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Volume 20 No. 41
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Unresolved issues follow agent Kinzer out the door at Wasserman Media Group

Wasserman Media Group may have ended its employment of MLB player agent Paul Kinzer, but a fight over his roster of young baseball player clients, including 22-year-old Chicago Cubs shortstop and two-time All-Star Starlin Castro, may be just beginning.

“All my players are still with me,” Kinzer told SportsBusiness Journal in a brief telephone interview last week.

Indeed, he was listed by the MLBPA as the agent of record for Castro, White Sox shortstop Alex Rios, Texas Rangers catcher Geovany Soto, Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez and St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal last week.

The Chicago Cubs’ Starlin Castro “could be the next, young superstar.”
Additionally, Kinzer represents shortstop Carlos Correa, who was picked No. 1 overall in last year’s draft by the Astros.
It was not clear how many major league prospects or other MLB players may have left with Kinzer.

It was also not clear last week whether Kinzer and his son, Kelly Kinzer, who is also an MLBPA-certified agent and was listed as the agent for free-agent pitcher Matt Capps, might open their own firm or join another agency. Rival agents acknowledged that Kinzer had a client list of very good MLB players, with Castro a potential standout.

“He could be the next, young superstar and he is a player anyone would want to have,” said one veteran MLB agent.

What was clear was that the parting between Kinzer and the agency where he had worked for six years was not amicable. Kinzer was one of the agency’s top MLB agents and reported to Arn Tellem, Wasserman vice chairman.

“Paul Kinzer was terminated for cause on October 5, 2012,” said Bert Deixler, Wasserman attorney, in a statement issued to SportsBusiness Journal. “Wasserman policy and a concern for Mr. Kinzer’s dignity make it appropriate to not comment further.”

Multiple sources said there were still unresolved issues involving the players, including fees, between Wasserman Media Group and Kinzer and there may be future legal wrangling over it. A company official did not respond to questions.

In addition to terminating Kinzer, Wasserman Media Group also settled a multimillion-dollar claim which had been brought against the agency by former client, free-agent pitcher Francisco Rodriguez, who was represented by Kinzer.

Rodriguez, who is now a client of agent Scott Boras, sought more than $5.5 million in damages from Wasserman Media Group and Kinzer in an arbitration before the MLBPA over his trade to the Milwaukee Brewers in July 2011. The Brewers were on a list of 10 clubs that Rodriguez could not be traded to, but the list was never filed and the trade went through.