Ex-employee of Kendry Morales' agents being investigated for theft

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Kendry Morales.jpgLast week Heyman suggested that Kendry Morales’ firing of the Hendricks Brothers was due to some financial funny business. We’re getting a clearer picture of that now:

A former employee of Hendricks Sports Management is being
investigated by both the Major League Baseball Players Association and
the Coral Springs (Fla.) Police Department about the disappearance of
more than $300,000 from the bank account of Los Angeles Angels first baseman Kendry Morales.

Rodney
Fernandez, a former employee of Hendricks Sports Management LP who
recruited Cuban defectors Morales and Aroldis Chapman to the firm,
confirmed earlier this week that he was questioned by the MLBPA in the
past week regarding Morales, but denied having taken any money from the
player.

Fernandez isn’t having it, and he’s throwing the Hendricks Brothers under the bus:

“If I’m supposedly the person who took all that money, then how come
now I don’t have anything?” he said. “I don’t deserve what is
happening.”

Fernandez said he was told by members of the Hendricks agency to keep
quiet about rumors of financial indiscretions in December and January
so it would not adversely affect Chapman’s free-agent contract
negotiations with the Reds.

He said that he didn’t have access to Morales’ bank account and that the Hendricks firm should “pay Kendry back his money.”

I have no idea what really happened here, but between this business and the lawsuit filed by Aroldis Chapman’s original agent, if I were a player I wouldn’t touch the Hendricks Brothers with a ten foot pole.

Free agent market slow, but players who have signed have exceeded expectations

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The winter meetings are near the end — many execs are leaving Vegas tonight — and once again, the free agent market has moved rather slowly. Last year’s free agent market was perhaps the slowest in recent memory. This offseason, only 11 multi-year contracts have been signed by free agents to date. Six have been for two years, three have been for three years, one for four years, and one for six years.

Despite another slowly-moving free agent market, the players are optimistic because those that have signed contracts have exceeded expectations in terms of total value, per Jared Diamond of The Wall Street Journal. Patrick Corbin got $140 million, Nathan Eovaldi got $68 million, Andrew McCutchen got $50 million. Heck, even Lance Lynn coming off of a bad year got $30 million from the Rangers.

For comparison, as the offseason began, Fancred’s insider Jon Heyman (and an unnamed “expert”) made predictions about what the various free agent markets would get. Heyman and the expert predicted $100 million and $85 million, respectively, for Corbin, who got $140 million. They predicted $45 million and $64 million, respectively, for Eovaldi, who got $68 million. And they foresaw $39 million and $60 million for McCutchen, who got $50 million. Heyman predicted Charlie Morton would take the $17.9 million qualifying offer and the expert predicted he’d sign a one-year, $17 million deal. Morton got two years and $30 million. Heyman predicted 2/$16M for Lance Lynn and the expert only went a million higher at 2/$17M. He got 3/$30M.

Heyman isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, so let’s also glance at the predictions from MLB Trade Rumors. 6/$129M for Corbin, 4/$60M for Eovaldi, 3/$45M for McCutchen, 2/$32M for Morton, and 2/$16M for Lynn. MLBTR hit a lot closer to the center of the dartboard, so to speak, but generally the players still got a bit more than anticipated, which is good, and justifies the optimism. Hopefully the trend continues over the coming two or three months.

Going forward, though, we probably should adjust our expectations of the winter meetings. Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times brought up a great point, tweeting, “One problem with the Winter Meetings is they are still marketed as a news-making event at a time when executives no longer feel urgency to make news at said event.” All of the execs and journalists have access to one another via cell phones, so it’s become more of a hobnobbing event than a place to wheel and deal. These days, a deal could just as easily happen in the days leading up to or following the winter meetings. Maybe it’s just the new normal that we’ll be going into February with handfuls of free agents still looking for a new home.