Yasiel Puig may not be represented by Jaime Torres much longer.
While Torres is a fine agent with a track record of handling negotiations for some of the biggest Cuban players, Puig now has a better and more intriguing option: signing with a rap icon who recently started a sports agency.
Jay-Z and Roc Nation Sports are hoping to land the Los Angeles Dodgers slugger, sources have told Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports. Passan reports that Puig was invited to a party at a club owned by Jay-Z back in June, and there’s a possibility that the Cuban defector ditches Torres to head to Roc Nation Sports.
Signing with an agency with such a lack of experience in negotiating contracts is certainly a risk, and one that Puig should consider. But the 22-year-old Puig won’t have much to worry about for quite some time. He just signed a seven-year deal last summer, and should be all set for the next few years.
While Roc Nation Sports still has a lot to learn about the sports business, it likely won’t take more than three or four years to get acclimated to the industry.
Jay-Z should be a wiz at getting monster contracts for his clients by the time Puig’s contract is set to expire, or by the time the Dodgers want to extend him.
Puig has had a remarkable start to his career in Major League Baseball, as he’s currently hitting .394/.428/.634 with eight home runs, 19 RBI and 27 runs through 35 games.
If the outfielder continues to put up those kinds of numbers, Jay-Z could lend a hand in making him the highest-paid player of all time.
That’s still far down the road, though.
Forgetting about Puig’s future for a moment, this would be a massive haul for Jay-Z and Roc Nation Sports.
As the hype surrounding the outfielder continues to grow, the rapper has the chance to add another star to his growing client list. For those who don’t remember, Roc Nation recently got Robinson Cano to sign with the agency, joining NBA superstar Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder, among others.
In doing so, Cano fired prestigious baseball agent Scott Boras. Here’s what Cano said about heading to Roc Nation Sports, per David Waldstein of The New York Times:
I am confident that the pairing of Roc Nation Sports and C.A.A. Sports will be essential in helping me accomplish my short- and long-term goals. I am making this important decision now so I can keep my focus on helping the Yankees succeed in 2013, while minimizing any distractions for me and my teammates.
Cano’s contract expires after this season and he doesn’t seem too worried about getting the money he deserves, even with a rapper representing him.
One would presume that Cano hired Jay-Z and his agency so that he could stay with the Yankees, whereas Boras would’ve led him to free agency to take the most money.
If Puig were to join Cano, that could open the door for more stars to land with Roc Nation Sports.
Passan reports that the rapper also has his eyes on Yoenis Cespedes, slugger for the Oakland A’s. As Jay-Z continues to add players to his list of clients, more and more players are bound to follow.
A domino effect, if you will.
There’s a chance that Puig could end up in Jay-Z’s corner by this time next week, but the fans are the ones who have the ability to make that happen.
If Puig is voted to the 2013 All-Star Game in the NL Final Vote, it’ll be a prime opportunity for the rapper and outfielder to meet up and talk a deal.
That’s a best-case scenario for both parties.
What should Puig do?
Puig recently told Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com that he doesn’t really care for all of the media attention he’s received.
The number of reporters next to his locker is going to increase because of his production on the field, though, not his choice of agents. Being connected to Jay-Z will have its perks, but his on-field performances are what will dictate his coverage.
Jay-Z recently came out with a new album, Magna Carta...Holy Grail, and in his song "Crown" he disses Boras, saying, “Scott Boras, you over baby. Robinson Cano, you coming with me,” per Passan.
I wouldn’t expect a Jaime Torres shoutout in the next album he releases, but there’s no doubting that Puig-to-Roc Nation Sports would be a monumental move for both sides.