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December 27, 2013

An Agent's Take

An Agent's Winter Meetings Journal

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.

Agents are not supposed to be people. Agents do not have lives. Agents do not have columns and podcasts and blogs. Agents do not interact with fans. Agents are just machines designed to extract money from your favorite team in order to make players money. Agents are the ones to blame when your favorite player leaves town, and agents get no credit when your favorite player comes to town.

That’s all hyperbole, of course—I’m a real person with many interests outside of baseball, and while being an agent partially defines me, it’s not who I am. As much as I love the job—and for all of its perks and benefits—working as an agent often drives me to distraction. So many stressful things happen on a day-to-day basis that it’s surprising that any agent could live to an old age. And all of those professional pressures are condensed into the span of a few days at the Winter Meetings, which take place each December. Here is my Winter Meetings journal of everything that happened to me in Orlando earlier this month.

Monday, 5 PM: Upon my entrance to the Swan and Dolphin hotel the very first person I encounter is Roy Halladay, who has just announced his retirement. The second person I encounter is an MLB.com official with whom I am good friends. Asked him if he had any Rule 5 dope, to which he responded, “Other than Nieto to Chi Sox, I haven’t heard much.” I am surprised to hear this, not because Nieto is a client of mine, but because I heard the same thing from another independent source.

Monday, 6 PM: I enter the trade show, a sprawling landscape of every vendor in the baseball world. Everyone from bat companies to stadium builders attend, and companies like All-Star, Old Hickory, and Rawlings have set up massive displays. This is my eighth Winter Meetings, so I am not intimidated by the sight. I have a specific group of companies I schedule meetings with far in advance. When I landed at the Rawlings booth, I drop off the client list in preparation for the real meeting on Saturday. As I’m leaving, I notice the Gold Glove display, with my client Dalton Pompey’s name prominently displayed. I leave with 30 business cards and not much swag. Overall, a win.

Monday, 10 PM: Dinner with a large group of media members. After two hours, I notice Brady Anderson sitting to our right at a table by himself. I know Brady due to my history as a batboy for the Orioles in spring training when I was eight years old, and again when I was 12. I say hello, and Brady asks me to sit down. We talk for 20 minutes about Steve Clevenger. When Brady leaves, I bring him to our large group to meet my wife. Brady is gracious, then leaves. Cory Schwartz from MLB.com is on the far side of the table and is absolutely irate that he didn’t notice Brady at the table. The next night, Cory ends up in a footrace with Brady. Sans my failed introduction, this never happens.

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Related Content:  Rule 5 Draft,  Winter Meetings,  Trade Show,  Agent

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<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: A R... (12/27)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article An Agent's Take: The A... (11/27)
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Premium Article An Agent's Take: Navig... (01/30)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Minor League Update: I... (12/27)

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