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April 30, 2014

An Agent's Take

How a Player Picks a Team

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.

We’re not even a month into the 2014 season, but I’ve already experienced many of the positive and negative aspects of representing professional baseball players: great starts, slow starts, free agency, club complaints, crushing releases, and signing and scouting new clients. Today I’m going to go over a process not often discussed from my side of the table: being designated for assignment, becoming a free agent, and choosing a new team.

During the first week of the season, one of my clients, Jeremy Jeffress, was designated for assignment by the Toronto Blue for the second time in two years. Jeremy cleared waivers last year, and because that was his first designation, he (like all players on the 40-man roster) did not have the right to elect free agency. The second time a player is designated for assignment, the club has seven days to trade or place the player on waivers, and 10 days in total to complete the waiver process. If the player goes unclaimed the second time, he has the collectively bargained right to become a free agent or accept the minor-league assignment for either his full MLB salary (if he has a guaranteed deal) or his Triple-A negotiated salary. The contract negotiations that determinate which rate he receives are completed prior to the season.

Generally, if a player with MLB service is designated for a second time, I advise him to seek work elsewhere, barring some special circumstance. I think the Blue Jays are a first-class organization, and I work with them often, but in this instance, Jeremy and the club just didn’t click, no matter how badly each side genuinely wanted to work out with the other.

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Related Content:  Milwaukee Brewers,  Jeremy Jeffress

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<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article Deep Impact: Week Four (04/30)
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Premium Article An Agent's Take: Sprin... (04/03)
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Premium Article An Agent's Take: Why I... (05/23)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Minor League Update: G... (04/30)

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