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K-Rod may sue his old agents

Feb 20, 2012, 10:30 AM EDT

Francisco Rodriguez AP

Last summer there was some hubbub when Francisco Rodriguez fired his agents, Paul Kinzer and Arn Tellem, replacing them with Scott Boras. Soon after that he was traded from the Mets to the Brewers.

The reason for the hubbub? Boras said that Kinzer and Tellem didn’t properly file the paperwork to activate a no-trade clause K-Rod negotiated for and that the no-trade clause would have included the Brewers on it.  As we know, K-Rod ended up going to Milwaukee and ended up being John Axford‘s setup man.

Yesterday K-Rod’s lawyer, Richard Johnson, was quoted saying that he’s getting ready to raise hell over it all and accused K-Rod’s old agents of fraud:

“They did something atrocious. Their arrogance makes this so evil. It’s like rear-ending somebody but instead of stopping your car and trading insurance information they blew up the car and ran away. They committed negligence and turned it into a fraud case … He’s going to lose a lot of money; the question is whether it’s seven figures or eight figures. There’s long-term damage to his career. He wasn’t even in position to be marketed as a closer last winter. They really (messed) with his career in a monumental way.”

The alleged damage is that by being unable to veto a trade to Milwaukee like he thought he’d be able to, K-Rod lost out on showcasing himself as a closer late last year and thus was unable to make bank this winter as a free agent.  Instead he accepted arbitration and will remain, presumably as a setup man, with the Brewers.

Worth noting, of course, that we’re just hearing one side of this.  Last summer when the controversy was first reported, sources familiar with the details of the no-trade clause filing said that it was, in fact, submitted and the dispute is about form, not substance.  Since then the parties have been involved in a mediation that has apparently gone south, which might explain Johnson speaking out like this now.

What interests me most here are the sorts of damages Johnson thinks he could get out of this if, in fact, he establishes that K-Rod was aggrieved.

On the one hand he could point to Jonathan Papelbon‘s silly contract and say “Look! K-Rod could have made a gajillion dollars if he had been able to market himself as a closer!”  On the other hand, Kinzer could point to Ryan Madson‘s one-year $8.5 million deal and note that the one-year $8 million deal K-Rod got with the Brewers is around where he would have been anyway.  Point is, I don’t think there was any guarantee that K-Rod, given his history and given the closer market can really say he was damaged all that greatly.

Whatever the case, worth watching.

  1. muskyhunter2542 - Feb 20, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    Have a great year this yeat and break the bank next.

  2. muskyhunter2542 - Feb 20, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    Have a great year this year and break the bank next.

  3. dondada10 - Feb 20, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    K-Rod’s argument is flimsy, at best. GMs know what he is capable of, role be damned. He’s been in the majors 10 years.

    He could’ve elected for free agency but knew very well that the arbitration route was the best way to go. He got a pay-day for 2012 and a chance to re-enter the market.

  4. maddogg911 - Feb 20, 2012 at 11:12 AM

    KRod come back to the Angels. Your best years were with the Angels.

  5. randygnyc - Feb 20, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    I see his grievance. If the agents are guilty of malpractice ( a big if, and I’m basing my argument solely on that they were, for arguments sake), then they put his client in a position to underperform, based on his role. Pitching in a set up role, this year and last, will have definitive repercussions for the remainder of his career, IMO.

  6. millmannj - Feb 20, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    If K-Rod should be suing anyone it should be Boras. Boras was the one who got K-Rod to waive his no-trade clause and give up his $17M option for 2012 so he could leave the Mets. He probably put it in K’s head that he could get him a much better deal as a free agent.

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