Tim Tebow is a longshot who is taking the spot of another longshot.
I woke up Monday morning to the sounds of helicopters and news trucks here in St Lucie, Florida. The New York Mets’ instructional league started this week. I’ve had clients attend in the past, but this year none of my clients are going. By now you know one player who is, though: Tim Tebow, the former Heisman-winning quarterback turned NFL quarterback impersonator. The Mets signed him a couple weeks ago for $100,000 after he performed at a scouts workout—have you heard about this? Have you heard that Donald Trump is running for president? Have you heard that beef comes from cows? I have all sorts of hot news scoops.
Most great success stories start with a guy that a few people decide to believe in.
Last we spoke, Carlos Asuaje was going to the Futures Game, and he had as good a showing by a client as I have ever been able to witness as an agent. This was my fourth one—Tabata in ’06, Valiquette in ’10, Pompey in ’14 and now Asuaje—and it’s always a show. It’s like a midseason winter meetings, where all 30 teams are in one building, and working and networking is part of the deal. Most importantly, Carlos had a couple hits in front of his future hometown crowd, and I got to take his family to an absinthe bar downtown.
The agent who hates the draft ends up, almost by accident, with three draftees.
As many of my wonderful readers know, I absolutely loathe the draft process from the agent’s perspective. I hate recruiting. I hate the BS. I hate the lies between the teams and players, the intentional ones and the more subtle avoidances of truth. I hate watching kids fall in the draft. The only good things about the draft are when the player is selected and when the draft is over.
A few weeks ago I was in Miami, and then Atlanta, following the Brewers so I could watch Jeremy Jeffress throw. Miami was uneventful—he did not throw in the entire series—but Atlanta was a fun trip. JJ hit 98 once, had a couplegood outings and I was glad to have spent time with him. This has been such a rewarding season, and I still think the best is yet to come for JJ.
Sometimes, doing the right thing means not taking another agent's client. Sometimes, though, doing the right thing means the opposite.
I just spent three days in Miami with Jeremy Jeffress and ran into several agents I knew. Many of them I quite like. A few I do not. One told me it’s "dumb" to tweet about clients because it makes it that much easier for other agents to "poach" my guys. I agree, but I feel like I am an outlier (or crazy, or both). I mean, I’m public enough that everyone knows my guys, and really I stopped caring in 2010. If guys are going to leave me, then they're going to leave. Twitter will not change that. I am going to promote the hell out of my clients and do right by all of them. I can’t live my life worrying about what other agents do.
Joshua finds a book of interesting stories, then an interesting story in the flesh, as he job takes him to unexpected places.
Since my last column, I have had many opportunities to celebrate during this young season: Jeremy Jeffress is six for six in saves, and in his arb year no less; Steve Clevenger has finally found some stability, on the Mariners’ 25-man roster; Carlos Asuaje is hammering for the Padres’ Triple-A affiliate, and seems to be right on the verge of making it. It’s been a nice season thus far, beginning with an odd day I spent in Arizona.
Saying goodbye to one of the good guys around the game.
I celebrated my three-year anniversary the other day, and it occurs to me that I might never have gotten to this point if not for a very good friend. Of course, none of us is where we are now without the support of very good friends. I lost one such friend this week. Juan C. Rodriguez, who had been a Marlins beat writer since 2002, passed away after a lengthy battle with brain cancer. I don’t want to get bogged down in Juan’s passing. It’s too fresh for everyone, and far too painful. Instead, I want to share some memories of my good friend.
Why 2016 looks to be such a momentous one for Joshua and two of his clients.
There went 2015. Work was, as it always is, a total grind, but this was a tremendously fulfilling year for me, personally and professionally. Some of my clients had tremendous seasons, and some called it a career. There were downs in my family life—my grandmother, the artist Lee Silton, who knew (and perhaps dated!) Meyer Lansky, has been battling cancer. There were also ups—my surgery in January, which I documented here, led to my healthiest year in forever.
The winter meetings start today, and besides preparing for that I’ve had a lot going on: K-Rod was traded, so Jeremy Jeffress is in the mix to be the closer in Milwaukee; Seth Lugo was added to the 40-man roster, and Carlos Asuaje was part of the Craig Kimbrel deal. I had three free agents signed (Jiwan James, Jaye Chapman, and Jim Miller). Which is all to say I haven’t had much time to write, but sometimes the topics write themselves. This one is about Steve Clevenger and the week he has had.