SBD/April 4, 2013/Labor and Agents

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  • Boras Stunned By Cano's Move To Jay-Z Group, Flies To N.Y. To See Former Client

    Boras implied Roc Nation Sports made Cano an offer he could not refuse

    Yankees 2B Robinson Cano’s hiring of Jay-Z and CAA "didn’t just shock the baseball world, it stunned Boras, as well," according to Dan Martin of the N.Y. POST. Boras yesterday “implied the agency made Cano an offer he couldn’t refuse.” Boras said, “In defense of Robinson, he signed with us on the 20th of March for another year knowing that in the relationship with the Yankees that we had another meeting scheduled in the future. ... For him to make such immediate changes means a lot was said to him, a lot was promised and a player sometimes needs time to understand situations when a great amount of new information comes his way.” Cano “wouldn’t say much Wednesday of his switch.” He also “did not explain why he waited until after he re-upped with Boras to make the move” (N.Y. POST, 4/4). The WALL STREET JOURNAL’s Brian Costa writes even if Cano had “grown impatient with Boras, he could have simply hired CAA alone.” The agency is “big enough and broad enough, with tentacles in sports and Hollywood, to handle more than just Cano's baseball contract.” His decision to go into business with Jay-Z “seems driven by something more basic: Jay-Z is cool.” He is the “kind of celebrity other celebrities find it cool to be associated with.” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of Cano, "I haven't heard that he's putting out an album yet. If he did, I wouldn't be the first one to buy it, I can guarantee you that." Cano said of the move, "I don't want to go into details. I just feel happy with where I'm at right now and the decision that I made." Costa notes Cano “came off as impulsive when he was asked how long he had been in talks to make the switch.” Cano: "I just think it happened over the weekend" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 4/4).

    CONTROL FREAK: In N.Y., Ken Davidoff writes with Boras as Cano’s agent, it “made sense to call off discussions until the season concluded.” Now, with Jay-Z, they “should just hammer out this new deal as quickly as possible and ease the anxiety that exists on both sides.” Davidoff: “You wonder what Jay-Z told his buddy Cano. … If he is smart, he will leave the heavy lifting to the very capable Brodie Van Wagenen of CAA” (N.Y. POST, 4/4). Also in N.Y., Christian Red notes Yankees 1B Mark Teixeira, who “dropped Boras" after more than a decade, believes Cano’s decision was a sign he is "ready to assume control of his future.” Teixeira said, “Everyone knows Scott likes to control everything. He has a financial services part of his business, he has a sports performance side of his business, he has a mental performance side of his business. Everything that you could possibly do, he takes care of it for you -- if you choose.” But he added, “It doesn’t necessarily benefit every player” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 4/4).

    CANO THE ENTERTAINER? In N.Y., Tyler Kepner writes crossing over to “a wider audience, even with the backing of Jay-Z, may not be so easy.” Cano is “a wonderful player, but with no awards and just one World Series on his résumé, he is not exactly Derek Jeter.” The motivation behind Cano’s agent switch “remains something of a mystery,” but it is “logical to think that the lure of building a lucrative brand in Jay-Z’s beloved New York City had a whole lot to do with it.” Kepner wonders, “Is Cano planning to branch into music, movies or television? Does he want his own restaurant, like Ryan Braun? Does he want to pitch for a sandwich chain, like Ryan Howard? How about hawking video games, like Buster Posey?” All three are repped by CAA, “but the Jay-Z relationship is Cano’s alone.” Still, Cano’s “infatuation with Jay-Z echoes” Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez’ “clumsy foray into the entertainment world in 2007, after his split with Boras” (N.Y. TIMES, 4/4).

    WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS: On Long Island, David Lennon notes Boras “has been dumped in the past, most notably” by Rodriguez and Teixeira. But getting tossed by Cano “only months away" from a potential $300M payday was a "stunning development.” While that can happen in “such a cutthroat business, it doesn't to Boras.” And on “top of that, to lose out to someone like Jay-Z, a newcomer to baseball, must have been impossible for Boras to make any sense of.” At the “very least, Boras figured Cano would give him a face-to-face explanation, and maybe allow him to help sort through the decision-making process.” But Cano as of yesterday night “had ignored his former agent.” If an agent of Boras' “stature, and earning ability, can be jettisoned so quickly at such a critical time after the intervention by Jay-Z, the rest of the industry -- aside from Roc Nation partner CAA -- should be shivering in their Hugo Boss suits” (NEWSDAY, 4/4). ESPN’s Dan Le Batard said Jay-Z is a “different kind of businessman,” and this is not “just your Master P representing Ricky Williams.” Le Batard: "I would be scared of Jay-Z as an empire builder, even if I’m Scott Boras” (“Dan Le Batard Is Highly Questionable,” ESPN2, 4/3). Meanwhile, in N.Y., Ralph Vacchiano cites a source as saying that the Giants believe CAA’s Tom Condon “will continue to represent” WR Victor Cruz “in talks with the team regardless of any deal he signs with Jay-Z to handle his other business activities” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 4/4).

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