Investigation: Is Jay Z paying players illegally? MLB rivals playing hardball
NOV 06, 2013 2:23p ET
The MLB Players Association just did a what-what?
Jay Z has ruffled plenty of high-dollar feathers with his foray into the sports-management world, from calling out Scott Boras in a song (after signing the Yankees' Robinson Cano away from the super-agent) and calling out Boras in a song, to calling agents "half-ass" and comparing them to robbers.
Well, you didn't expect Boras & Co. to take this sitting down, did you?
According to a report by ESPN on Tuesday, the MLBPA is investigating the rap mogul and founder of Roc Nation sports group for gifts he gave Cano during a birthday party for the free agent second baseman in October.
Among the gifts Jay Z gave his client at the Oct. 22 bash in Belgium were a special limited edition gold "Shawn Carter" edition Hublot watch that came with a $34,000 price tag and is one of only 100.
It is that gift that has reportedly drawn the eye of the MLBPA.
According to ESPN, sources said that the MLBPA is investigating whether Jay Z violated union regulations for agents when he gave Cano, 31, the gift.
At the heart of the investigation would be this line in the regulations:
"No Player Agent or Applicant shall provide, cause to be provided or promise to provide, any money or any other thing of value to any player, or any person related to or associated with such player, the purpose of which is to induce or encourage such player to use or continue to use any person's or firm's services as a Player Agent, Representative, or Draft Advisor.''
According to ESPN, officials with the union say that clause, as well as other related stipulations, are in place to "ensure that players choose their representatives on merit rather than what the union calls 'improper inducements.'''
Cano, who actually has co-representation by Roc Nation and CAA, was tendered a $14.1 million qualifying offer by the Yankees, meaning New York would receive an extra draft pick at the end of the first round as compensation if he signs with another team. It has been reported Cano is seeking a contract in the $300 million range.
Among Jay Z's other clients are Jets QB Geno Smith, WNBA star Skylar Diggins and Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Kevin Durant.
Among the other things Jay Z did for Cano's birthday: