Two former Cubs have been featured in a series called ‘Why I Chose My Agency’ by Tim Dierkes at MLBTR.com. Below I’ve posted bulleted pieces of the articles on Aramis Ramirez and Ted Lilly.
There’s an overriding theme in both articles about trust and friendship between player and agent (Aramis and Lilly have both kept their original agent throughout their careers). This also appears time and time again throughout the other articles I’ve read in the series.
Despite the millions of dollars involved, no matter how ridiculous the amount, we learn players deeply value the personal relationships with agents on an equal, if not higher level than the huge sums of money they’re raking off the table.
When analyzing these million dollar deals, alongside a player’s worth on the field, it’s easy to lose site of the human element involved. The money alone is hard enough to comprehend, at least for those of us not making a guaranteed $30 million over the next three years.
But it goes to show some things in life are truly more valuable than money. Having the decency to show your business partner some personal respect is one of them, and heaven help us if we ever lose site of that.
Entering his 16th season in MLB.
Signed by the Pirates as an amateur free agent in 1994.
Acquired by Chicago on July 23, 2003.
Played 9 seasons with the Cubs (2003-11).
Joined Milwaukee in 2012, finished 9th in MVP voting.
He’s signed through 2014 at 3-years, $36M.
Agent Paul Kinzer has been with Aramis from the very beginning.
Read full story here
- "After I played in the New York-Penn League in 1996, I met him in the Dominican and at the time I didn’t have an agent, so he was my first agent and my only one."
- "We have a real good relationship, he’s like a father to me. He was the best man at my wedding. It’s not a business relationship between me and Paul. It’s more like a friendship, a father/son thing. We’ve been together for so long…he loves my family, I love his, and we always keep in touch besides business stuff."
- (On recommending Kinzer to other players): "I have in the past. I don’t really like that, but if there is a guy that doesn’t have an agent, or a young player, I recommend him. I did with [Starlin] Castro when he was coming up. I told Paul he has to go to the complex and sign this kid, he was going to be good."
- (On the contract clauses with the Cubs that allowed Ramirez to void): "That was his idea all along, and it worked out well. We did it in Chicago a couple of times and that was a good job on his part."
Entering his 15th season in MLB.
Drafted by Dodgers in 23rd round, 1996.
Signed as free agent with Cubs in Dec., 2006.
Played 4 seasons with Cubs (47-34, 3.70).
Traded by Chicago to L.A. (with Ryan Theriot) on July 31, 2010.
In the final season of a 3-year, $33M contract.
Agent Larry O’Brien has been with Lilly before he reached MLB.
Read full story here
- “I kind of thought I was going to get the Jerry Maguire deal which was what I got with the majority of guys I ran across. Style is one thing but for me, it takes a back seat to substance and that’s what Larry is about."
- "He’s definitely more than just my agent. He’s a good friend. He’s a very bright guy so as far as investments and making good choices, certainly in real estate and some other endeavors he’s done well. I think maybe because he’s Irish and he gets a little lucky too."
- "To the end, whichever direction your career may go, Larry will be there. I think from what I’ve seen and having to be in professional baseball for 17 years, that’s pretty unusual really. In the industry you don’t see that. I’m sure the big agencies do a good job but having a number of friends that have gone that route, when their career is no longer as promising as it once was, they get forgotten about very quickly. Not with Larry. He’s done a great job.”