Interview with Pro Star Management on winter meetings, Aaron Cook, Brett Gardner and more
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Through The Fence Baseball recently had the chance to interview the Vice President of Pro Star Management, Ryan Bick. Pro Star Management has represented the likes of Paul O’Neill, Brian and Marcus Giles, Buddy Bell, and Terry Mulholland, just to name a few. Current highlights on their roster include Brett Gardner, Aaron Cook, Chris Denorfia, Kevin Youkilis, Eli Whiteside and many top prospects including one of our writers, Tyler Stohr. If you’re interested in reading more about them, you’ll get the chance at the bottom of the interview, or you can head over to their website following the link above. These guys have been standup the whole time to us and it was a pleasure working with them through the interview. Many thanks goes out to Ryan for taking the time with us.
Through The Fence Baseball: How do you approach the offseason when it comes to new deals, free agents and new clients?
The offseason is the most important part of the MLB calendar for us. Preparation is key. Preparing our packets and powerpoints for our free-agent clients is a big part of it. Getting those ready and sent out to all 30 teams’ GMs is essential. If we have any arbitration-eligible players, we must prepare as if we will go to a hearing. There is a lot of preparation that goes into these arbitration cases. The teams always have a great case prepared, so we must make sure ours is better.
TTFB: It’s safe to assume that the offseason is really your “season.” How crazy are the winter meetings?
No question, the offseason is our real “season.” Getting our free agents signed is number one on the list, as well as preparing our arbitration cases, if we have any arb-eligible clients. The winter meetings are a very important part of the free-agent period. It is a great way to meet with front-office execs, and let them know who our free agents are, and possibly sit down and discuss a deal. With everyone gathered in one place, it’s our best chance to spread the word on our free-agent class.
TTFB: Any good stories that have come out of the winter meetings? It’s not all business is it?
The meetings are certainly not all business. They are a lot of fun, and I look forward to them every year. As we like to say: There is plenty of “lobby hanging” to go around during the four days at the hotel. This “lobby hanging” makes for some great baseball talk, and in turn, makes for some great stories. It really is a great time to see faces you don’t get to see very often throughout the year.
TTFB: Is there a plan going into the winter meetings, or is it “let’s go and wing it”?
We don’t wing it by any means. We go in with a plan. We know who our free agents are, and who some of the best suitors for each guy will be. We make it a point to meet with the best suitors for each client. We prepare quite a bit before we head to the meetings. We also use the meetings to meet face to face with all the equipment reps, and get our clients equipment deals for the upcoming season in place. There is preparation for those meetings, as well.
TTFB: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve had to implement into a contract to make it work; for example, Roy Oswalt’s bulldozer?
Ha! We do our best to keep contracts uncomplicated! We haven’t had anything like a bulldozer implemented into a contract … yet.
TTFB: With Marcus and Brian Giles as clients, how excited were they to play together on the same team, and how difficult was it to make it happen?
Brian and Marcus were absolutely thrilled to play together in San Diego. As brothers, they grew up playing on the same teams, so getting that chance at the big-league level was a dream come true. It wasn’t too difficult, as San Diego really wanted Marcus on its roster. When Marcus was non-tendered with the Braves, we focused on getting him on the Padres club. When we were able to get Marcus signed, everyone was really excited, including us. Again, this was a dream come true for the Giles brothers.
TTFB: It was rumored that the Pirates were the frontrunner for Aaron Cook, but he ended up signing with the Red Sox. How did this unfold and what is expected?
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