in 2008, when Adrian was an Aflac All-American and a preseason lock as an early round pick. Then the season came, and Adrian’s performance fell a bit below scouts’ expectations. Nieto’s team—he played for my old high school, American Heritage—was loaded, and included Eric Hosmer, Nick Castellanos, Deven Marrero, Adrian Nieto and ace J.C. Sulbaran. I was at every game on their march to their first state championship, and Nieto homered from both sides of the plate in the final game, capping off his difficult year in fine fashion. I was fortunate enough to be hired by both Nieto and Sulbaran before the draft, and with that came the biggest opportunities of my draft career up to that point.

On draft day, Adrian was at my office with his parents, listening to the draft on a laptop in a huge conference room. First round, no phone calls. Second round, no phone calls. Third round, still no phone calls. Nothing changed until the fifth, when the Washington Nationals selected him without even having called us beforehand. Despite his having fallen, the Nats selecting him without warning was the best outcome that could have occurred, since we hadn’t agreed upon any terms, which would have robbed our side of a lot of leverage.

Then we waited.

Months went by with no contact. Then, while on a road trip to California a week before the signing deadline (Darren Ford had just been traded for Ray Durham and sent to the Cal League), I got a call from Nationals general manager Jim Bowden at 6 AM Pacific. I’ll never forget that call, for a multitude of reasons.

First, Jim called me unexpectedly. Second, it was a conference call with the entire front office, and it caught me completely off guard. I had to ask him if I could call him back so I could get my composure privately before talking to the club. (Remember, the club called me directly, thus possibly violating NCAA rules against negotiating with an advisor, but this was in the Wild West days when things like this happened all the time.) I was 26 years old and just building a name for myself in the business, so this was not a deal I could afford to screw up. I called Nationals Scouting Director Dana Brown and asked him why Jim had called me, and he told me just to call Jim back. I did, and the strangest call of my career ensued.

The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.

Not a subscriber?

Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.


Cancel anytime.


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

Related Content:  Draft,  Negotiations,  Agent

24 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Premium Article The Prospectus Hit Lis... (06/06)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article An Agent's Take: Why I... (05/23)
Next Column >>
An Agent's Take: How t... (07/10)
Next Article >>
Premium Article What You Need to Know:... (06/06)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Premium Article The Prospectus Hit List: Friday, August 22
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Adjusting for Era
Premium Article Minor League Update: Games of Thursday, Augu...
Premium Article What You Need to Know: August 22, 2014
Premium Article Raising Aces: Police and Thieves
Transaction Analysis: Boston Signs Cuban Sta...
Premium Article Painting the Black: A Marlins Fastball, A Tw...

MORE FROM JUNE 6, 2014
Premium Article Pebble Hunting: Bartolo Colon Approaches Fir...
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Dietrich Without the D
This is Not Your Father's Baseball Road Trip...
Premium Article Minor League Update: Games of Thursday, June...
Fantasy Article Day One Draft Recap
Fantasy Article Fantasy Starting Pitcher Planner: Week 11
Daily League Strategy: Just Joshin'

MORE BY JOSHUA KUSNICK
2014-08-14 - Premium Article An Agent's Take: The Small World
2014-07-10 - An Agent's Take: How the Unseen Post-Draft P...
2014-06-06 - Premium Article An Agent's Take: When Post-Draft Negotiation...
2014-05-23 - Premium Article An Agent's Take: Why I Avoid the Draft
2014-04-30 - Premium Article An Agent's Take: How a Player Picks a Team
2014-04-03 - Premium Article An Agent's Take: Spring Training from the Ag...
More...

MORE AN AGENT'S TAKE
2014-08-14 - Premium Article An Agent's Take: The Small World
2014-07-10 - An Agent's Take: How the Unseen Post-Draft P...
2014-06-06 - Premium Article An Agent's Take: When Post-Draft Negotiation...
2014-05-23 - Premium Article An Agent's Take: Why I Avoid the Draft
2014-04-30 - Premium Article An Agent's Take: How a Player Picks a Team
2014-04-03 - Premium Article An Agent's Take: Spring Training from the Ag...
More...