Kevin McGuiness quits MLBPA, replaced by Xavier James

NEW YORK (AP) — Kevin McGuiness has resigned after five years as chief operations officer of the Major League Baseball Players Association and been replaced by Xavier D. James, who had been his deputy.

James, 51, was hired by the union last year after working as lawyer for gospel singer DeLeon Richards Sheffield, the wife of former All-Star outfielder Gary Sheffield. James will oversee organizational infrastructure, human resources, staffing, and budgeting.

A graduate of the University of California at Irvine and George Washington Law School, McGuiness taught Renaissance history and English literature in Florence, Italy. He had been president of the McGuiness Group, a lobbying firm that represented the MLBPA, before joining the union at the start of 2014. The players’ union said Monday he will return to private practice, and he will represent the union in that role.

Leonor Colon was promoted to senior director of international and domestic player operations from director of player operations. The 41-year-old worked for the commissioner’s office from 2000-04 and the New York Mets from 2008-10 before joining the union. She is married to Tim Slavin, the union’s chief of business affairs.

Associate general counsel Greg Dreyfuss, 32, was given the additional title of director of analytics and baseball operations. Vastly outnumbered in analytics ability by Major League Baseball, the union intends to increase resources in that area. Dreyfuss worked for SFX Baseball (later Relativity), then was hired by the union in 2014.

Jeffrey Hammonds was hired as associate director of player programs and initiatives. Now 48, he retired as a player after the 2005 season and had been a special assistant on the union staff since 2014.

Hiram Arnaud, a 30-year-old Cornell Law School graduate who has worked for unions, was hired as an associate general counsel.