The big news this weekend that was largely disregarded by anyone outside of the sports agent industry was that Aroldis Chapman fired Edwin Mejia and Athletes Premier International (API) and picked up Hendricks Sports Management. Randy and Alan Hendricks will be representing the hottest free agent not named Matt Holliday or Jason Bay. Interestingly, I recently wrote about the comfort factor between players who are looking to make a switch in representation and looking at Hendricks to fill that void. The most recent switch of Chapman to Hendricks furthers my argument that the brothers are quickly becoming the Rosenhaus’ of baseball. They signed former Cuba defector, Kendry Morales, and now have another defector in Chapman. Perhaps a new business strategy?
It has been well documented that Edwin Mejia has done anything and everything for Aroldis Chapman ever since he defected from the Cuban national team. Mejia became a jet-setter, traveling to the Netherlands, Spain, and eventually to Andorra, where Chapman established residency. This was Mejia’s huge fish since he had never represented a player on any 40-man roster in the past. Chapman was his “in” to become MLBPA licensed and to receive a nice chunk of change in commissions based on the contract Chapman will be signing sometime in the future.
What influenced Chapman’s decision to make a switch so abruptly? Again, the comfort factor had to play a huge role. No matter how many recommendations Mejia might have received, Chapman likely wanted to put his future earnings in the hands of a team that has had a lot of experience negotiating major deals. Was Chapman also worried about API’s shady Facebook tactics? Who knows if someone passed along my article about one of API’s employees (Jay Hairston) friending my former roommates, fraternity brothers, family, and clients. If so, maybe he was discouraged by their actions. Why spend time on that when they should have made Chapman their 1st, 2nd, and 3rd concern? What will Edwin and API do now that their cash cow has left them?