The players’ union has granted Jay-Z temporary limited certification to serve as a baseball agent. But his path to formal, permanent certification will not be a simple process.
Rick Shapiro, senior adviser to the union, said Wednesday that Jay-Z was one of three representatives from his company, Roc Nation, to receive temporary limited certification.
Roc Nation Sports, a division of Roc Nation, announced Tuesday that it will represent New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano in conjunction with Brodie Van Wagenen of CAA.
Van Wagenen is the only person currently certified to represent Cano. Shapiro said the union has not yet received formal applications from Jay-Z and the two other Roc Nation representatives to become certified agents.
“When we do, we will review them, then make a determination whether to certify them as agents, similar to any other new agent application,” Shapiro said. “We’ll look at background, conflict of interests, the whole picture, we’ll look at everything.”
Jay-Z has potential conflicts of interest. He is part-owner of the Brooklyn Nets, whose games are televised by the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network (YES). He also is appearing in concert at Yankee Stadium in July. As noted by Joel Sherman of the New York Post, he could be paid by the Yankees through a third party, Live Nation, at a time when he is negotiating with the team on Cano’s behalf.
A conflict of interest would not automatically disqualify Jay-Z from becoming an agent, according to a source. Applicants also are asked about their criminal background, but a conviction also is not an automatic disqualifier, the source said.
Jay-Z, 43, received three years’ probation in December 1999 after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor third-degree assault for stabbing record producer Lance “Un” Rivera.
He went on to become one of the most successful rappers, record producers and entrepreneurs in the US, and Forbes in 2012 estimated his net worth to be nearly $500 million.
Meanwhile, the union has advised Cano to expect a financial challenge from his previous agent, Scott Boras, if he sticks with his decision to change representatives, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
Boras said Tuesday night that Cano signed a representation agreement with him on March 20. Although Cano is free to sign with another agent, the agreement could entitle Boras to a percentage of the fees on any contract that the player signs within a one-year period.
It is not known whether an arbitrator would enforce the agreement if Boras sought to receive a percentage of a contract negotiated by Cano’s new agents. Such a case would be the first of its kind, the source said.