The MLB Players Association paid international investigation firm Kroll Associates more than half a million dollars over three years for work related to player agents, according to public documents. The union confirmed that it uses Kroll for investigations of all sorts, including background checks, but declined further comment.
According to the MLBPA’s annual reports filed with the U.S. Department of Labor, the union paid Kroll $56,500 in 2015, $296,834 in 2016 and $192,726 in 2017 for a total of $546,060. The union charges applicants $2,000 for the test to become an MLB agent, which covers the cost of a background check.
Sources have told SBJ that the MLBPA had hired an investigation firm to look into allegations of agent misconduct involving payments to sign players. A union spokesman had no comment on that.
■ VINATIERI’S NEW DEALS: Adam Vinatieri’s agent, Gary Uberstine, has been busy negotiating deals with memorabilia and other companies, both before and after the Colts kicker set the all-time NFL scoring record last month. Vinatieri passed Morten Andersen’s record of 2,544 points on Oct. 28 and now holds the record with 2,550 points.
Uberstine, an NFL agent who runs his own shop, PSE Management, in the Los Angeles area, recently negotiated a three-year deal for Vinatieri with DMC Insurance and another deal with Nikco Sports for commemorative footballs. “We are also currently negotiating with three companies regarding autographed cards and memorabilia,” Uberstine said.
Vinatieri, 45, has played in the NFL since 1996, first for the Patriots and then the Colts. Uberstine has represented him since 2016.
■ NFL PLAYER SIGNINGS: Sportstars has signed several NFL players, including Bears center Cody Whitehair. Jonathan Perzley and Brian Mackler are representing Whitehair, a second-round pick in 2016 who was formerly represented by CAA Sports. Sportstars also recently signed Bears defensive lineman Roy Robertson-Harris and Browns defensive lineman Devaroe Lawrence.
DEC Management has signed several NFL players including Ravens center Matt Skura and Jaguars defensive end Dawuane Smoot. David Canter, owner and founder of DEC, will represent the players. Skura was formerly represented by International Sports Advisors and Smoot was formerly represented by CAA Sports. DEC also signed Dolphins guard Isaac Asiata, Cowboys defensive lineman Daniel Ross and Chiefs defensive lineman Joey Ivie.
■ CAA SIGNS MCAFEE: Creative Artists Agency has signed former NFL punter-turned broadcaster Pat McAfee for representation in all areas, including podcasting, touring, comedy, non-scripted and sports broadcasting. He was not previously represented.