Baseball Deal Shakes Up the Agent World

Jerry MilaniContributor INovember 13, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 17:  Johan Santana #57 of the New York Mets throws a pitch against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on August 17, 2012 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

While casual baseball fans may think of Scott Boras or CAA Sports when they think agents, a deal announced Monday may have far reaching implications on the balance of power for the baseball talent business going forward, especially when reaching into the emerging talent pools of Asia and Latin America.

The Legacy Agency, formed early last year when the Agency sports management group merged with baseball representatives the Legacy Group, announced that it had acquired the assets of one of the strongest agencies in Latin America, and one of the fastest growing groups in Asia, New York-based Peter Greenberg Associates.

The joining of forces makes the Legacy Agency one of the largest in terms of baseball players (over 150 Major and Minor Leaguers, including 23 All-Stars and big contract stars like Jose Reyes, Johan Santana and CC Sabathia) and presents an interesting combination of athlete representation across the board, but especially in the baseball world.

“We are delighted to have made this strategic acquisition, which cements our position as a market leader in baseball representation,” Legacy CEO Mike Principe, who previously had held senior management positions with BEST and SFX before taking over last year, said in a statement.

“Peter E Greenberg and Associates will provide us with a greater presence in Latin America, and secondarily, Asia, as well as a platform to grow wider in the sports marketing sector.  We welcome Peter and his team to TLA and are excited as to the enhanced offering and the opportunities we can provide to our clients.”

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With almost a quarter of major leaguers and 44 percent of minor leaguers now from Latin America, the addition of Greenberg and Associates, run by the Spanish-speaking brothers Ed and Peter Greenberg, gives TLA an interesting market position going forward. The move also gives Greenberg Associates strong marketing leverage that they did not have on their own for clients, as TLA represents a large group of high profile announcers, coaches and current and former NFL players for sponsorships and other deals.

Bringing a large Latin contingent to the mix will expose all clients to new and more lucrative deals, not just in the U.S. but across all of the baseball-playing world.

The announcement on Monday continued the trend of agencies combining forces to gain critical mass with clients.

TLA principal Greg Grenske, who is based in California, took over Jeff Moorad and Associates when Moorad left the agent business to join the ownership group first of the Arizona Diamondbacks and then the San Diego Padres.  This deal also unites two record-setting groups from recent years, as it was Legacy who had client Sabathia sign a record $161 million dollar deal with the Yankees after a Greenberg and Associates client, Santana, had signed what was the record with a $137.5 million dollar contract for six years with the New York Mets.

“Peter and his team have gone about building a business the right way, with class and integrity, and that is reflected in the quality of work he has done in the United States, Latin America and Asia,” TLA Executive Director and President of Baseball, Genske said. “This new partnership will add great value to TLA and our clients, and will help usher in a new, more diverse era for the company.”

And maybe will help continue to rearrange the deck chairs in the agent arms race for America’s Pastime.