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Gus Dominguez Out Of Jail, Working With MLB Players

In 2006, Gustavo “Gus” Dominguez (uncle of Florida Marlins prospect Matt Dominguez) was charged for paying aides to illegally bring Cuban baseball players to California with the end goal of signing those players to contracts with MLB affiliated organizations.  Dominguez emigrated from Cuba, himself, and was once a member of the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox organizations.  Thereafter, Dominguez worked for a baseball agency named Total Sports International.  That changed in 2007 when he was convicted of illegally assisting five baseball players cross the border into the United States.  Dominguez was found guilty on twenty-one counts and was sentenced to five years in prison in addition to three years probation and payment of a $2,100 fine.

Five years have passed, and according to multiple reports, it appears that Gus Dominguez is back to representing baseball players.  His name has been attached to Garcia Speck, a lefthanded pitcher who, not surprisingly, defected from Cuba, and is looked upon as a very intriguing prospect.  Speck was formerly represented by Carlos Perez and Lazaro Collazo of Miami Sports Consulting.  BaseballAmerica reports that Dominguez also represents two players who were selected in the 2011 MLB Draft – Yordanys Perez (taken in the 28th round by the Cincinnati Reds) and Alfredo Unzue (taken in the 35th round by the Oakland Athletics).

According to the BaseballAmerica article, Dominguez said he is working as a “consultant” for a new Los Angeles agency, but can it really be distinguished from representation?  In fact, BaseballAmerica even states that Dominguez “represents” Perez and Unzue.  If/when Dominguez applies for MLBPA certification as a Player Agent, it will be interesting to see the MLBPA’s response.  According to Section 4(M) of the MLBPA Regulations Governing Player Agents (As Amended Effective October 1, 2010), the MLBPA may deny certification as a Player Agent to any applicant, or may impose limits or conditions on the certification granted to any applicant on certain grounds.  Of note is Section 4(M)(9).

One does not need to be a licensed Player Agent to advise players for the MLB Draft; however, if Dominguez hopes to represent players when they are added to their teams’ 40-man rosters, he will have to be cleared by the MLBPA.  As of now, there is no indication to believe the MLBPA will rule a certain way with respect to this matter.

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.