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Volume 21 No. 1

Labor and Agents

Liz Mullen
Melvin Roman, who owns a baseball player representation firm in Puerto Rico, has added to his client base this summer, signing St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jaime Garcia, Colorado Rockies pitcher J.C. Romero and Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Dioner Navarro over the last few months.

“I have been very fortunate this year,” said Roman, who opened MDR Sports Management in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, after leaving the former CSMG Sports.

Garcia was formerly represented by agent Bobby Barad. Romero and Navarro were formerly represented by agents Barry Praver and Scott Shapiro.

Cardinals Yadier Molina (left) of Puerto Rico and Jaime Garcia of Mexico are among MDR Sports’ clients in Major League Baseball.
MDR represents more than 30 baseball clients, 14 of whom are on major league rosters. Among those other clients is St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina, whose contract expires after this season, with a club option for 2012.

Roman said that being based in Puerto Rico makes it easier to recruit potential MLBers from there as well as from other Latin American countries, such as the Dominican Republic and Venezuela. Garcia is from Mexico, Navarro is from Venezuela, and Romero and Molina are from Puerto Rico.

“Some of my top young prospects are coming from the Dominican Republic,” Roman said, “and I think in the next few years, there will be stars coming from the Dominican Republic.”

NFLPA, MORAN CIVIL SUIT DISMISSED: A civil suit brought by a former NFL Players Association employee that garnered national attention because it revealed a federal investigation into allegations a former union leader conspired to undermine the union’s bargaining position has been quietly dismissed.

Mary Moran, former NFLPA head of human resources, and the NFLPA jointly agreed to dismiss the lawsuit Moran brought against the union and the counterclaim the NFLPA brought against her. The lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice, meaning the lawsuit cannot be refiled. Moran and the NFLPA took the action in June.

It is not clear if there was a monetary settlement. When two parties agree to dismiss a case with prejudice, it often means there is a settlement, but not always, lawyers said. An attorney for Moran and an NFLPA official would not comment.

Moran filed the lawsuit in August 2009, alleging she was constructively fired from the NFLPA because of her gender and because of her status as a confidential witness in a U.S. Department of Labor investigation into allegations that meetings between NFL officials and former union leaders, including former NFLPA President Troy Vincent, violated labor laws. NFL officials and Vincent, who is now NFL vice president of player development, have said those allegations are without merit.

ICON SIGNS CAULEY:  Icon Sports Management, an Ohio-based firm that specializes in representing professional golfers, has signed Bud Cauley, a three-time All-American at Alabama and a member of the 2009 Walker Cup team.

In an agreement Icon negotiated, Cauley signed what is known as a “full staff deal” — which includes club, ball, bag, shoes and glove — with Acushnet brands Titleist and Footjoy. He also has signed an endorsement deal with IJP Design for apparel.

Cauley made his pro debut at the U.S. Open this summer and made the cut. He has earned more than $355,000 in his first seven starts as a pro, including finishing tied for fourth at both the PGA Tour Viking Classic and Nationwide Tour Utah Championship in July.

“Bud had an outstanding amateur and collegiate career, and it is no surprise that he has transitioned so well to the professional level,” said Icon golf agent R.J. Nemer, who will serve as Cauley’s primary agent.

“He truly is a unique blend of golf talent, combined with down-to-earth charisma, charm and humility. We are absolutely thrilled to be managing him and his career.”

Liz Mullen can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @SBJLizMullen.