Keivom, James/New York Daily News
Jay Z’s generosity with Robinson Cano may be a violation of baseball’s rules.
Jay Z has only been a sports agent since June, but the hip-hop star may already be in hot water with the Major League Baseball Players Association.
Baseball’s union is investigating whether Jay Z – whose real name is Shawn Carter – violated its rules by giving a watch worth nearly $ 34,000 to Yankee second baseman Robinson Cano.
Cano received a Shawn Carter Classic Fusion watch by Hublot during an Oct. 22 party in Belgium celebrating his 31st birthday, according to media reports and postings on Cano’s Instagram account. Jay Z, who reportedly helped design the watch, had performed in Antwerp the previous night.
MLBPA regulations forbid agents from offering “any money, or any other thing of value” to a player in order to persuade them to continue to using their services. Agents can give gifts to players who are already their clients but the union must be notified in writing of any gift exceeding $ 500.
Robinson Cano signs with Jay Z’s Roc Nation sports agency after severing ties with Scott Boras.
Ron Berkowitz, a spokesman for Jay Z’s Roc Nation sports agency, declined comment on the MLBPA investigation, which was first reported by ESPN.
A spokesman for the Players Association, Greg Bouris, said he could not confirm or deny that the union had launched an investigation into the gift because the MLBPA does not comment on internal investigations or agent affairs.
Cano left agent Scott Boras in April to join Jay Z’s sports agency. The National Basketball Players Association and the MLBPA certified Jay Z as an agent in June. Several sports stars – including Kevin Durant of the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder and Jets quarterback Geno Smith – have signed on with his agency since then.
This isn’t the first time Jay-Z has showered a client with a lavish gift. The music mogul surprised the WNBA’s No. 3 pick, Skylar Diggins, with a $ 100,000 Mercedes Benz when she graduated from Notre Dame in May.
Cano is represented by Creative Artists Agency as well as Jay-Z’s Roc Nation. Cano is reportedly seeking a 10-year, $ 310 million contract from the Yankees. The club presented Cano – now its biggest star – a one-year, $ 14.1 million qualifying contract on Monday.