MLBPA Takes Issue With Endeavor’s Purchase Of Minor League Affiliates
The William Morris Endeavor Agency (WME) has made fairly rapid strides in MLB player representation over the past two years. Carlos Correa hired WME’s Jon Rosen in September 2019. In 2021, the company landed a few notable player reps formerly of established agencies like Excel Sports Management and CAA. (WME also briefly hired Billy Eppler between his stints as general manager of the Angels and Mets).
Last month, Endeavor also announced the purchase of a handful of minor league teams, including the Triple-A affiliates of the Cubs, Yankees, Braves and Cardinals (report via Business Wire). At the time, the company expressed a desire to buy additional minor league clubs — all of which are under the purview of Diamond Baseball Holdings, a subsidiary organization of Endeavor’s with a stated goal of “supporting, promoting and enhancing the sport of baseball through professional management, best practices, innovation and investment.”
That combination is apparently not sitting well with the MLB Players Association. Evan Drellich of the Athletic reports that the union, which is responsible for regulating player agents, has warned WME’s reps they’re in danger of losing their MLBPA agent certifications if they don’t divest themselves from Endeavor. Union regulations prohibit agents from acquiring or holding financial interests in professional baseball teams unless authorized by the MLBPA to do so.
Reached by MLBTR, a spokesperson for Endeavor declined comment. Drellich notes that MLBPA regulations do contain an appeals process for agent-union disputes, although it’s not clear whether the WME-MLBPA situation will eventually require such a development.