Melissa Segura of Sports Illustrated dropped a minor bombshell on Twitter late last night. Here’s what she reported:
The FL lawsuit v. Hendricks/Fernandez says Yankees made “offer to Chapman valued at more than $54 million” Chap signed 6yr/$30.25 mil w Reds
The Florida lawsuit she’s referring to is by Carlos Thompson, whom she describes as “old Chapman friend from Cuba.” It appears he was representing Aroldis at some point early on, and is ticked off about how he lost his client. You may recall that soon after he defected from Cuba, Chapman changed agents and switched to the Hendricks Brothers, who have a large client base of athletes that has included the likes of Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte.
But here’s where it really gets interesting. There’s a separate report in SI saying one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, Rodney Fernandez, has been criminally charged with stealing money from client Kendry Morales (another ex-Cuban) to “enhance [Fernandez's] recruiting business”. Here’s the SI report:
A South Florida sports agent has been charged with stealing more than $305,000 from Anaheim Angels first baseman Kendry Morales.
Coral Springs police report that 31-year-old Rodney Fernandez turned himself in Monday on a grand theft charge.
Authorities say Fernandez was working for Hendricks Sports Management between 2008 and 2009 when he conducted numerous financial transactions from Morales’ business account. Coral Springs police began an investigation after the ballplayer’s attorney contacted them and told them that Fernandez didn’t have permission to remove money from the account.
So let’s total this up. We have one buscone suing another one, who has been charged with stealing from his client. That’s not something that alone will get a contract voided, there’s all sorts of shenanigans that go on involving Latin American players and two “agents” suing each other and making outlandish charges won’t even land on Bud Selig’s radar. The next thing we have to watch for is how Chapman reacts to these reports. He’s already joined a suit with his former agent accusing the Hendricks bros of improperly luring him away. If he claims he was never made aware of the Yankee offer, implying there was some sort of private deal between the two parties that occurred behind his back, he would have a basis to take it to the commissioner. How Bud would rule is anyone’s guess, but its clear that this story has legs. Stay tuned. . .
UPDATE: Buster Olney caught up with Brian Cashman, who refuted the report and said that the Yankees never made an offer.
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