By freelance writer Dave Pond for MLB Trade Rumors.
Giants reliever Jeremy Affeldt has been a Moye Sports Associates, Inc., client since 1999, and signed a three-year $18MM contract with the Giants shortly after their 2012 World Series Championship. It was Affeldt's third contract with the Giants, following stints with Kansas City, Colorado and Cincinnati. The veteran left-hander spoke with freelance writer Dave Pond about his agency for MLB Trade Rumors:
How did you get hooked up with Mike Moye (Moye Sports Associates, Inc.)
In 1997, I signed with the Royals out of high school and, although I didn't have an agent, I did have a guy who advised me as I negotiated my first contract. When I went off to rookie ball, everyone told me I needed an agent. My mom had seen an article on Mike in Sports Spectrum [a Christian sports publication], told me that he was an agent and a Christian, and that she thought I should give him a call.
I called Mike and we talked. He told me that I didn't really need an agent during rookie ball. He wasn't just trying to sign me to sign me. Mike said that we should just get to know one another, and see if he was the kind of guy who I wanted to work with. He said he could help me get shoes and things like that -- that I didn't need an agent to do those deals -- but down the road, if I wanted to work with him, that we could talk about it then. Mike's not one of these gung-ho, Jerry MaGuire-type guys who comes in with his hair slicked back and a lot of talk. He's a warm, low-key guy, and very professional at what he does. He really takes the time to listen to you, and learn what's important to you.
A couple of seasons later, I was really doing well in Charleston, and made the single-A All-Star team. I was at the hotel, and I got a bunch of calls from different agents, and I really didn't want to meet with any of them. I was still trying to figure our professional baseball at the time, and I didn't want to have to deal with any of that. So, I called Mike and told him I wanted to sign.
That's what impressed me about Mike so much -- he wasn't all about how fast he could sign someone, or see how many guys he could sign. He wanted to make sure I was a quality player, not just on talent, but when it came to character, too -- that I was I the kind of guy he wanted to represent, and that I wanted a guy like him to represent me. It was a two-way street, and I was really impressed with that.
What sets Moye apart from other agents?
Several GMs have told me that Mike has a real bulldog mentality when it comes to representing his players in the negotiating room, but that he's one of the best guys to work with as well. He knows his stuff, but he doesn't lie to make you look better or make a team look worse. He doesn't manipulate situations -- he's honest with teams he's talking to, and he expects teams to believe him. I want an agent who teams enjoy working with, as well as one with high integrity, good character and good values.
When you meet him, he's not "Hollywood" -- he doesn't seem like your stereotypical agent. You definitely don't look at him at first glance and think "sports agent." I didn't want a Hollywood-type guy -- I want to work with a guy who I enjoy spending time with. He's a family-first guy who cares about his wife and kids and where they are at spiritually, so all of that really played into it, too.
Why have you stayed with Moye Sports?
I'm a very strong Christian man, so I want that type of influence in my life, whether I'm negotiating a contract or if when I'm frustrated with the front office. Mike can talk to me from a Christian perspective as well as from an agent's perspective and that's big for me, because it helps me make the right decisions. Most importantly, Mike reminds me about who I represent -- I don't represent me, I represent Jesus.
As professional athletes, we're basically entrepreneurs. We run our own business, and we need people to help us make decisions that will be the best for our families. When we're dealing with the kind of money we're dealing with, and have to make the kind of decisions we're make, I have to have wise counsel, and know that everything is on the table.
Mike's not just a "yes" man, and he fights for what he knows is right. For Mike, it's never been about how much money he can get Jeremy, so that he'll get a bigger cut -- it's how can he help me in life, so that I not only receive great contracts to support my family, but also that I represent Jesus well in everything I do. Over the years, Mike has helped me become a Major League Christian athlete -- not just a Major Leaguer, but a solid Christian man who can represent the Gospel in a tough arena to represent Jesus in.