|Close leaving CAA|
Prominent baseball player agent Casey Close, best known as the longtime representative to Yankees SS Derek Jeter and Phillies 1B Ryan Howard, is leaving CAA Sports when his contract expires next month, multiple sources said. Sources said CAA and Close are trying to work out the details of his departure, which may involve CAA and Close sharing the representation of some of the clients going forward, including Jeter. Close was one of the first sports agents that Hollywood talent firm CAA hired when it launched its sports division in April ‘06, and sources said he had a five-year deal with the agency. Close did not return multiple phone calls to his cell phone. Attempts to reach him or his assistant at CAA’s N.Y. office, where he is based, were unsuccessful, as calls went straight to voicemail. CAA did not return calls for comment. It is not clear exactly how many MLB player clients Close personally represented, as CAA clients are represented by teams of agents throughout the agency. Also unknown is whether Close might join a new firm or go off on his own. As a practical matter, athlete clients typically stay with the agents they trust and relate to on a personal level. There has been speculation about whether Close would stay or leave CAA Sports for about a year. Last March, SportsBusiness Journal reported that CAA Sports had quietly shifted the management of the baseball division from Close to five CAA MLB player agents. Those agents are Nez Balelo, Brodie Van Wagenen, Jeff Berry, Joe Urbon and Greg Landry.