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Aroldis Chapman Says Adios To Athletes Premier International

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?

By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.

5 replies on “Aroldis Chapman Says Adios To Athletes Premier International”

Hey Darren! Huge fan of your blog! You mentioned API’s possible shady busines by this Hairston character…Maybe it was more of their inexpierience. It appears to me the Hendricks Brothers are the ones up to shady business! Three players decide to jump ship from 3 different agencies inth past year seems a bit fishy to me! What’s your take on this? Thanks.

I can only speak from personal experience. I have never had a client contacted by the Hendricks Brothers (that I know of). I mentioned in my post that inexperience probably played a large role in Chapman’s switch. Hendricks can justify the three players jumping ship from other agencies (based on their track record and/or the other agency’s faults). How can you justify going on Facebook and friending every person on a rival agent’s Friend List?

Hendricks hired Kendry’s agent after his old agency stopped their practice. This agent is Cuban. I would assume at some point Kendry knew Aroldis and a phone call was placed. Not sure how shady that is…

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