Though he's made only two Major League starts, 23-year-old Rays righty Jake Odorizzi is no stranger to MLBTR's pages. Currently considered a top 100 prospect in the game, Odorizzi was drafted 32nd overall out of high school in 2008, traded to the Royals in the December 2010 Zack Greinke deal, and traded again this offseason to the Rays in the James Shields deal. Recently I spoke with Jake about his agent, Jason Wood of Arland Sports.
On when he first came into contact with Jason:
I came in contact with him sometime in 2007. I knew there was a possibility that I could be drafted early. He was really the first guy we talked to, I met him through one of my friends I played summer ball with, he represented his older brother. We hit it off on a friendship level more than a professional level, that's kind of our thing. We became friends and it just kind of worked out for the best, really. He's originally from an area where I'm from, next to St. Louis.
On the process leading up to the draft in '08:
It was really easy for me, I didn't really have any focus on it. He was the guy that handled everything, if anybody had questions, like scouts or any teams. I never had to handle any of that stuff, all I had to do was focus on playing ball and that made things a lot easier for me, having him to take care of all that [rather] than having myself or my parents or anybody take care of it and me having to deal with it. So he helped me out tremendously, doing that.
On Jake's involvement in the negotiations after the Brewers drafted him:
He got an update from them, I got the update too. We went at it together. When he would hear something, I would be the very next person to hear it as soon as he could get a hold of me. I was involved in negotiations as well, and I was up-to-date with everything as it was going on.
On Jason's role as an agent after Jake signed:
Lining up endorsement deals, he negotiated all of that for me and takes care of my finances, does tax returns, all that kind of stuff for me. He handles a lot of things that make my life easier. He's very hands on, always keeps up-to-date with what's going on, informs you of anything. If you have any problems or issues or need something, one phone call and it's taken care of. He's very on top of his game.
On whether a small agency offers any advantages over the big ones:
I think it's more person-to-person, and I don't have to go through anybody else. It's really easy to just pick up the phone and you just have to call one person and it's done right then and there. I think it's more personable, really, talking to the same guy about everything. You don't feel like a dollar amount when you're in a smaller firm. [At a big agency] I'm sure some of them get lost in translation a little bit.