Jay Z present to Robinson Cano prompts MLBPA inquiry

By | November 12, 2013

Robinson Cano seems like a beleaguered man in a manner of sorts. He just fired his agent from 2011, Scott Boras and headed for rapper Jay-Z new sports agency. This has not only added fuel to rumors surrounding Cano’s free agency status, but increasingly opened up a new perspective. This could mean the second baseman could be in the Bronx longer than thought. Even though it is just a proposition, the news that got Cano square on the headlines is an alleged gift from the rap mogul-turned supports agent.

The national Baseball’s regulator body is looking into possibilities whether there were any rules broken with the presentation of the lucrative gift. The baseball body is studying the scenario to see if there were violations in the saga, that saw Cano receive a watch valued at $34,000. It is being felt that the gesture may have contravened sections of the MLBPA bylaws. The body is looking to verify if the gift was offered as persuasion to keep Cano under Jay-Z agency. Some sections of the bylaws on board state that it is illegal for agent to “persuade” their clients for such favors.

Whereas it is being seen as a violation of existing rule, it is not clear what circumstances that the rappers sporting agency would face from the regulators. Jay-Z started his agency in June. The $34,000 watch in question is way past the MLBPA agreed value for any gift given to a player by third party entities. Currently, players are safe only if they receive gifts well below the $500 mark. Cano is said to have received a luxurious Shawn Carter Classic Hublot watch, which had the names Shawn Carter engraved on it. The gift was exchanged in Belgium during his birthday party. Coincidentally, the rapper was in the vicinity and had finished performing in Antwerp. The player had made a posting on his Instagram account, showing the watch believed to have been custom designed by the rapper himself.

Whereas it is illegal to convince player to keep using agent services, any gifts surpassing the $500 mark must be notified to the MLBPA in writing especially if the players are under their agency. There are no confirmations made yet, according to Roc Nation’s spokesperson, Ron Berkowitz. The agency is yet to make any comments in regard to the MLBPA probe. The incident was first brought into the public domain by the ESPN network.
On its side, the MLBPA franchise also remains mute on the issue. The MLBPA spokesperson, Greg Bouris said they are yet to issue a statement given that the organization does not involve its self in such clandestine arrangements involving internal matters and agent player matters. In April, Cano deserted Boras joined other players from other sports fields in Jay-Z’s Roc Nation agency. This is not the first time that the rapper has lavished a sports personality with a luxurious gift. Cano is currently on the headlines as the Yankees look to keep him playing in the Bronx, and are believed to have offered him a $14.1 million deal.