Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez has received MVP votes in five different seasons. The accomplished slugger spoke to MLBTR today about why he chose his agent, Paul Kinzer of Kinzer Management Group.
On when he first came into contact with Kinzer:
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.
On whether other agents had tried to talk to him:
A couple of guys when I was playing in the New York-Penn League in my first year in '96, they approached me, but I wasn't really into it. I was just concentrating on baseball. I wasn't worrying about an agent, I was just in A ball, so it wasn't my main thing. Then I met Paul in the Dominican and he seemed like a real honest guy and I signed with him.
On the decision to go with Kinzer, and their relationship:
He had a couple of Dominican players back then, good friends of mine, Neifi Perez and Enrique Wilson. They both told me he was great, and I trusted them. There was a Dominican guy too that worked for him, Abraham Mejia, that I knew since I was 14 or 15.
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 his level of involvement in multiyear contract discussions prior to free agency:
I was very involved. That was between me and Paul. Even though he was with a big company before, it was only me and him. He kept me updated every single moment, and I want to be. It was my future and I want to know what's going on.
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.
On Wasserman Media Group parting ways with Kinzer last year, and how that affected him:I don't really have a relationship with them. To me Paul is my agent, and I know he was with that company, but I guess it didn't work out. I'm sticking with Paul no matter what, he's my agent. It wasn't the company -- Paul is my agent, and he has been my whole career. He let me know right away when they were going through the process of separating, and I told him it was not going to affect my relationship with him.
On how the free agent process unfolded after the 2011 season:
I just let him work. I always tell him that I will do my job on the field, he's got to do his job outside the field. He kept me updated, anytime a team called, or we have to go meet somebody. When I was a free agent a year ago we had to go to L.A. and meet a couple of teams out there. He just kept me updated every single step.