Shaun Marcum’s one-year, $4MM deal with the Mets this past offseason was negotiated by his agents at Turner-Gary Sports, Inc. Marcum spoke with B.J. Rains for MLBTR about his agents Rex Gary and Jimmy Turner.
When did you first come in contact with Rex Gary and Jimmy Turner?
It would have been Spring Training 2004. At the time they had Ryan Howard as a client and I knew Ryan from college so he introduced us and within a few days, Rex and Jim Turner were representing me and we’ve been together ever since. Looking back on it too, they didn’t have my cell phone number in college and they called my parents' house and my parents never told me leading up to the draft so I never knew. When I got drafted I went with the one person I knew, the one person that called me, because he was the only agent to contact me before the draft and I needed somebody to represent me and then after my first short season that’s when I met Rex and Jim and my parents then told me that they did call the house, but I didn’t give my cell phone number out so when I met them that’s when I made the switch and I’ve been with them ever since.”
What made them the right fit for you?
Tony LaCava with the Blue Jays was one of the guys that looked at me and drafted me back in 2003 and Tony had known Rex for a while and mentioned my name to Rex when I was in the Cape Cod League in 2002 so Rex had seen me then and he knew a little bit about me. I thought that was important because he wasn’t just somebody that was trying to make a quick buck. He knew quite a bit about me and my family and with Jimmy being from Missouri, he knew my college coaches and had a relationship with those guys so it just seemed like a good fit.
Just talking to them, they are very family oriented and they keep in touch and keep in contact with my wife and they’ve seen my kids from birth on and to this day, I feel like they are family. If they were ever in a bind or if I ever needed anything or them, I know either one of us would be there to help each other out.
What makes them good agents?
I know Rex is well respected by the Players Association and well respected throughout the game by a lot of the general managers. And arbitration, obviously it’s a big deal in baseball, and other agencies hire him to do their arbitration cases for them. He’s very respected throughout the game as far as arbitration. Also just his clients and what he can do for them in free agency. He and Jimmy had Joe Carter, Ryne Sandberg who signed a big contract, Brad Lidge, a lot of guys. Just his background and being an attorney and all of that and having that as an agent, he looks at all the details and makes sure everything is correct.
I’ve heard from other agents throughout my career, some random agents wanting to get a hold me and talk to me and I tell them I’m happy where I’m at and I don’t plan on making a change. I appreciate their interest but I’m happy with Jimmy and Rex.
It seems like they have plenty of big-name clients but are still able to give you personal attention?
I think that’s important, coming through the minor leagues and getting to the big leagues, to this day, they don’t forget about me. I still get texts and phone calls after every single start. I get them before starts. They will stay up and watch the games, if we’re on the west coast and they will be on the east coast but they will stay up and watch and I hear from them that night or the next morning. They don’t take anything for granted. They will do whatever they can do to help their clients out and I’m very fortunate enough to have them.
My wife would tell you the same thing, she loves them. She treats them as family. They are somebody that we will always have a relationship with even when I’m done with baseball. They’ve been there through everything with me as far as my baseball career is concerned, Tommy John, arbitration, free agency, my family, the birth of my kids, they’ve been there. They are like family. If you can find agents like I did that are going to be there with you through the ups and downs, good times and bad times, that’s the guy you need to get.
Check out our other interviews in the Why I Chose My Agency series with Mark DeRosa, Ted Lilly, Ryan Ludwick, Cody Ross, Aramis Ramirez, Adam Wainwright, Jeremy Affeldt, David Wright, Jay Bruce, Matt Holliday, Jamey Carroll and Jake Odorizzi.