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06-08

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3

An Agent's Take: The Maddening Tale Of Manuel Barreda
by
Joshua Kusnick

05-21

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17

An Agent's Take: An Offer
by
Joshua Kusnick

04-30

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20

An Agent's Take: The Luckiest Accidents
by
Joshua Kusnick

04-15

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11

An Agent's Take: A New Season In Agentland
by
Joshua Kusnick

03-19

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14

An Agent's Take: What A Comeback Takes
by
Joshua Kusnick

03-11

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18

An Agent's Take: The Last Free Agents Signed
by
Joshua Kusnick

03-03

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21

An Agent's Take: How To Get An Autograph Without Losing Your Soul
by
Joshua Kusnick

02-17

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18

An Agent's Take: The Joy of the Trade
by
Joshua Kusnick

02-10

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8

An Agent's Take: So, Your Kid Might Get Drafted
by
Joshua Kusnick

02-04

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13

An Agent's Take: The Unusual Business of Minor-League Product Endorsements
by
Joshua Kusnick

01-05

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43

An Agent's Take: The Things You Think About Before Your 43rd Surgery
by
Joshua Kusnick

12-23

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23

An Agent's Take: Gettin' Lucky at the Winter Meetings
by
Joshua Kusnick

12-02

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16

An Agent's Take: Advice For The Teenaged Rumors Reporters
by
Joshua Kusnick

11-20

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10

An Agent's Take: When the Smallest Transactions are the Biggest
by
Joshua Kusnick

11-11

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10

An Agent's Take: Stars Do Align
by
Joshua Kusnick

10-17

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22

An Agent's Take: The Losses You Never Get Over
by
Joshua Kusnick

09-09

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4

An Agent's Take: So Long, Scout
by
Joshua Kusnick

08-14

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13

An Agent's Take: The Small World
by
Joshua Kusnick

07-10

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30

An Agent's Take: How the Unseen Post-Draft Process Works
by
Joshua Kusnick

06-06

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24

An Agent's Take: When Post-Draft Negotiations Get Strained
by
Joshua Kusnick

05-23

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38

An Agent's Take: Why I Avoid the Draft
by
Joshua Kusnick

04-30

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21

An Agent's Take: How a Player Picks a Team
by
Joshua Kusnick

04-03

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20

An Agent's Take: Spring Training from the Agent's Perspective
by
Joshua Kusnick

02-11

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25

An Agent's Take: Three Ways to Work in Baseball
by
Joshua Kusnick

01-30

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18

An Agent's Take: Navigating Free Agency
by
Joshua Kusnick

12-27

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24

An Agent's Take: An Agent's Winter Meetings Journal
by
Joshua Kusnick

11-27

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19

An Agent's Take: The Art of Making Endorsement Deals
by
Joshua Kusnick

11-14

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20

An Agent's Take: Approaching the Offseason
by
Joshua Kusnick

05-04

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4

An Agent's Take: The Road Isn't Always Easy
by
Joshua Kusnick

04-13

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11

An Agent's Take: Media Relations
by
Joshua Kusnick

03-30

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31

An Agent's Take: Flexible Morality
by
Joshua Kusnick

03-16

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55

An Agent's Take: You Never Know
by
Joshua Kusnick

03-02

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65

An Agent's Take: Crisis Management
by
Joshua Kusnick

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June 8, 2015 7:03 am

An Agent's Take: The Maddening Tale Of Manuel Barreda

3

Joshua Kusnick

A young player makes what turns out to be an ill-adviced trip to the Mexican League.

Manny Barreda is a right-handed pitcher in the Milwaukee Brewers organization. How he came to be a part of that club this year is one of the strangest stories of my career.

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Don't forget the forgotten heroes of the sport's past.

My birthday was May 3rd. I'm 33 now. As I always do on my birthday, I turned dark. To quote Mitch Hedberg, “I bought a pack of carefree gum but it didn’t work, so I went back to pondering my own mortality.” So, while in Baltimore—I was cleared to travel in April—my wife and I went on a tour of cemeteries that included the grave sites of Edgar Allen Poe and John Wilkes Booth. When I Googled to see whom else was buried in those cemeteries, to my surprise many former ballplayers were laid to rest there, and long forgotten. It's amazing to me how long the lineage of baseball really goes. I went to the grave of Steve Brodie. Brodie was an outfielder for the Boston Beaneaters, St Louis Browns, the former Baltimore Orioles, New York Giants, and the Pittsburgh Pirates. The guy was a .300+ career hitter in 12 years and nobody on earth in my estimation has ever heard of him. Imagine what kind of attention a guy like that would get today. What kind of life would he have had if he'd been born a hundred years later, hit .300+ a hundred years later? The rotten luck of being born in the wrong century sucks. But to be there, to be reminded again that baseball's story began well over a century ago, blew my mind. It’s a fact we're all well aware of, but to actually physically touch a gravestone of someone who played a game that I work in is mind boggling. It made it real. It made me appreciate my own life even more.

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April 30, 2015 6:00 am

An Agent's Take: The Luckiest Accidents

20

Joshua Kusnick

Players slip through the cracks in this sport. Finding those guys before they break out usually takes a stroke of luck.

One of the most rewarding experiences is finding a gem that everyone missed. People ask me all the time how I find clients, and, honestly, a lot of the time I meet these kids by accident. Call it fate, call it determination, call it whatever, but the roads taken by my clients that led them to me have often been very strange.

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April 15, 2015 6:00 am

An Agent's Take: A New Season In Agentland

11

Joshua Kusnick

What Opening Day means, and doesn't, to an agent.

I was lucky enough to attend Opening Day in Tampa Bay this year to watch my client Steve Clevenger crack his fourth Opening Day roster. It should have been a special day, but the events that soon transpired—he got optioned that night—made the day not as special as in years past. I wont get into those events here, though I did publicly discuss the topic at length with Roch Kubatko at MASN. I had previously had a ton of great memories at Tropicana Field. Michael Brantley’s first major-league home run, and the first time I saw Jeremy Jeffress after he signed for the second time with the Brewers—one of the most emotional moments of my career—was there. It was there that I got to see Jeremy Jeffress for the first time after he re-signed with the Brewers, which was one of the more emotional moments of my career. And one of my favorite untold baseball stories happened Opening Day 2014 at Tropicana Field.

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March 19, 2015 6:00 am

An Agent's Take: What A Comeback Takes

14

Joshua Kusnick

Fighting for a client who is all but out of the sport.

Jiwan James is one of my clients. He is formerly of the Phillies, where he was regarded by Baseball America as the best defensive outfielder, the best runner, and the best athlete in the system. Then he got a life-changing diagnosis. Last week he signed with the Detroit Tigers on a minor-league deal literally the day before minor-league players reported to spring training. Here’s the incredible journey we went on together.

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March 11, 2015 6:00 am

An Agent's Take: The Last Free Agents Signed

18

Joshua Kusnick

When a team signs a player this late in the offseason, there's probably a very happy family (and a very proud agent) on the other side of the transaction.

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We've all seen the dude embarrassing himself to get a teenager's scribble. You don't have to be this dude, and you can still get the autograph.

"Spring is here again, tender age in bloom, bruises on the fruit, but knows not what it means." —Kurt Cobain

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February 17, 2015 6:00 am

An Agent's Take: The Joy of the Trade

18

Joshua Kusnick

How a trade can sometimes be the best news.

Trades never get old. Sometimes they’re stressful, sometimes they're exciting, and it always depends on how your client reacts. Last week I had a player traded from the Pirates to the Braves: Bryton Trepagnier. I have a neat story about the trade process, and about how I found Bryton in the first place.

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February 10, 2015 6:00 am

An Agent's Take: So, Your Kid Might Get Drafted

8

Joshua Kusnick

An agents advice for amateur players wondering when to hire an advisor.

It's February, which means things are coming on like a freight train in the baseball world. I am in the process of closing deals on all my clients' endorsements, filing my 2014 MLBPA paperwork, finalizing spring training responsibilities, and just overall getting ready for game season. I say game season because I don't actually get to experience an "off"season. No agent ever does. The closest I ever came to an offseason was the 10 days I spent in the Bahamas with my wife on my honeymoon, and even there by Day Five I had to deal with a now-former client getting arrested! A vendor who didn't know I was out of the country (and out of the loop) sent me an email: “Sorry about your guy.” I responded accordingly, then proceeded to flip out after Google confirmed the story.

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Joshua wanders from a hospital room into a supplement convention and wanders out with an endorsement deal.

I am alive and well, thankfully. As I wrote earlier this month, on the eve of a fairly invasive procedure at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, there is no such thing as a routine surgery, and my 90 minute procedure stretched to twice that long and a 24-hour stint in a recovery room (due to a room shortage). But otherwise, it was a totally different experience than any of my 43 previous surgeries. I had terrific nurses, my parents visiting, and a wife who didn’t leave my side until I was discharged.

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An agent reflects on his takes.

I'm taking a step away from the game today to write a note directly to my readers. This was such a special year for me professionally and personally. I am happily married, work was just incredible, the column has taken off, and I just wanted to thank all of you, the great readers of BP, for allowing this column to exist. I appreciate the interaction so much, and you have no idea how much you all really do mean to me. Thank you.

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The pretty much unreplicatable way to get your first job in professional baseball.

Every year at the winter meetings I offer to help exactly one job fair participant in a unique way. A little background: The job fair consists of scores of twenty-somethings who have to pre-register for the event. These are people who are trying to get their foot into the door by any means necessary. They stand out in San Diego because of their age, suits, and name. So every year I hold what I call the job fair lottery. Only three people have ever taken my offer to help them seriously and now all three work in baseball.

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