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Sports agent claims Yankees prospect Justus Sheffield's family stiffed him over commission: 'It's been a nightmare'

By CHRISTIAN RED

JUN 16, 2018 | 12:00 PM 

Sports agent David Sloane says he was at a crossroads in his career by the time he first started following the Tennessee-born brothers, Jordan and Justus Sheffield, both pitching aces from Tullahoma (Tenn.) High School.

Jordan, the older of the two Sheffield boys and a right-hander, was a player that first caught Sloane’s interest through the Perfect Game online scouting service in 2012, and late that summer, the Florida-based Sloane reached out to the Sheffield family -- father, Travis, and mother, Misty -- to explore representing their oldest son. The Sheffields have three boys, the youngest named Jaxon.

Sloane says he was told by the Sheffields that Jordan was already represented by agent Darek Braunecker, but the family agreed to meet with Sloane nonetheless, in Jupiter, Fla., where a tournament was taking place.

“I thought the conversation was good,” Sloane says now. “(The Sheffields) asked me to send more information, and in early 2013, I met the family in Tullahoma. It was the parents, both boys and me, all gathered at the kitchen table.” Sloane says he left that meeting upbeat, and he continued to keep an open communication line to express his interest.

 

 

A month later, Travis Sheffield put his then 17-year-old son, Jordan, on the phone to talk with Sloane.

“I’ve thought a lot about it, and I want you to represent me,” Jordan said, according to Sloane.

“I felt pretty good,” says Sloane, who entered the sports agency business back in 1973, and has represented over 100 clients, one of the biggest being former Mets and Blue Jays slugger, Carlos Delgado.

But what transpired after that phone call in 2013 has generated anything but good feelings for Sloane. Although Sloane also eventually represented the lefty Justus Sheffield -- now one of the Yankees’ top pitching prospects who came to the Bombers in the July 2016 Andrew Miller trade with Cleveland -- Sloane says he ultimately got stiffed by the Sheffield family. In particular, Sloane says he did not receive his full commission from Justus after the southpaw signed with the Indians in 2014 and received a $1.6 million signing bonus.

Sloane ended up filing suit against Justus in Arizona state court for breach of contract -- a case that Sloane lost after the suit was dismissed. Sloane’s legal woes continued to snowball, as he was later fined over $50,000 by the Tennessee secretary of state’s office in a separate matter. The civil fine stemmed from a Tennessee administrative judge ruling that Sloane violated the Tennessee Athlete Agent Reform Act of 2011, which requires sports agents to register in the state before initiating contact with a student athlete. Sloane did get the fine reduced to just over $10,000 after he says he was able to prove Jordan Sheffield had violated NCAA rules. Two court filings -- a petitioner's (state of Tennessee) notice to withdraw charges, and a judge's ruling earlier this year -- show Sloane's fine reduced.

Sloane, 66, is appealing the Tennessee judge’s ruling and fine, and the case is still open. But in the fallout, Sloane says everybody made out well except for him.

“Where’s the damage? Jordan got to play three years at Vanderbilt (before being drafted by the Dodgers in 2016 and receiving a $1.8 million signing bonus). Vanderbilt got to avail themselves of his abilities. Justus got to sign with Cleveland for $1.6 million. Tennessee got its money from me when I did register,” says Sloane. “I got fined over $10,000. I would venture to say the only person damaged was me.”

"I would venture to say the only person damaged was me.”

 DAVID SLOANE

 


 

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Sloane says that the Major League Baseball Players Association, which monitors and regulates agents, and which has the ability to certify or decertify agents, failed to support him in his case with Tennessee. Sloane also claims that before the judge in the Tennessee matter issued her ruling, the case was stacked against him. Now he’s out the remaining $33,000.00 he says Justus Sheffield owes him; there are the legal costs Sloane had to fork over in his Arizona breach of contract suit; and Sloane could be out another 10 grand if he loses his appeal in Tennessee.

“It’s been a nightmare ever since Jordan said he wanted me to represent him,” says Sloane.

* * *

Sloane says he represented Jordan Sheffield in the 2013 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft. Despite having Tommy John surgery that year, the righty was drafted by the Red Sox in the 13th round. But the money Boston was offering wasn’t enough for the Sheffields, Sloane says, and Jordan elected to go to Vanderbilt instead.

 

In October 2013, while Jordan was at Vanderbilt, Sloane traveled to the Sheffields’ home in Tennessee to reiterate his interest in representing Justus, the 2014 Gatorade national player of the year. Sloane says he apologized to the family then for having missed a showcase in Minnesota in which Justus had pitched. Sloane attributed the absence to a family matter. “I hope you don’t take that absence as a lack of interest,” Sloane says he told the Sheffields.

“Justus was deadpan throughout the whole time and then he smiled and said, ‘I’ve already been telling scouts you’re my agent,’” Sloane says Justus told him. “Justus pulled a funny.”

Sloane says he returned to Tennessee in March 2014 to see Justus play in some games, with the 2014 MLB Amateur Draft right around the corner. While he was in Tennessee, Sloane says Travis Sheffield told him about another player he might be interested in meeting. Sloane agreed to see the player, and Sloane says it was only then that he first learned that he had to register in Tennessee as an agent. The father of the player Sloane was to meet asked Sloane if he had registered.

“No, I didn’t know you needed to,” Sloane says he told the father. Sloane adds that the Sheffields never told him about the need for registration in the state, but after Sloane learned about the requirement, he says he immediately sent in the necessary forms and $500 fee within a 10-day period.

The Indians selected Justus Sheffield in the first round of the ‘14 draft with the 31st overall pick, but at that time, Sloane says he only had an oral agreement with the Sheffield family regarding Sloane’s commission. Any written contract signed between an agent and an amateur athlete before the athlete is drafted or signs a written contract with a team, voids the player's NCAA eligibility. Sloane says that agents advise amateur players all the time prior to the draft, and that oral agreements are not uncommon.

The Indians wanted to bring Sheffield to Cleveland for a ceremony to introduce their first-round choice and have him sign a contract, but Sloane says he had advised the family before the draft that Justus should sign any contract in Tennessee, where there is no state income tax.

When the Sheffields went to Cleveland for the press conference, Sloane says he met the family there – on his own dime -- and sat with them in a Progressive Field suite. It was during that trip that Sloane reiterated to the Sheffields that they had agreed to an oral agreement to pay Sloane his five-percent fee. “I hope you’re happy with the job I did, and that you’re comfortable paying me the commission,” Sloane says he told Travis Sheffield. Sloane says he asked Justus, “You’re fine with paying me ($81,000)?” Justus said yes, according to Sloane.

“I never got a signed contract from them,” says Sloane. “They lied to my face and stabbed me in the back.” Sloane adds that Travis Sheffield transferred $48,000 (3% of Sheffield’s signing bonus) to Sloane’s account, but not the total $81,000.00 (5%) that he says he and the family had agreed upon.

Compounding matters was that Justus (now 22) would be issued a check from Arizona, where the Indians assigned him after the draft. Sloane says he advised the Sheffields that when Justus paid his 2015 taxes, he should have his accountant send a letter to Arizona officials outlining that the money Justus earned was for signing a contract -- not for any work -- and therefore shouldn’t be subject to tax.

“Why should Justus have to hire an accountant?” Sloane says Misty Sheffield asked him.

Later that year, when Justus was in Arizona playing in the rookie league, and Sloane says he was in the state for other business, Sloane says he spoke with Sheffield by phone to resolve the money issue. Sloane says the relationship with the Sheffields had already frayed. Sloane was originally scheduled to meet Justus for lunch in Arizona but decided to resolve the matter over the phone.

“I’m expecting you to live up to the commitment we agreed upon,” Sloane says he told Sheffield. The pitcher responded by telling Sloane that he was following his father’s advice. “I have to do what my father is telling me. Please talk with my father,” Justus said, according to Sloane.

“His daddy and mommy were still doing his thinking for him,” says Sloane. He adds that he told Sheffield, “You gave me your word.” It was the last time Sloane says he spoke with Justus.

Sloane then filed suit against Sheffield in Arizona that October, and he says that the two attorneys who represented him in the matter were “incompetent.” The first lawyer, Sloane says, was disbarred after representing Sloane. The second attorney he retained, Todd Schultz, failed to show up in person at a hearing to present oral arguments on the defendant’s (Sheffield) motion to dismiss, according to Sloane. A video of that hearing that is on YouTube clearly shows the plaintiff's table vacant except for a speakerphone. Schultz participated via phone and profusely apologized for his absence. The case was originally supposed to go to arbitration, and court records in Maricopa County (Ariz.) show the case was dismissed in May 2016 without prejudice.

“(Schultz’s) efforts could not have been more detrimental to me and more beneficial to Sheffield,” says Sloane. “At no time did he come up with any argument to counter the Athlete Agent Reform Act.”

Gregg Clifton, a principal at the Jackson Lewis Phoenix law offices, represented Sheffield in the matter.

“The law in Arizona at the time of the Sheffield signing, as in most states that have specific agent laws, was very clear,’’ Clifton told the Daily News. “You must be registered with the state in order to work as an agent and any agreement that an agent enters into with an amateur athlete must be in writing and contain very specific, statutorily mandated provisions in order to be enforceable.’’

Sloane’s case was dismissed, but not before it triggered scrutiny into Sloane’s agent relationship with the Sheffields in Tennessee. Sloane ultimately got hit with the civil fine. In a court filing in the Tennessee matter, Sloane alleged that Justus and Jordan Sheffield’s current agent, Bo McKinnis, helped send information to the Tennessee secretary of state, Tre Hargett, about Sloane’s violation of the Tennessee Athlete Agent Reform Act. In the Arizona case, Justus Sheffield had denied Sloane's allegation in an answer to the verified complaint.

Travis, Justus and Jordan Sheffield did not return messages from the Daily News for this story and McKinnis did not return a call. Schultz also did not return a call for comment.

According to Tennessee statutes, Justus could have requested a refund for the $48,000 he paid Sloane since Sloane was in violation of the Tennessee Athlete Agent Reform Act, but the pitcher did not pursue a counterclaim. Baseball sources say it was an ill-advised move for Sloane to sue Sheffield. Sloane says his regret is that the lawyers he retained, including Schultz, failed to advise him as to whether he had a strong case.

“I believe in standing up for myself,” says Sloane. “I lived up to all of my commitments to Sheffield and I wish he had lived up to his commitments to me.”

“They lied to my face and stabbed me in the back.”

 DAVID SLOANE

Sloane represented himself in the Tennessee matter. A year after the Arizona case was dismissed, Sloane was fined $50,740 by Secretary of State Hargett. Sloane said in a petition for judicial review that Hargett had stated in a 2011 press release that the Athlete Agent Reform Act “isn’t widely known.” Sloane also alleged in his defense that Jordan Sheffield was in violation of NCAA laws prior to Sloane representing him. Sloane presented scouting reports from the Tigers and Diamondbacks to establish that Jordan was represented by another agent before Sloane made any contact with the pitcher.

According to Sloane’s petition for judicial review in the Tennessee case, he received a curious response to his request for information in the first hearing for his case. Tennessee Administrative Judge Elizabeth Cambron replied, “I thought this hearing was only to determine if you had registered and how much I was supposed to fine you.” Sloane included the judge's remark in his petition, and he says that the remark was an indication to him that his due process rights were being denied.

Sloane was able to compel some evidence for his defense. In one email exchange between McKinnis and Kevin Rayburn -- a lawyer for Secretary of State Hargett -- that Sloane obtained and used in his defense, McKinnis outlines the background of Sloane’s representation of Justus. But at the end of the email, McKinnis writes to Rayburn: “Don’t know if you recall, but we are hoping you will write Sloane a ‘tough guy’ letter pointing out his violations of the Tennessee laws.” Sloane says the evidence was deemed irrelevant.

Rayburn no longer works for Hargett’s office. A spokesman from Hargett’s office told The News in an email: “We cannot comment on ongoing litigation.”

Sloane reached out to MLB Players Association attorney Robert Guerra last year, but Sloane says he received no assistance. A union spokesman sent the following statement: "Mr. Sloane was not acting in the capacity of a certified MLBPA agent when he was fined by the state of Tennessee in connection with the recruitment of an amateur athlete. As a result, the PA declined to get involved in his challenge to the penalties imposed on him. Mr. Sloane is no longer a certified MLBPA agent and he has not represented a Major League player for three years."

Sloane slammed the union in response. “I disagree with union’s position. Their position is inconsistent at best and self-serving and disingenuous at worst,” says Sloane. “I have paid thousands of dollars to become and remain certified. I was told those fees were to be used to pay for the union monitoring the conduct of the agent community.

“They’re at least tangentially responsible for what goes on in the agent business as they have power to certify and decertify agents. This lack of assistance is not at all what I’ve seen them render to bigger agencies that have encountered issues in the conduct of their business,” adds Sloane.

 

He also points out that the union went to bat for players Brady Aiken and Jacob Nix -- two players originally drafted by the Astros in the 2014 draft -- despite the fact neither was a union member. The union filed a grievance on behalf of Nix after Players Association executive director Tony Clark hinted that Houston had engaged in “manipulation” during the negotiations of both players. Non-union members are not covered by terms of the collective bargaining agreement.

“The union decided (it) could not help me because Justus is not a union member,” says Sloane. “I'd call that blatant hypocrisy. The union also stood up on behalf of agents accused of much more serious offenses than I am accused of. They allowed me to twist in the wind.”

In the Tennessee ruling against Sloane, the judge states that Sloane “admitted that he conducted no research prior to initiating contact with the Sheffield family to determine whether Tennessee had a requirement that he register as an athlete agent.” The ruling also states that Sloane “failed to exercise due diligence.”

Sloane says he did comply with the state laws, and that despite "hundreds of baseball players from Tennessee who have utilized the services of an agent," he was singled out by the secretary of state. "No law has ever been passed for the purpose of facilitating a vendetta against a private individual as so blatantly has occurred here," Sloane says in his petition. He adds that he is done with the agent business, but that he will get some measure of redemption. "Last I checked, karma is undefeated," Sloane says.

“No one from the MLBPA or anywhere said to register,” he adds. “I wasn’t caught. I was informed of the need to register, and I immediately did so. The thing that most motivates me to have this in the public eye is, if the state of Tennessee can do this to me, what’s to stop it from doing this to others?”

 

 

I would correct this article as follows:

1) There was no "badgering" of Sheffield's Father. I spoke to him three times over 2+ weeks. Every time I spoke to him, he promised to pay me. Every time it was a lie.

2) I aplogize to all bastards for using Sheffield's name in that context. True bastards have no choice in being born out of wedlock. Justus Sheffield had a choice to do the right thing or to stab me in the back. He chose to let his Mommy do his thinking for him.

3) The writer did not mention that the first lawyer who (mis)represented me was disbarred as a result of his incompetence and the second lawyer who (mis)represented failed to show up for the hearing to defend me against the Motion to Dismiss my suit.

4) NOBODY should be subject to a corrupt State official misuing the power of his office to conduct a vendetta against anyone.

https://nypost.com/2018/06/05/agent-blasts-top-yankees-prospect-stabbed-me-in-the-back/

Agent blasts top Yankees prospect: ‘Stabbed me in the back’

David Sloane, a longtime agent, represented Sheffield and his brother, Jordan, when the two were drafted. He hasn’t spoken to either since 2014, a result of a legal dispute that resulted in Sloane throwing up his hands and recently deciding not to renew his MLBPA certification, as he first told USA Today. Sloane has been in the industry for decades, representing roughly 125 major and minor league players, most notably Carlos Delgado.

Justus, Jordan and their father, Travis, did not respond to phone calls and text messages from The Post.

When Sheffield was picked in the first round of the 2014 draft by the Cleveland Indians, Sloane negotiated a $1.6 million contract with the understanding, he said, that Sheffield would give him a standard 5 percent commission. That money never came.

Sloane’s agreement with Sheffield was only verbal. He calls that standard practice among agents representing amateur players — a result of NCAA regulations that could see a player declared ineligible — instead waiting until a player signs with a team before officially signing a contract to represent them.

“He used that consideration on my part to stab me in the back,” Sloane told The Post in a phone interview.

After badgering Sheffield’s father, Sloane was given $48,000 — which represented 3 percent. When he next talked to Justus, Sloane accused him of withholding $33,000 and threatened to sue.

Sloane did eventually sue Sheffield, for breach of contract in the state of Arizona, and lost — which Sloane blamed on his lawyers.

Sloane thought that would be the end of it, but a year later, he was notified that the state of Tennessee was fining him $50,740 for violating the Uniform Athlete Agent Act, which requires agents to register with the state when representing athletes.

Sloane managed to get the fine reduced from $50,740 to $10,740 by showing evidence that Jordan Sheffield violated the same law by having an agent while pitching at Vanderbilt. Still, Sloane plans to appeal again, and holds nothing back in his assessment of the Sheffields.

“[Justus] could have easily stood up and said, ‘You know what, Mom and Dad, I understand you’re looking out for what you think are my best interests, but I gave David my word, I believe he did a good job for me, and I’m going to do what I agreed to do,’ ” Sloane said. “But then, he allowed himself to act like a child and let Mommy and Daddy run his life.”


For those not aware of the nuance of the Agent business, it is standard practice that an Agent does not sign a contract with an Amateur player unless and until he signs a contract with the team that drafts him.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/columnist/bob-nightengale/2018/06/03/david-sloan-mlb-agent-quitting-justus-sheffield/667376002/

Why a baseball agent is leaving the industry over $33,000: 'Tired of swimming in a sewer'

Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY Sports Published 2:12 p.m. ET June 3, 2018 | 

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — It was the baseball draft that was supposed to rejuvenate veteran agent David Sloane’s career, representing a premium high-school pitcher who’s a top prospect today, only to wind up taking on costly legal fees, ongoing court battles, and leading him right out of the business.

Sloane, a baseball agent since 1974, says he is leaving the industry, enraged at New York Yankees top prospect Justus Sheffield, furious at the state of Tennessee, and exasperated with the Major League Baseball Players Association.

“I didn’t get out of the agent business because I was a bad agent,’’ Sloane tells USA TODAY Sports, “I got out of the agent business because I was tired of swimming in a sewer. It’s a horrible (expletive) business. I probably should have walked away 10 years ago. You sweat blood for these 18-year-old kids who have so much smoke blown up their ass they could become a chimney. They’re on the cusp of greatness, and on the brink of making good money, and then they stab you in the back.

“It pisses me off seeing agents whose only notable skills are their ability to bribe players with gear, hookers, steroids or training facilities, making 10 times what I ever made, despite the fact that they have never negotiated anything remotely approaching a contract that broke any kind of new ground in their entire career.’’

Sloane, 66, represented about 125 major-league and minor-league players during his 43-year career, including All-Star Carlos Delgado, who earned about $147 million. He says he may advise one last player in this year’s draft - which begins Monday - but will no longer pay dues to remain certified.

“I’m not slinking away,’’ says Sloane, “but walking away with my head held high. My decision to turn away is not just motivated by my distrust over having to deal with people like Justus Sheffield, but motivated by my potential in a new venture.’’

It was Sloane’s relationship with Sheffield, 22, representing him when he received a $1.6 million signing bonus in 2014 as a first-round pick with the Cleveland Indians, that began a four-year legal dispute that still has not ended.

It started after Sheffield paid Sloane $48,000 - a 3% cut for his services - only for Sloane to accuse Sheffield of short-changing him by $33,000 for a 5% fee. That led to Sloane filing a breach of contract lawsuit against Sheffield, which led to the state of Tennessee filing four complaints against Sloane and a $50,740 civil penalty, which led to Sloane informing Vanderbilt University that his older brother, Jordan Sheffield, violated NCAA bylaws by having another agent represent him during his collegiate career, which led to Tennessee reducing the civil penalty to $10,740, which led to Sloane filing another appeal.

“I’m looking for a white knight,’’ Sloane says, “who realizes the wrong that has been done here and would like to correct an unjust and abusive power. The secretary of the state is not empowered to conduct vendettas. This is not justice, this is about revenge.

“It’s a witch hunt.’’

And, to think, it all started when Sloane thought he struck gold by representing Sheffield, the Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year, going 11-0 with a 0.34 ERA and 131 strikeouts in 61⅔ innings as a high school senior.

“I wish I had never heard the name, 'Sheffield,' ’’ Sloane said. “It has eroded my faith in human nature to a degree I can’t even put in words. I’m rooting for karma now.

“Look, if he becomes the Cy Young Award winner next year, it’s not going to ruin my life. But him stabbing me in the back the way he did is his loss. I’m the best agent he would have had. I’m as good as there ever was.’’

Sheffield, who’s 1-3 with a 2.03 ERA, striking out 57 in 44⅓ innings at Class AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, declined comment, with his family saying simply that it’s a closed matter. Several agents and an attorney familiar with the case also declined to comment publicly.

The dispute began when it came time to collect his fees for Sheffield’s singing bonus, Sloane says. He said Sheffield agreed to be charged the standard 5%. Yet, after Sheffield was paid, Sloane said he received $48,000 and not $81,000. He voiced his objection to Sheffield, and when Sheffield refused to give him more than 3%, Sloane filed a lawsuit in the state of Arizona.

And lost, with the case dismissed.

“The law in Arizona at the time of the Sheffield signing, as in most states that have specific agent laws, was very clear,’’ said Gregg Clifton, the lawyer who represented Sheffield from the firm of Jackson Lewis and himself a longtime agent. “You must be registered with the state in order to work as an agent and any agreement that an agent enters into with an amateur athlete must be in writing and contains very specific, statutorily mandated provisions in order to be enforceable.’’

It was a case that never should have been filed, several agents and union representatives said, with Sloane having virtually no chance of winning.

And once the state of Tennessee was made aware of it, a complaint was filed against Sloane for violating a law requiring agents to register with the state when representing Tennessee athletes.

“How is it right that the secretary of state should be able to use his office for exacting his revenge against somebody?’’ Sloane said. “The one thing I did was that I didn’t register with the state before saying I worked to represent Sheffield.

“They didn’t say I bribed him. Or I stole money from him. Or that I caused Vanderbilt to forfeit scholarships and championships and victories. I did next to nothing wrong. All I did was fail to register. And as soon as I became aware of this law, I registered immediately and paid the $500 fee.

“If there is going to be a consequence, it should be something along the lines of what a speeding ticket should be.’’

Sloane will be around if anyone needs advice, and now that he’s leaving the business, he’s unafraid to talk. He’ll tell you how the union’s strategy in the last collective bargaining agreement was severely flawed. He wonders if it’s even possible for the union to recover its lost power. And he wonders if leadership change is needed.

“This was a slow-motion train wreck,’’ Sloane says, “and whoever didn’t see it coming was blind. This (CBA) is messed up in so many ways. I hope the meals these guys are getting in the clubhouse are worth the millions they gave up.

“The union has done an extremely poor job of reading the tea leaves foretelling what was going to take place, and understanding what the unintended consequences might be. It’s really an uphill climb now. Are the owners going to scrap the luxury tax? Are they going to scrap the draft system that so favors the clubs? That’s not going to happen.

“Where is the leverage on the players’ side now? How do you go on strike when players will never get sympathy from fans when average salary will be over $4.5 million?"

So, is a union leadership shakeup needed?

 “There are countless people out there who would love to have the job," he says, "and the people that are running the show aren’t doing the job so well.’’

It’s no longer Sloane’s problem, and after 43 years, he’s walking away and refuses to look back.

“I’m going to be a lot happier not having to deal with the back stabbing that goes on in the agent business,’’ Sloane says. “You look around, and the overwhelming majority of an agent’s clients are players they stole from somebody else. The union doesn’t do anything to stop it.

“It’s like steroids. I remember telling (former union chief) Don Fehr that I have a player that says he’s the only one on the team not using steroids. Don told me, 'This is not something that concerns us. We don’t handle that. It’s a privacy issue.’

“It was ignored, of course, and not long after that the whole thing blew up.

“Well, after 43 years, I’ve had enough. I wasn’t a big-time agent. I wasn’t relentless as a self-promoter. But I had a significant career.

“Now, others can have this. I’m out of this sewer.’’

 

Miami Herald Fish Bytes  Nov 22, 2012

Like Reyes and Buehrle, Carlos Delgado assured he wouldn't be traded

       Mark Buehrle and Jose Reyes aren't the first Marlins to be traded only one season into multi-year deals after receiving verbal assurances that they wouldn't. Carlos Delgado was also told not to worry when he expressed concerns about the team's unwillingness to grant him veto power with any trade.

         And in all three instances, it appears that Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria was the one doing the comforting. A source told The Herald's Barry Jackson that was the case with Reyes, and I've heard it was the same for Buehrle. 

        Delgado's agent, David Sloane, said it was Loria who tried to allay his client's concerns when the Marlins were courting the free agent slugger In 2005. Sloane said that during the bidding process, Delgado had received an offer from the Texas Rangers that promised full no-trade rights while the New York Mets had agreed to provide limited no-trade protection that would allow Delgado to veto deals to a set list of specified teams. The Marlins, per team policy, refused to write binding, no-trade language into the contract.

        But Loria -- anxious to sign the first baseman -- gave Delgado verbal assurances that the Marlins wouldn't trade him. Sloane remembers the moment vividly. Sloane said that after taking Delgado to lunch at Joe's Stone Crab, he and members of the Marlins front office returned to Sun Life Stadium to continue negotiating. That's when Loria looked Delgado in the eye and told him there was no need to sweat.

       According to Sloane, Loria's exact words were: "If you play like you have in the past and I try to trade you, the fans will hang me in front of the stadium."

        Delgado agreed to a 4-year/$52 million deal that was so heavily backloaded he received just $4 million from the Marlins in '05. Despite a banner season in which he finished sixth in the voting for NL MVP by hitting .301/.399/.582 with 33 home runs and 115 RBI, Delgado was traded to the Mets for Grant PsomasMike Jacobs and Yusmeiro Petit. The scaffold never went up.  

Delgado

        "He wasn't happy about it," Sloane said.

        It's probably no coincidence that in terms of total dollars, the three richest contracts awarded by the Marlins to free agents have gone to Reyes (6 years/$106 million), Buehrle (4/$58) and Delgado. With all three, the outcome proved to be the same. When it came time for salaries to escalate, the players were gone. One and done. Good riddance.

        Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfestacknowledged on Monday that the lastest episode may make it difficult for the team to attract free agents in the future.

        "I understand there may be some disdain in the market place," Beinfest said. "We don't know until we get into those negotiations with free agents or until we show over a sustained period of time that we operate in a certain manner. It's definitely not great for the club and we're going to have to deal with it."

        But Beinfest said he remains in favor of maintaining the club's policy of not giving no-trade protection.

        "It's not going to be my recommendation we change our view of no-trade clauses," Beinfest said. "It was certainly not the intention, and I'll speak for Jeffrey on this, when we signed these guys, to be where we are today...."

        ____________________

https://www.thestar.com/sports/baseball/2012/11/19/blue_jays_mailbag_how_agents_could_have_saved_new_players_money_in_taxes_griffin.html

How agents could have saved new players money in taxes: Griffin

 By:  Baseball Columnist, Published on Mon Nov 19 2012

As of Monday morning, there had been a one-week delay in the official announcement of the mega 12-player deal between the Blue Jays and the Marlins causing much angst among Jays’ supporters that maybe commissioner Bud Selig was going to step in and veto the trade in the “best interests of baseball.”

The only time that particular power of the office was used was when then-commissioner Bowie Kuhn did it in 1976 to veto a move by the A’s to dismantle his team for cash. Maverick owner Charles O. Finley attempted to sell stars Joe Rudi and Rollie Fingers to the Red Sox and Vida Blue to the Yankees.

A Chicago insurance magnate whose de facto GM was once a kid working as help in the clubhouse, who went on to gain fame as MC Hammer, Finley was upset with the new concept of free agency after losing Catfish Hunter in the first year of the modern process in the winter of 1975-76. The attempted Finley fire-sale was a protest against the system from an owner that had won three straight World Series from 1972-74 and liked doing his own thing. Kuhn stepped in and stopped the sale.

But this Jays-Marlins deal has none of those markings. Selig admitted that the Marlins received good young talent in return. The true issue here is believed to be about money, taxes and broken promises. The Marlins are believed to be sending $8 million over along with Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, John Buck and Emilio Bonifacio.

The two Marlins players that signed free agent deals prior to the 2011 season, Reyes and Buehrle, both insisted that owner Jeffrey Loria had given them verbal promises that they would not be traded. The organization’s policy is to never offer no-trade clauses, but their agents now insist that because of the trade to a Canadian-based team their clients will be losing many millions in taxes by playing in Toronto instead of Miami. The state of Florida has no personal income tax and has always been a popular state of residency for professional athletes.

The very real tax differential will be worked out and made good by someone, but the question is who will pay for it and how it affects the fine-tuning of the deal. Player agents could have known this might happen. The Marlins have had 11 players sign deals of three-plus seasons since Loria took over. Among that group, five have been traded after one season — Buehrle, Reyes, Paul LoDuca, Heath Bell and Carlos Delgado. Three others have been traded after their second season — Buck, Mike Lowell and Luis Castillo. Of course Reyes and Buehrle couldn’t have known they would be in that group, but the fact that the Marlins back-end load most contracts — the lion’s share becomes someone else’s responsibility — and the fact they refuse to include no-trade should raise enough red flags.

The repeating modus operandi, consistent throughout their history, was enough warning for David Sloane, Delgado’s long-time friend and agent, who was wined and dined by Loria and David Samson after Carlos was railroaded out of Toronto. After one season in Miami, Delgado was dealt to the Mets where he ended his career. New York State offers a significant tax bite for the wealthy. Sloane now points to his blog that outlines his Delgado strategy, how it would have helped Reyes and Buehrle.

“With the current trade between the Marlins & Blue Jays, the deal I negotiated with the Marlins in 2004 for Carlos looks even better. When the Marlins refused to include a ‘no trade’ clause (back then), I insisted that they agree to unique language that gave Carlos some protection in the event of a trade.

“The deal I negotiated contained a guarantee that if he was traded to a team that resided in a state that had a state income tax, the team he was traded to would make him whole.”

In other words he would net out the same amount he would have received had he remained in Florida, a state with NO state income tax. This had NEVER been done in MLB before. BTW, the amount Delgado saved on a contract signed EIGHT years ago is roughly $2,269,500.

“The agents for Jose’ Reyes (Peter Greenberg, now part of Legacy Group), Mark Buehrle (CAA Jeff Berry), Josh Johnson (Sosnick/Cobbe), Emilio Bonifacio (Paul Kinzer who was recently fired from Wasserman Sports), John Buck (Aces) didn’t protect their clients as well as I protected Delgado. They will literally pay the price for being represented by agents who do a better job of recruiting Players than they do of representing them.”

You don’t often see such blunt agent-to-agent shots. An announcement the Jays-Marlins trade has been completed will be made soon. It was a solid baseball trade even though John Farrell’s Red Sox have smugly let it be known that they could have made that deal and chose not to.

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Nov 16, 2012 - South Florida Sun Sentinel

Miami Marlins: Toronto-bound players will take a huge tax hit; how Delgado avoided it

Give David Sloane credit. The Coral Springs-based agent had a healthy enough skepticism of the Marlins to shield client Carlos Delgado from the same situation Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes, John Buck and Emilio Bonifacio are facing as they prepare to become members of the Toronto Blue Jays.

When the Marlins signed Delgado to a four-year, $52 million free agent contract before the 2005 season, Sloane wasn’t thrilled that the offer was back-loaded and did not include any no-trade provisions. Unconvinced Delgado would be a Marlin for the duration of that contract, he insisted on a unique clause that would allow Delgado to recoup whatever money he lost as a result of being traded to a team whose players are subject to state income tax. The Marlins after one season traded Delgado to the Mets, but he didn’t take a financial hit the way this current batch of soon-to-be ex-Marlins will.

Robert Raiola, the sports and entertainment group manager at Fazio, Mannuzza, Roche, Tankel and LaPilusa, a New Jersey-based tax, accounting and advisory firm, told the Wall Street Journal Marlins players will lose a combined $8.4 million. According to the article, a tax rate hike for high income earners in Ontario is set to come online soon.

To the best of Sloane’s knowledge, that Delgado contract was the first and only one to include protection from unforeseen state income taxes. Considering the club’s history, wouldn’t be surprised if representatives of future Marlins’ free agent targets insist on similar provisions. Of the 11 players this Marlins ownership group has signed to contracts of three or more years, five were traded after the first season (Delgado, Paul Lo Duca, Reyes, Buehrle, Heath Bell). Three others — Buck, Mike Lowell, Luis Castillo — were traded after two seasons.

Sloane offered some thoughts on his blog.

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Nov 15, 2012 - FoxSports.com

"New Blue Jays Face Tax Hit"

The five players going from the Miami Marlins to the Toronto Blue Jays figure to be quite unhappy with one aspect of the pending blockbuster between the clubs.

Those players could take a significant financial hit moving from Florida, a state with no income tax, to Canada, a country where their tax rate will reach 47.97 percent between provincial and federal requirements, according to Forbes.com.

Retired first baseman Carlos Delgado could have faced the same issue when the Marlins traded him to the New York Mets seven years ago. But his agent, David Sloane, already had found a solution.

The Marlins had refused to grant Delgado a no-trade clause when they signed him to a four-year, $52 million free-agent contract on Jan. 26, 2005 — a stance that foreshadowed their positions last off-season with free-agent shortstop Jose Reyes, left-hander Mark Buehrle and closer Heath Bell, all of whom have since been traded.

Sloane, trying to protect Delgado, negotiated a different form of security into the player’s contract — a clause that required any team that acquired Delgado to pay him the amount of the income tax that he would be charged by his new state.

The clause would not have applied if the Marlins had traded Delgado to a team in another state without income tax — say, the Texas Rangers. But when the Marlins sent Delgado to the Mets 11 months after signing him — sound familiar? — the first baseman was covered.

Sloane said that Delgado saved $2,269,500 million in taxes over the rest of his contract. At the time of the trade, he still was owed $39 million over three years, and the Mets later exercised a $12 million club option to keep him through 2009.

“When the Marlins refused to include a no-trade clause, that raised a red flag for me,” Sloane said. “I set out to try to find a way to give my client a bit of security in a deal that lacked it.

“The way to do that was by insisting that, if he was traded to a state with state income tax, that he would be made whole and net out the same amount that he would have if he had remained in Florida.”

It is not known whether any of the five players going to the Jays negotiated a similar clause in their contracts; none of their agents responded to a question on the matter Thursday.

Four of the five were under multiyear contracts. Right-hander Josh Johnson signed an extension in January 2010. Catcher John Buck agreed to a free-agent deal in November 2010, Reyes and Buehrle to free-agent deals last December.

Johnson will earn $13.75 million in ‘13, Buehrle $11 million and Reyes $10 million. Each then would owe nearly $600,000 in Canadian taxes, according to Forbes. Buck, earning $6 million, would owe probably about half that, and Bonifacio, projected to earn about $2.5 million in arbitration, considerably less.

For Johnson and Buck, the tax hit would be a one-time thing; both are free agents at the end of the season. Buehrle, however, is guaranteed $52 million through ’15, including a $4 million signing bonus that was deferred. Reyes is guaranteed $96 million through ’17, including a $4 million buyout on a club option. Bonifacio is under club control through arbitration for two more years.

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Dec 3, 2011 - South Florida Sun Sentinel -

"Marlins pursuit of Delgado shows landing big-time free agent is a tough process"

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Radio:  

David Sloane is interviewed on MLB.com

click to listen


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Television:

 

Carlos Delgado signs with the Toronto Blue Jays 10/2000

 


Delgado signs with the Florida Marlins 1/2005

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Print:

 Click on the articles below to read the text

 

How the dominoes fell 

BOB ELLIOTT -- TORONTO SUN

Feb 24, 2005

Carlos Delgado arrived in Dunedin for the first time in the spring of 1989.

He had been signed four months before as a 16-year-old. He bounced around the Blue Jays minor league system making stops at single-A St. Catharines, single-A Myrtle Beach, single-A Dunedin, double-A Knoxville and triple-A Syracuse.

Signed as a catcher, he was moved to left field and then to first base. And there he stood night after night at the SkyDome, once playing 432 consecutive games.

One by one, during 10 seasons with the Jays, Delgado took over the lead in career home runs (336), runs batted in (1,058), doubles (343), extra-base hits (690) and runs scored (889).

The best player the franchise ever produced -- some might argue second baseman Robbie Alomar or 1987 American League MVP George Bell were better -- has left Dodge.

He didn't exit the way Vince Carter did, playing half-heartedly and being accused of whispering in-bounds plays to the opposing team.

Delgado departed with 32 homers and 99 RBIs in 2004 despite missing a month because of a rib injury.

And now, after umpteen meetings, thousands of phone calls and flights, Delgado has joined the Florida Marlins.

How did Delgado arrive at his present place of employment? How did it all evolve?

We take you on a behind-the-scenes look at the negotiations.

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December 2003

Year 3 of Delgado's four-year deal is over. Agent David Sloane (right) speaks with Jays president Paul Godfrey. Sloane tells Delgado they can expect a call to talk about an extension in the spring. The call never comes.

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July 12, 2004

Sloane tells Delgado what he thinks: "He is paying me for my advice and my expertise." Sloane explains it is not in Delgado's best interests to accept a trade because his client has a limited amount to gain and he could lose a lot.

"Carlos knew what to expect playing in Toronto," Sloane says, "plus none of the teams were locks to get into the playoffs."

The Dodgers sat first, one-half game ahead of the San Francisco Giants, while the Rangers were in first by two games over Oakland. The Red Sox were seven games back of the Yankees and one game up on Oakland in the wild-card race and the Marlins were in third place. "No one interested had a 12-game lead," Sloane says. "If a team is willing to talk about a contract extension, fine, but what's the point? He shouldn't go as a hired gun. He delivers a championship, then what? It doesn't mean he'd be re-signed, he doesn't earn any more money."

Sloane says that Delgado is a streak hitter, going stretches where Sandy Koufax couldn't get him out, and then have 2-for-20 skids. "What if he has a rough start in a new location?"

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July 15, 2004, Coral Springs, Fla.

Sloane awakes and logs on to sportspages.com, a website linking all sports pages together, to check all activities on his 18 clients. He find stories that Ricciardi is flying to Texas to ask Delgado to waive his no-trade. The stories are only half right, the conversation already has taken place; Ricciardi is coming for an answer. Before Delgado has the chance to reply, the cat is out of the bag. In Arlington, at the Jays workout, Delgado refuses to talk to the media until he speaks to his GM first.

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July 16, 2004, Arlington, Tex.

Ricciardi and Delgado talk behind the batting cage for less than a minute. Delgado is not waiving his no-trade clause. Regarding Delgado's existing four-year, $68-million US pact, Ricciardi says, as he has in the past: "I didn't sign him." If it's a knock on former GM Gord Ash, it is also a knock on Godfrey. GMs don't hand out $68-million deals without approval of their bosses.

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October 3, 2004, SkyDome

The Jays end the season with a 3-2 loss to the Yankees.

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October 5, 2004, Coral Springs, Fla.

Delgado flies to Miami from Toronto. Sloane and Delgado eat at Anita's Gourmet Mexicano and talk about possible destinations for 2005, while not eliminating the Jays.

Delgado wants to go to a team with enough pitching to win. The two assess all teams. The list of probables consist of the Mariners, Mets, Braves, Orioles, the Red Sox, Dodgers, Rangers and Yankees. Sloane suggests the Tigers, who are spending, and the Indians, whom he thinks are making strides. Delgado says no. Delgado adds the Marlins, saying "I've always liked their lineup and their pitching."

The next day Delgado has both knees examined by Dr. Daniel Kanell, team doctor of the the Miami Dolphins and the Marlins. Delgado's knees are given the green light.

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October 15, 2004, SkyDome

Godfrey phones Sloane and tells him he'll be calling the next week with an offer.

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October 18, 2004, Coral Springs, Fla.

Sloane receives a call from Godfrey (right). The Jays offer is a two-year, $12-million deal. Sloane calls Delgado. Looking back at the 13 years he has known Delgado, Sloane says it the single most difficult call he has had to make.

"It wasn't what Carlos said when I told him, it was what he didn't say," Sloane says. "The phone was quiet for a long time."

The offer wouldn't even have made Delgado the highest-paid player on the 2005 Jays. Roy Halladay earns $10.5 million. It was higher than the $4.75 million Miguel Batista would earn.

After that offer, there wasn't any doubt Delgado would file for free agency.

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November 1, 2004, SkyDome

Godfrey phones Sloane for a second brief conversation. Sloane tells Godfrey: "We'll see what the marketplace is and then see whether we can bridge the gap."

Sloane had made up his mind he wasn't making any decisions until the largest elephant in the room moved. Translation: Until he hears from the Yankees.

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November 5, 2004, Coral Springs, Fla.

Angels GM Bill Stoneman and Sloane talk. Stoneman is interested in Delgado -- but only as a DH. Scratch Anaheim.

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November 7, 2004, Miami, Fla.

Sloane meets with Baltimore GM Jim Beattie and his top man, Mike Flanagan, at the Miami Airport Marriott. The O's executives were attending an MLB seminar on salary arbitration. The Orioles seem interested.

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November 8, Key Biscayne, Fla.

Sloane meets with Mariners GM Bill Bavasi, assistant GM Lee Pelekoudas and lawyer Bart Waldman at the Ritz Carlton as the GM meetings get underway. Sloane and Pelekoudas were classmates at Arizona State. The M's are very interested.

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November 9, 2004, Key Biscayne, Fla.

Next Sloane meets with Yankees GM Brian Cashman and vice-president Jean Afterman. The Yankees tell Sloane they have interest but are in a holding pattern. No offer is made.

---

November 10, 2004, Key Biscayne, Fla.

Sloane meets with Dodger GM Paul DePodesta, vice-president Kim Ng and assistant GM Roy Smith. L.A. has interest but there are other deals which have to happen first, such as moving outfielder Shawn Green to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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November 20, 2004, Aguadilla, Puerto Rico

Delgado meets at his father's house with the Mariners' Pat Gillick (right) , a former Jays GM who is now a consultant with Seattle, Bob Engle, a former Jays scouting director now with the M's, and Epy Guerrero, who signed Delgado to his first deal on Oct. 9, 1988.

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December 6, 2004, Toronto

Delgado flies into Toronto for his seventh annual visit to the Special Olympics breakfast. Godfrey visits Delgado in his Yorkville townhouse and suggests that the Jays will offer arbitration, if Delgado will agree not to accept.

Sloane tells Delgado: "Why restrict an interested team and cost them two draft picks?"

But there is also the worry Delgado will be portrayed as the bad guy if he doesn't accept arbitration.

A confident Sloane also tells Delgado: "While you are in Toronto, pick up a menu from the House of Chan ... I'll submit it at the arbitration hearing rather than your numbers ... and still win."

Delgado was named the top player in the majors, according to the annual statistical rankings compiled by the Elias Sports Bureau over the past two seasons. Delgado led AL first basemen for the second consecutive season on rankings which combine stats such as batting average, plate appearances, home runs and runs batted in.

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December 7, 2004, Toronto

The Jays don't offer Delgado salary arbitration, which means they will not get two additional draft picks this June.

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December 9, 2004, Anaheim

l Sloane and Delgado fly to Anaheim for the winter meetings. Sloane wanted Delgado there.

"I could give teams a long statistical presentation, but teams probably had a better breakdown than I did," Sloane says. "If an owner or GM is putting his money on the line he wants to see what he is getting."

And meeting Delgado is impressive. Sloane heads to Anaheim with four offers in his pocket:

* Four years, $40 million from the Mariners.

* Four years, $40 million from the Rangers.

* Three years, $27 million from the Mets.

* Three years, $25 million from the Orioles.

Sloane waits for the elephant to stir.

---

December 10, 2004, Anaheim

The winter meetings are at the Anaheim Marriott. In a wise decision Sloan and Delgado stay five minutes away at the Sheraton.

"If we stay at the Marriott it would have taken 45 minutes for Carlos to walk through the lobby to a suite -- we asked everyone to come to our hotel," Sloane says. "The best thing for me as an agent would be to walk the gauntlet, but it was not in the best interests of my client."

The Mariners -- Bavasi, Gillick, Pelekoudas and Waldman -- meet with Sloane and Delgado.

Delgado explains his stance on refusing to stand atop the dugout steps when God Bless America is played.

"I'm against making baseball a political tool," Delgado says. "Regardless, if a team has a policy where every player has to stand atop the top step of the dugout, I'll do it. I won't do anything to place myself above the team."

It is an explanation he gives in many meetings.

The M's have money to spend, they're after two free-agent bats and are also talking to free-agent third basemen Adrian Beltre and Corey Koskie, along with Richie Sexson and Delgado.

---

December 11, 2004, Anaheim

The Orioles, represented by Beattie, Flanagan and manager Lee Mazzilli, meet with Delgado and Sloane at the Sheraton.

Mazzilli always told Delgado that, when he got a manager's job, he wanted the latter as a first baseman.

After Mazzilli retells the conversation to the room, Delgado says: "Now's your chance, talk these guys into giving me some money."

The Mets, led by GM Omar Minaya (above), enter the room with Minaya introducing manager Willie Randolph, vice-president Jim Duquette, assistant GM John Rico and assistant GM Tony Bernazard.

Sloane was very impressed with Randolph, saying he "exudes a calm confidence" and is "the type of guy in a meeting where some people could talk and talk, while Willie could say four words and you'd remember the four words he said."

Yanks GM Brian Cashman meets with Sloane and Delgado. Says Sloane: "We meet the Mets and they come in with five people, Cashman, one of the truly fine people in the game, walks in on his own."

Sloane gets the impression the Yanks are interested but New York still doesn't know what to do with Jason Giambi. Reports in New York papers say the Yanks are looking to void Giambi's contract since he admitted to the U.S. grand jury in San Francisco he took steroids.

---

December 12, 2004, Anaheim

The M's and Sloane meet again, this time at the Marriott, as Delgado has left for a fight in Vegas. Seattle wants to hammer out a deal then and there. Bavasi points to an easel with a pad of paper hanging on it.

Bavasi: "What kind of number will it take for us to put up there to get it done? Sloane can't answer. The elephant still has not stirred.

Agent Casey Close, who represents Sexson, arrives in the M's suite. Bavasi and Sloane move to an adjoining room.

Sloane meets with Theo Epstein (above) of the Red Sox and is told the Sox had been close to making a trade which would have cleared payroll for Delgado.

Epstein tells Sloane "we were on the two-yard line headed for the end zone, but we just picked up a 15-yard penalty."

Speculation is the Mets backed out of a deal for Manny Ramirez.

---

December 15, 2004, Coral Springs, Fla.

Sloane's phone rings in his office. After a short conversation he puts down the phone and starts laughing.

"What's so funny?" his wife Joanne asks.

"That was the Florida Marlins asking about Carlos," Sloane says.

"What's wrong? Carlos is good enough to play for the Marlins," Joanne said.

Sloane tells his wife that certainly Delgado is good enough, but he wonders whether the mid-revenue Marlins can compete at this rodeo.

Sexson signs a four-year $50-million deal with Seattle. Sexson has not played since April, but it sets market value for Delgado.

---

December 16, 2004, Seattle

l Adrian Beltre signs a five-year, $64-million contract with the M's. Seattle withdraws from the Delgado bidding.

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December 19, 2004, Miami

Marlins GM Larry Beinfest phones Sloane and gets his attention with a three-year $35-million offer.

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December 21, 2004, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Pedro Martinez, who signed a four-year, $50- million deal with the Mets on Dec. 14, calls Delgado.

Says Martinez: "We talked, it was a personal decision for him. He asked me a few questions about the Mets and my negotiations and I gave him some straight answers."

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December 28, 2004, Coral Springs

Cashman phones to say Giambi is staying with the Yanks and they are about to sign free-agent first baseman Tino Martinez. The elephant has moved. Sloane wants to begin calling but because it's the holidays he waits until the new year.

---

January 3, 2005, Coral Springs

Sloane phones the Rangers, the Orioles, the Red Sox, the Mets and Marlins. The Marlins book their first meeting.

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January 10, 2005, San Juan, Puerto Rico

Carlos Beltran signs a seven-year, $119-million deal with the Mets. Melvin Mora calls Delgado to try to talk him into playing for the Orioles.

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January 12, 2005, San Juan

Beltran calls Delgado, trying to recruit him.

The Mets ask to meet with Delgado to talk contract, but Sloane says no, it is Beltran's day. Delgado does meet with Jeff Wilpon, executive vice-president, to explain his God Bless America stance. The contract is not discussed.

---

January 15, 2005, Fort Lauderdale/Miami

Delgado flies in from Puerto Rico and has breakfast with Sloane at the Sheraton Lauderdale.

They head to Dolphins Stadium to meet with owner Jeffrey Loria, president David Samson, GM Beinfest, assistant GM Michael Hill, vice-president Tony Perez, manager Jack McKeon and recent free-agent signing Al Leiter.

Sloane asks Loria, "What if at the trade deadline you can deal for Barry Zito, does Carlos' signing here prevent you from making the deal from a financial standpoint?"

Loria answers: "No it wouldn't, I'd make that deal."

Loria continually talks about winning, about wanting to win for the people who joined the Marlins since they last won ... way back in 2003.

The Marlins tell Delgado all but one of his home runs the past two seasons to right field would have been out of Dolphins Stadium. The park has one of the more spacious right fields -- compared with tiny Camden Yards in Baltimore or the jetstream in right centre at The Ballpark in Arlington.

In Miami it is 345 feet down the line and 385 feet to right-centre.

The group headed for Joe's Stone Crab for lunch. Loria and Delgado drive together in a Town Car, while Perez, Hill and Sloane go in Beinfest's BMW and Samson drives the rest in his BMW.

Joe's doesn't take reservations and there is always a wait. This group of high rollers is whisked inside and vice-president Andre Dawson meets them there.

In all there are 1,153 homers at the table with Dawson (438), Perez (379) and Delgado (336).

Leiter was the right choice to be invited. He knew Delgado as a young pup with the Jays during the early 1990s. He had just left the Mets.

"Who better to discourage him from going to New York?" Leiter asks. "In New York you have seven or eight competing papers, TV networks and their affiliates and peripheral periodicals. It's fine when you are dealing and kicking butt."

The reality is, Leiter tells Delgado, that doesn't happen.

"It just chip, chip, chip, chips away at your resolve, cracking away your protective toughness," Leiter says. "Every bad game it's like 'are you worried? ... the manager says this ... are you worried?' You begin to doubt yourself. That's why slumps in New York are so elongated.

"Then, the guys on (talk radio) get on you, move it up another notch and everyone driving to the game listens. You get to the park and your home fans are booing you and after the game you say something stupid."

Three newspapers cover the Marlins.

"Each serves its own county, one in Dade, one for Broward and one for Palm Beach," Leiter says.

Near the end of lunch, McKeon goes outside to smoke a fat cigar. Later, the group leaves as one, and two Miami cops come up and grab Delgado by the arms.

"We're not letting you go unless you sign here," one cop says. "We'll slap the cuffs on you and taser your butt unless you give us an answer."

It was a practical joke, courtesy of McKeon, arranged on his cigar break. The cops pull out a camera and pose for pictures.

Back at the stadium, Sloane asks for a no-trade clause and is told no.

The Marlins tell him since they are paying Mike Hampton $10 million to pitch against them and for the Braves, the contract will be back loaded.

Sloane and Delgado depart and the agent asks the client what he thinks.

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January 18, 2005, Miami

Sloane meets with the Marlins again. Rangers shortstop Mike Young leaves Delgado a message about how playing in Arlington would be a good fit for him.

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January 19, 2005, Coral Springs

The Rangers want to fly Delgado and Sloane to the Dominican Republic on owner Tom Hicks' Gulfstream and put them up at a villa at Casa de Campo. Sloane declines, saying "first, we would feel obligated and second we would be trapped there."

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January 20, 2005, San Juan

Delgado books a table at the Ritz Carlton for himself, Sloane and Mets officials.

Sloane says "they were a long shot, they were offering a limited no-trade clause and lower award bonus clauses."

Meanwhile, the Mets have given no-trade clauses to Martinez and Beltran and larger bonus packages.

Sloane says "we thought that without Carlos the Mets were a fourth-place club and we thought that with Carlos they were still a fourth-place club."

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January 21, 2005 San Juan

Delgado books another table at the Ritz Carlton to entertain Rangers owner Hicks, GM John Hart, assistant GM John Daniels and manager Buck Showalter.

The Rangers mention again how first baseman Mark Texieria has volunteered to move to the outfield.

Sloane remembers the meeting as "one of the best he'd ever had in 31 years" until near the end.

The Rangers made a four-year $48-million offer.

Then, the Rangers made Sloane promise not to shop the offer or it would be pulled off the table. They insist upon a Sunday deadline.

Sloane told them "please don't do this, I know how Carlos will react."

---

January 22, 2005, Sunrise, Fla.

Sloane calls Beinfest and arranges to meet at Legal Seafood. Beinfest brings assistant GM Hill with him, prompting Sloane to joke "you had to bring your hit man with you, you couldn't take me 1-on-1?"

Sloane says "we can make Carlos Delgado a Marlin."

Since the Marlins don't give no-trade clauses, Sloane asked for a tax equalization plan. For instance if Delgado is dealt from Florida, which has zero state tax, to say Massachusetts, which is the highest, the Marlins will make up the difference.

The GM says he will take it to Loria and Samson.

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January 23, 2005, Sunrise, Fla.

Sloane and Beinfest meet again at Legal Seafood. Sloane takes his son Max, 18, as his bodyguard. They arrange to meet at noon. At 12:03, Sloane's cellphone rings. It is Daniels from the Rangers.

Daniels tells Sloane that 75% of Delgado's at-bats would be as a DH. Says Sloane: "If we had 25 conversations with the Rangers, we were told in 24 that the question of him playing first was not an issue."

The Mets insist on a deadline since their fan fest is about to begin.

Sloane phones Delgado and tells him of the Mets' deadline. Delgado tells Sloane not to phone the Mets back.

ESPN's Karl Ravech phones to check on the talks and Sloane tells him the Mets are out.

Ravech writes the news on ESPN.com. Minaya is told the news and phones Sloane roughly 15 times, but Sloane has his phone turned off.

---

January 23, 2005, Sunrise, Fla.

Minaya phones to get back in the bidding and talks continue with Sloane.

Sloane meets again with the Marlins, who bump their offer to four years for $52 million. An option for a fifth year is discussed.

The Orioles make a four-year, $48-million offer.

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January 25, 2005, Miami

Delgado signs a four-year, $52-million deal with the Marlins with an option for a fifth year, worth $16 million, which includes a $4-million buyout.

He'll earn $4 million in 2005, $13.5 million in 2006, $14.5 million in 2007 and $16 million in 2008. In 2009 he'll earn $16 million, of which $4 million is guaranteed.

Delgado can guarantee the other $12 million depending on how he does in MVP voting and whether he earns post-season MVP awards. Delgado needs 30 points during the first four years of the contract to vest the option.

Under Samson's plan, Delgado can earn 20 points for a World Series and 10 for league championship series MVP. He can earn 10 for the NL MVP, nine for second place, down to one for a 10th-place finish.

In his final four seasons with the Jays, Delgado has 16 points -- a runner-up finish in 2003 and a fourth-place finish in 2000.

If traded, the tax equalization plans kicks in and, while the Marlins don't give bonus clauses for finishing second to fifth in the MVP race the way many clubs do, Sloane worked out an arrangement where Delgado gets $100,000 for winning the MVP and $50,000 if he finishes second to Barry Bonds, since Bonds dominates the award.

Delgado will be paid half of each year's salary during the season, and half on Nov. 30. He can earn $50,000 if selected to the all-star team, $500,000 as the World Series MVP and $25,000 if he wins a Silver Slugger.

Sloane did an excellent job bumping Delgado's contract.

Loria asks Delgado to fly to Paris for the weekend to celebrate the contract.


 Toronto Star  Jan. 26, 2005

Geoff Baker: "Wily agent lands $52 million Delgado deal"

While Delgado now moves to the National League in the hopes of helping the Marlins to a second World Series title in three seasons, it was the cunning Sloane who stole the spotlight in the days and weeks leading up to yesterday's deal...

 

For that, he can thank Sloane, who remained fiercely protective of his 32- year-old client throughout and concluded negotiations by playing four teams - the Marlins, Mets, Rangers and Orioles - off against one another...

 

Florida had initially made Delgado a three-year, $36 million offer. But the key to yesterday's deal was Sloane embarking on a gutsy strategy to wait until marquee free agents like Carlos Beltran signed and left Delgado as the lone premium bat still on the market - sowing the seeds for a bidding war.

 

Toronto Star  Jan. 26, 2005

Richard Griffin: Jays the biggest losers in Delgado derby

Sloane played the waiting game perfectly. This guy can deal. The Jays were among many who believed, incorrectly, that Delgado, with a glut of younger sluggers on the open market, would be forced to settle for a contract of perhaps two years, with an option, for about $10 million a season. Wrong!

Sloane had set-in-stone salary parameters for Delgado and stuck to his guns throughout. He believed Carlos Beltran would set the ceiling for Delgado in terms of dollars per year and that the trio of Adrian Beltre, Richie Sexson and Troy Glaus would serve as the floor. That's exactly what happened.

 

 

Toronto Sun Jan. 26, 2005 

Bob Elliott: Marlins pull off one shell of a deal

And as the bidding continued in The Price is Right fashion, the Marlins, Delgado, and his agent, David Sloane of Coral Springs, Fla., agreed upon a four-year guaranteed deal worth $52 million, the richest contract in franchise history.


 Toronto Star  Dec. 20, 2001

Delgado is overpaid in new, soft market

In the wake of Bonds' and Boone's surrender and A's free agent Jason Giambi's seven-year contract for Delgado-type money with the Yankees, David Sloane, who had wisely included a clause which allowed Delgado's contract to be reopened last winter, could easily be voted agent of the year.

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However, not every team was happy with the signing.

"They're paying Carlos Delgado more than Chipper Jones? Who is his agent -- he's a good one," said one executive. "Jones won an MVP for Atlanta ... I thought that would be the ceiling for position players until Alex Rodriguez."

 

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SPORTSWRITERSDIRECT

 

Give agent David Sloane credit.

Toronto general manager Gord Ash panicked a year ago after being forced to trade Shawn Green, and Sloane was able to parlay that into a sweetheart deal for his client.

He got Ash to sign Delgado to a three-year, $32 million deal a year ago and forced Ash to include an opt-out clause for Delgado, allowing him to force a trade after the first year was completed.

It was a win-win situation for Delgado.

Had he been hurt or struggled on the field the past season, he had the security of the final two years of that deal.


As it was, he enjoyed a season worthy of MVP consideration.


And Delgado was able to combine that with the ego of a new ownership wanting to show fans it is committed to building a contending team into a salary that shook baseball's free-agent market before the first player had even filed for this year's bidding.

 

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Chicago Tribune (Chicago, IL)  October 20, 2000

Delgado's deal raises the bar for other players

Byline: Phil Rogers

CHICAGO _ The early returns are in and they are not good for the Cubs' ongoing attempt to sign Sammy Sosa to a contract extension.

Toronto's Carlos Delgado, who at 28 is three years younger than Sosa and has hit 196 fewer career home runs, raised the bar on salaries Friday with his four-year, $68-million deal. But he won't be the highest paid for long.

Manny Ramirez, who already has turned down five years and $75 million, is expected to receive a bigger offer from the Cleveland Indians this week. And, like Chipper Jones' six-year, $90 million deal with Atlanta, these are only the contract prelims.

Things will get serious with Alex Rodriguez in November. His deal will have major bearing on Derek Jeter, who is expected to make Yankees owner George Steinbrenner pay for leaving that nine-year, $120 million deal in his desk drawer too long.

Delgado forced the Blue Jays' hand by challenging for the Triple Crown after signing a deal last winter that included the right to demand a trade after the season. He had two years left on that contract but signed for two more years. The average value of the deal is $17 million, which makes it the biggest on the books. The biggest had been Rogers Clemens' $15.45 million.

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It’s a troubling sign: The lid is off again 

The Boston Herald

October 22, 2000 | Massarotti, Tony

Maybe it is merely a sign of the times, but before a single pitch had even been thrown in this historic Subway Series between the Yankees and New York Mets, baseball’s salary structure had once again been turned on its ear. The free-agency filing period officially will begin the day after the Yankees and Mets play their final game, which could be as soon as Thursday or as late as Halloween.

And when the prospective free agents begin taking off their jerseys and putting on the letters of the Major League Baseball Players Association, let the record show that they will enter the winter games standing on higher ground than they might have expected. After Roger Clemens signed an, er, interesting contract earlier this season that guarantees him $30.9 million over the 2001-2002 seasons, his average salary of roughly $15.45 million was the highest in the game, exceeding the $15 million awarded to Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Kevin Brown in 1998. Now the number has gone up again, to an average salary of $17 million that will be paid to Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Carlos Delgado during the four-year period from 2001-2004.

The most questionable contract of last winter, in fact, was signed by Delgado himself, a three-year, $36-million contract that included a $3 million signing bonus and a base salary of $5.6 million this year.But that contract allowed Delgado the right to demand a trade within 10 days of the final game in this World Series, so the Jays were forced to renegotiate with a player who threatened to win the Triple Crown this season and should finish in the top five of the MVP balloting.This contract includes a signing bonus of $4.8 million, which means Delgado has earned $7.8 million in the last year merely for signing his name. (Autograph shows not included.)

Thankfully, this contract includes a no-trade clause, which means both player and club actually may have to (gasp) honor the full deal this time.

Naturally, this is only the beginning. Technically, Delgado wasn’t even a free agent, meaning he wasn’t able to play Toronto’s offers against other teams.

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Jay not walking

Toronto signs 1B Delgado to 3-year contract

Friday December 10, 1999 11:06 PM 

 

 

Carlos Delgado hit a career-high 44 home runs and collected a team record 134 RBIs in 1999.David Leeds/Allsport

TORONTO (AP) -- Carlos Delgado is off the trading block -- for now. 

 

The power-hitting first baseman agreed Friday to a $36 million, three-year contract theToronto Blue Jays. But the team gave him the right to demand a trade after next season.

"We were able to work a deal out where I was happy, not so much with the money but with some of the clauses that are in the contract," Delgado said. "At the end of season, we were talking about a long-term contract but I had a few concerns."

Delgado's average annual salary of $12 million ties New York Yankeespitcher David Cone for the 10th-highest in baseball.

After making $5,075,000 last season, he gets a $3 million signing bonus, $5.6 million next year, $12.65 million in 2001 and $14.75 million in 2002.

The key was a unique provision agent David Sloane negotiated with the Blue Jays. Delgado may demand a trade in the 10 days following next year's World Series, and the Blue Jays would be forced to deal him by Feb. 15, 2001. If they don't deal him by then, he would have the right to either become a free agent or remain with the team

In addition, he has a full no-trade clause, which means he can pick which team he would accept a trade to.

Delgado, who hit .272 with 44 homers and 134 RBIs last season, mentioned Toronto's uncertain ownership situation, manager Jim Fregosi's decision to fire five coaches the player liked, and the trade of Shawn Green to Los Angeles as his concerns.

Sloane said the changing market also was a reason for the clauses.

"He has the opportunity to see what happens with the salaries this year and see how much they go up, and how much he's giving up in order to remain here," Sloane said.

Delgado, who would have been eligible for free agency after next season, is a career .267 hitter with 149 home runs and 467 RBIs, and is the franchise leader with a .531 slugging percentage. Delgado also is a leader in the clubhouse and popular with fans.

"We didn't want to see Carlos leave us as a free agent and the club get nothing in return," Blue Jays general manager Gord Ash said. "This allows us to explore the marketplace and get something in return should he wish to trigger that clause."

Delgado said he hopes he won't have to use the clause, and Sloane said he would be surprised if he did.

Both sides agreed to the three-year deal after failing to agree on a five-year contract. Toronto offered $60 million for five years, Delgado asked for $67.5 million.

"I got security and in three years I'll be 30. I'll still be in a prime and get to do another contract," Delgado said. "If at the end of the season something needs to be addressed, we'll address it.

"I'm not going to jump the gun and say, well in September things are going to be bad. And I don't see a reason why things are going to be bad with Fregosi."

The Blue Jays discussed trading Delgado after contracts talks stalled, but demand for Delgado on baseball's trade market was lukewarm, with four teams believed to have expressed interest.

Clubs were reluctant to trade quality players to Toronto and then sign Delgado to a huge contract.

"This is pretty awesome from the business side," Delgado said. "I love the city, the money is right, the terms are right and the length is right. In three years I'm a free agent again."

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Agent Who Feels Right At Home

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For Orioles, Opening Move Is Signing Closer Timlin

November 13, 1998 | Richard Justice

The Baltimore Orioles made their first significant move of what promises to be a busy offseason by signing free agent reliever Mike Timlin to a four-year, $16 million contract. His arrival means the Orioles have a proven closer for the first time since allowing Randy Myers to depart via free agency a year ago.

Timlin, 32, is the first important acquisition for new Orioles general manager Frank Wren, but he’s not likely to be the last. Orioles majority owner Peter Angelos on Wednesday discussed a significant make-over of the team, with the acquisition of a starting pitcher, center fielder, second baseman and catcher at the top of the list.

Timlin was the day’s most significant development. The Orioles had made acquiring a new closer a top priority after a season in which youngster Armando Benitez and five other relievers collected saves. “We think he has a chance to be a real dominant closer,” Wren said of Timlin. “He was one of the best in the American League in the second half. Our scouts raved about the way he threw. They felt he really had arrived on the scene. We weren’t the only club that felt that way.”

Benitez had the closer’s role for most of the season. Although his 22 saves are three more than Timlin had for the Seattle Mariners, Benitez never gained the complete confidence of Miller after hitting Tino Martinez with a pitch that started a brawl at Yankee Stadium. Benitez blew four save chances in all, but it was his lack of consistency and maturity that bothered the Orioles. Team officials have discussed a trade that would send Benitez to the New York Mets for catcher Todd Hundley, but they’re holding off on the deal because of concerns about Hundley’s health.

Although Timlin blew five saves, he was tremendous in the second half of the season, converting 18 of 19 chances. He appeared in 70 games and had an ERA of 2.95. Scouts say he has a first-rate arm, and his best pitch is a hard sinker that should make him more effective on the grass of Camden Yards. “I like Baltimore, I know Baltimore can win,” Timlin said. “I asked Alan Mills about the organization and how things are done. He said nothing but positive things. He said it was a great organization and they take care of you.”

Timlin began his big league career by spending 6 ½ seasons with Toronto. His best season was 1996 when he saved 31 games, though he blew seven chances. He was traded to Seattle in 1997 but wasn’t give the closer’s job until this season. Timlin made just over $3 million last season, and the Mariners offered him $12 million over three years. However, they declined to give him a fourth season and all but gave up on signing Timlin yesterday morning when they completed negotiations with Jose Mesa. They informed Timlin that they were reducing their offer, thereby forcing his hand. He had two four-year offers, one from the Orioles and the other from the New York Yankees, who wanted him to be a setup man and occasionally share the closer’s job with Mariano Rivera.

Timlin chose the Orioles after Wren and agent David Sloane agreed on a deal that includes a $1 million signing bonus and base salaries of $2 million in 1999, $4 million in 2000, $4 million in 2001 and $5 million in 2002. 

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A Q&A with David Sloane

TeamOneBaseball.com/Rivals.com

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Boca/Delray Jewish Times Feb 1997

Show Me the Ethics

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Secrets of a Sports Agent

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The Sunday Sun Dec 12, 1999

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December 11, 1999

Delgado gets $36 million, three-year deal from Blue Jays 

 

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Arizona Republic Feb. 17, 1980