Sources: Bad Bunny-led agency faces sanctions - 4 minutes read

Alden Gonzalez, Jeff Passan, Jorge Castillo Apr 12, 2024, 01:18 PM ET

William Arroyo, the main baseball agent for the Bad Bunny-led agency Rimas Sports, had his Major League Baseball Players Association certification revoked after a union investigation into complaints from other agents about improper benefits provided to players, industry sources told ESPN.

The MLBPA informed Arroyo's clients of its decision, according to an email obtained by ESPN on Friday.

"At Rimas Sports, we uphold the highest standards of professionalism and integrity of our industry," the company said in a statement. "Out of respect for an ongoing process within the context of the MLBPA Agent Regulations, we will refrain from making any comments at this time. We remain committed to continue serving our clients with excellence."

Arroyo and Rimas Sports have the right to appeal, but it is not known whether Arroyo will challenge the decertification. An MLBPA representative declined to comment. Arroyo and prominent Rimas executive Jonathan Miranda did not respond to messages left by ESPN seeking comment.

Within one week of Rimas' official launch in mid-April 2023, the MLBPA received evidence the company had offered players cash and gifts to switch agencies, according to sources. Section 5 of the MLBPA's agent regulations states that no agent "shall provide, cause to provide 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" for the purposes of persuading him to join or remain with an agency.

Bad Bunny, the world-famous Puerto Rican rapper and singer, launched the sports management agency in April 2023 alongside his manager, Noah Assad, who founded the independent record label Rimas Entertainment. Miranda was brought in as president and Hall of Fame catcher Ivan Rodriguez, one of the most popular players from Puerto Rico, was hired to serve as an ambassador. Rodriguez is no longer involved with the agency, according to a Rangers spokesperson. Rodriguez currently serves as a special assistant with the Rangers.

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With the launch, Bad Bunny -- the stage name of Benito Antonio Martinez Ocasio -- followed in the footsteps of hip-hop icon Jay-Z, who launched Roc Nation's sports management division in 2013 and signed major clients across sports, such as the NBA's LaMelo Ball, the NFL's Saquon Barkley and MLB's CC Sabathia.

Rimas Sports focused on young Latin American baseball players, initially bringing in New York Mets catcher Francisco Alvarez, Colorado Rockies shortstop Ezequiel Tovar, Cincinnati Reds infielder Santiago Espinal, Mets infield prospect Ronny Mauricio and Los Angeles Dodgers catching prospect Diego Cartaya.

Alvarez declined to comment on the matter.

"I don't want to talk about that," Alvarez told ESPN in Spanish on Friday.

"Together we have accomplished great things in the music industry, and now we are ready to take on the world of sports," Miranda wrote in an email last summer. "In addition, [Bad Bunny] is an invaluable asset to us, embodies our values and goals, and his stellar career represents the success of our model. Our approach is based on talent and a unique vision, with a team of professionals behind the scenes in charge of making it happen."

In late February, Tovar, 22, signed a seven-year, $63.5 million contract extension that included an eighth-year club option and bought out three years of free agency. It's the largest deal the company has negotiated to date. Rimas added veteran outfielder Eddie Rosario to its roster during the offseason before Arroyo negotiated a minor league deal with the Washington Nationals in March. Rosario made the Nationals' roster and will earn $2 million.

Though Miranda said Rimas Sports is a standalone company independent of Rimas Entertainment, cross-pollination potential between the two entities is a draw for players. Alvarez and Tovar were on a panel sponsored by Rimas Sports at Billboard's Latin Music Week this past October in Miami, a high-profile opportunity for two players coming off their rookie seasons. Alvarez and Tovar also released curated playlists on Spotify as part of a mixtape series by the music streamer.

An email sent by the MLBPA to Rimas Sports' baseball clients also named other Rimas executives who are not certified agents and are thus barred from acting on the players' behalf. Those executives are expected to be denied their requests to obtain certification, sources said.

Source: ESPN

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