Astros star Carlos Correa is making an unusual switch in representation, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports (Twitter links). Correa has parted ways with agent Greg Genske and is now being represented by talent agency William Morris Endeavor. WME is not a baseball agency and does not even have a MLBPA-certified agent at present, although WME agent Jon Rosen is in the process of being certified by the union, Feinsand adds.
WME’s client list includes names like Bobby Flay, Rachel Ray and Al Roker, and Feinsand adds that Rosen represented both Alex Rodriguez and Matt Vasgersian in negotiating their broadcast contracts with ESPN. Jeff Passan of ESPN further reports that Rodriguez has been advising Correa on his future, which surely influenced the shift to some degree.
On the one hand, it’s not exactly a surprise to see Correa find new representation. Genske’s former Legacy Agency was acquired by Gatemore Sports & Entertainment and rebranded as GSE Worldwide last year, and several agents have broken off to start their own shops (e.g. Tidal Sports Group, VC Sports Group). Alex Bregman and Mookie Betts are among the former Legacy clients who’ve followed their representatives to those newly started agencies.
A player — particularly one of this caliber — enlisting an agency that has never worked in baseball before is obviously quite rare. In some respects, the switch is reminiscent of Robinson Cano leaving Scott Boras to sign with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports, although Jay-Z partnered with CAA Baseball (agent-turned-Mets-GM Brodie Van Wagenen, specifically) early in that endeavor. Whether WME seeks out a similar partnership or hires an experienced baseball representative remains to be seen.
Assuming Rosen is indeed certified as a player agent by the MLBPA, he’ll immediately be thrust into a high-profile arbitration case in his first offseason on the job. Correa is earning a $5MM salary in 2019 as a first-time arbitration-eligible player and stands to receive a sizable raise on that sum in 2020.
It’d be more interesting, though, to see how Correa’s new representation approaches his looming free agency in the 2021-22 offseason. It’s certainly possible that WME could hire a more seasoned baseball agent so that his trip to the open market wouldn’t be a totally foreign experience for the company’s fledgling baseball department. More broadly looking beyond Correa, it also stands to reason that a company with WME’s considerable resources and marketing capabilities would have little difficulty in luring other MLB players to a newly created baseball department (which could, of course, serve as another means of gaining experience in free agency prior to Correa hitting the open market).
As always, the change in representation has been reflected in MLBTR’s Agency Database, which contains representation information on hundreds upon hundreds of current and former players. If you see an error or omission within the database, please let us know: firstname.lastname@example.org.