Roughly 15 years after successfully leaving Cuba and making South Florida his home, baseball agentCarlos Perez controls his own Miami, Florida-based sports agency titled, Miami Sports Consulting. Perez has become known as an advocate for Cuban baseball players who have found a way to escape the island. The following is an interview I recently conducted with Perez concerning his practice of representing professional baseball players
Darren Heitner: Why did you get into the business of representing professional baseball players?
Carlos Perez: Well ever since I was a kid, I have liked baseball. I had always said that when I couldn’t practice anymore, I wanted to continue working in this arena one way or another. In addition, I have always liked the business world.
Darren Heitner: When did you open up your own company? Where did you work prior to starting up Miami Sports Consulting?
Carlos Perez: It has been 3 years since I opened the company Miami Sports Consulting. Prior to opening my company, I was the Director of Baseball of United Sports, another agency that devotes itself to representing athletes.
Darren Heitner: What are some of the unique aspects of representing Cuban baseball players as opposed to baseball players born in the United States?
Carlos Perez: First, you see a result of hard work of many years following a player through both high school and universities and see how they develop on a daily basis. One gets very happy to see baseball players developing into a professional athletes (although the objectives are not always achieved in all cases). In the case of Cubans, it is something else. It is more of the aspect of helping a person from my country. Everyone knows that sports agents invest to win, although in my case, it has been more about helping the Cuban baseball player economically. Unfortunately, I have not won a dollar in my investment, but at least I helped many Cubans to fulfill their dreams to play professional ball.
Darren Heitner: You are the first Cuban born agent to place a Cuban born player (Carlos Rosa) in Japan. Tell me a little bit about the process involved in negotiating Rosa’s deal to play in the Far East.
Carlos Perez: Thank God I had the honor of representing Carlos Rosa. He signed with Japan at one of the most horrible times for Japan (when the country was going through the devastating aftermath of the Tsunami). It was a process where Carlos Rosa was on the list of players waived in Arizona, and we were able to contact people who were involved in the process of signing Major League Baseball Players in Japan. In addition, I have to mention that Carlos Rosa has done an excellent job in this distant country.
Darren Heitner: How do you go about recruiting players to advise in the MLB Rule 4 Draft?
Carlos Perez: This is one of the tasks, which I enjoy the most – being able to be a mentor. I usually contact a baseball player’s father and begin to advise them how to do things, including what would be the best course to take for the boy, and let them know that the most important thing is their studies, because sports and education go hand in hand. In my opinion I prefer the player to attend a university to achieve a degree for his future. Also, those 3 or 4 extra years playing ball in college makes them develop both physically and mentally as baseball players. I have seen many cases of players that have been chosen in the MLB draft in their high school senior years, and over the years their minor league production has not been the best, and they have been released from the organization without a degree from a university, which would otherwise have helped them to move on with their life. This is why I prefer the players to acquire a degree, even though it is worth clarifying that all rules have exceptions.
Darren Heitner: Who are currently some of the more well-known players that you represent?
Carlos Perez: We represent Raúl Valdés – recognized as the most valuable pitcher of the Caribbean World Series and in the Dominican League. In fact, he made history when he obtained this award for the third consecutive time. He is currently putting up great numbers for the Philadelphia Phillies. We also represent Pedro Ciriaco, who is signed with the Boston Red Sox organization and currently has numerous impressive performances. I said earlier, we represent Carlos Rosa in Japan. The Agency also represents Yunel Escobar (Toronto Blue Jays) and Alexei Ramirez (Chicago White Sox) for public relations, in addition to having 22 lefties with enormous projections.
Darren Heitner: Are there benefits to living in Miami, Florida?
Carlos Perez: For me, the place does not bring about benefits. I have always said that wherever God places you, you have to work and carry out your dreams no matter the difficulties that you submit your mind to. But your mind must stay strong to get ahead, because as in all businesses, there will be people who praise and others that want to destroy you, but with much faith, the truth at the end of time becomes present. It doesn’t matter if you live in Miami, Washington, or Las Vegas, the place does not matter.
Darren Heitner: What advice do you have for individuals who wish to represent baseball players?
Carlos Perez: 1-Learn from those who have spent a long time in this business.
2- Know that as in any business, there are victories and losses.
3- Be prepared for the press. Know how to maintain control of the mind.
4- Last but not least, if on one occasion an investment or negotiation does wrong, don’t let that keep you down. Look forward and tell yourself that the next one will be a major success. Even more important is that we do not let defeat destroy us, and that we go ahead with our dreams and goals.