Headline MLB Players Sports Agents

Clayton Kershaw Continuing Relationship With Agent J.D. Smart At Excel Sports

Oct 28, 2012; Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw is awarded the 2012 Roberto Clemente Award. Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

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 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.

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.