When October baseball ends and the confetti showers subside, the brains of Major League Baseball shift their focus to the offseason. Gossip of “trade rumors” and “free agency” flood the halls of front offices and names of available star-players are discussed like candidates for prom dates. But if the Giancarlos Stanton’s of the world are your top tier dates, then Scott Boras and co. are the parents you need to meet with before asking them to prom.
Most of the conversations seen on ESPN and new outlets alike tend to focus on the players, but often forgotten are the presidents and general managers that are usually paid a pretty penny in the offseason as well. Although for some odd reason, agents are not as popular among this crowd.
Just ask former Miami Marlins President David Samson.
After running the Miami Marlins for the past 16 years and taking home a World Series Championship in 2003, Samson claims to have never had an agent. In an article written by Liz Mullen of Sports Business Journal, Samson states, “I’ve only dealt with agents, never had any.” Now this may come as a surprise, considering Samson was at the helm of the Marlins when they offered Giancarlo Stanton a record-setting 13-year, $325 million contract that included a full no-trade clause and an opt-out provision after the sixth season. I guess hiring an agent is not necessary when you’ve negotiated contracts for over 16 years.
However, things are about to change for Mr. Samson as he has signed with United Talent Agency for representation in broadcasting, speaking and literary work. Clients of United Talent Agency include Billy Beane (EVP of Baseball Operations at Oakland Athletics), Paul DePodesta (Chief Strategy Officer at Cleveland Browns), and Alex Rodriguez (3-time MVP, 2009 World Series Champ).
Now the career change may have led to the change of heart for Samson, but surprisingly he was not the only member of MLB Executive Leadership to negotiate his own personal contracts. Mike Rizzo, General Manager for the Washington Nationals since 2009 and President of Baseball Operations since 2013, negotiated all his personal contracts with the team himself.
If Samson went 16 years without an agent but decided he needed one before started a career in broadcasting, showbiz must be as cut throat as they come.