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What Occurred Before The Rule 5 Draft

rafael soriano

Yesterday, I talked about the Rule 5 Draft, which marks the end of the week-long MLB Winter Meetings.  The very beginning of the week is marked by an important decision that very few players have to make: Whether to accept arbitration.  This year, 23 players were offered arbitration, and last Monday at midnight, we were left with the final number of players who accepted: 3.  Their names: Rafael Betancourt (Rockies), Rafael Soriano (offered by the Braves, but recently acquired by the Rays), and Carl Pavano (Twins).  Pavano really killed the streak of Rafael’s.

The Braves had to receive Soriano’s permission to deal him to another team, which was apparently granted by the reliever before he was shipped to Tampa Bay.

Caught in between arbitration decisions and the Rule 5 Draft is notoriously a bunch of wheeling and dealing by MLB organizations.  Many called this year’s Winter Meetings uneventful in that respect, which had a highlight of Curtis Granderson being traded to the Yankees in a three-team deal.  In that trade, the Diamondbacks received Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy, and the Tigers added Max Scherzer, Austin Jackson, Phil Coke, and Daniel Schlereth (yes, his father is Mark Schlereth, analyst on ESPN’s NFL Live).

Besides trades, there are also a bunch of free-agent signings.  MLBTradeRumors does a great job at highlighting all of the moves in a read that won’t take you more than a few minutes to breeze through.

Also, Jon Heyman, one of the reporters who called these Winter Meetings rather “uneventful”, thought that the agents did a great job placing their free agent players in smart positions.  He applauded Legacy Sports Group for getting their client, Brad Penny, a $7.5 million deal + potential of $1.5 million more through incentives, WMG for locking up $29.75 million on Randy Wolf‘s contract, and threw in some love for Larry Reynolds (represents LaTroy Hawkins – 2 years, $7.5 million) and Barry Meister (represents Brandon Lyon – 3 years, $15 million).

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.

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