Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw has long been represented by agent J.D. Smart. Smart was an agent at Hendricks Sports Management until recently leaving to join Excel Sports Management, which has a baseball division run by industry veteran Casey Close. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com has reported that Kershaw will remain a Smart client and will be co-represented by Close at Excel Sports.
In February, Kershaw signed a 2 year, $19 million deal, which allowed the Dodgers to avoid a couple of years wherein the pitcher would have been eligible for arbitration. Winning the National League Cy Young award in 2011 contributed mightily to Kershaw’s hefty 2 year deal. Coming in 2nd place for the N.L. Cy Young this year will only serve to expand his perceived value as he approaches the age that many scouts view to be a typical player’s prime.
Smart left Hendricks Sports at the same time as a couple other baseball agents (Jim Murray and Matt Laird) left the firm. He is also a named defendant, along with Hendricks Sports, in a lawsuit filed by pitcher Roman Colon for allegedly failing to inform him of an offer made by a Korean baseball team. Colon has asked for a reward of at least $1 million.