New York Yankees star second baseman Robinson Cano was the beneficiary of an expensive birthday gift from Roc Nation founder Jay Z. Now, the hip-hop icon is being investigated by the MLBPA for giving the ballplayer a pricey watch.
The league's players association is seeking to determine whether Jay Z was in violation of the union's agent regulations for the gift at Cano's recent birthday celebration in Belgium, per ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick.
Cano used his Instagram account to post a photo of the timepiece, which is worth a whopping $33,900. Here is another look, courtesy of Sports Blog New York:
Robinson Cano celebrated his 31st birthday with his agent Jay-Z in Belgium. Here’s the watch Jay gave to Cano pic.twitter.com/XYIgjVQ8AX— SportsBlogNewYork (@SportBlogNYC) October 25, 2013
The watch is a limited-edition Shawn Carter Classic Fusion watch made by the Swiss company Hublot. Jay Z was on his "Magna Carta Tour" and had performed a concert in Antwerp the night before Cano's 31st birthday celebration on Oct. 22.
Crasnick highlighted the rule in question:
Section 5(B)(5)(a) of the Players Association regulations states: "No Player Agent or Applicant shall provide, cause to be provided or promise to provide, any money or any other thing of value to any player, or any person related to or associated with such player, the purpose of which is to induce or encourage such player to use or continue to use any person's or firm's services as a Player Agent, Representative, or Draft Advisor.''
Cano, of course, joined Jay Z's Roc Nation sports group in April, leaving the high-powered agency of Scott Boras.
There is a clause, as Crasnick points out, for a player to receive a gift of up to $500, but any gift in excess of that amount would have to be disclosed to the union in writing. Jay Z could face unspecified discipline for his actions if he's found to be in the wrong.
Robinson Cano is currently seeking a 10-year contract upward of $300 million in free agency this winter. The five-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove recipient is a .309 career hitter with averages of around 24 home runs, 44 doubles, 194 hits and 97 RBI per season in his nine-year career.
He was one of only a few Yankees stars to stay healthy for the duration of 2013. Cano has played in 159 or more games each season since 2007.