ESPN is reporting that the Major League Baseball Player’s Association is investigating whether Jay Z’s lavish gift to Robinson Cano violated union-agent relations this week. Jay Z’s Roc Sports Nation represents Cano and a few weeks back, Jay Z gave the New York Yankee second baseman a $33,900 Hublot watch for his birthday.
Cano is represented dually by Creative Artists Agency, which will handle the bulk of his upcoming free agent negotiations, and Roc Nation. A baseball source confirmed to ESPN.com that Cano is seeking a 10-year, $310 million contract from the Yankees, who gave him a one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offer before baseball’s Monday deadline.
Section 5(B)(5)(a) of the Players Association regulations states: “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.”
There is a clause allowing certain gifts if the player was already a client of the agent; however, any gift exceeding $500 must be disclosed to the union in writing. Players Association officials say the seven paragraphs of rules are meant to ensure that players choose their representatives on merit rather than what the union calls “improper inducements.”
If Jay Z is found to have violated union regulations, he could face discipline by the MLBPA if he is found to have acted improperly.