Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A's rookie Yoenis Cespdes being sued by group in the Dominican Republic

When Yoenis Cespedes was first announced as a free agent there were plenty of teams vying for his services. Therefore Cespedes was in line to make a lot of money. Eventually he ended up signing with the Oakland A's for four years and $36 million. But Cespedes wasn't the only one looking to get paid.

According to a report on ESPNDeportes.com, Cespedes is being sued for a breach of contract by an academy in the Dominican Republic and the Wasserman Group who helped negotiate his contract with the A's.

Edgar Mercedes, president of the Born To Play Academy, said at a news conference Tuesday in Santo Domingo that Cespedes had promised to pay 17 percent of his contract to the academy for representation, training and food while Cespedes and his family were staying in the Dominican Republic.

Besides the money owed to the academy, Mercedes said, Cespedes owes another 5 percent to Adam Katz of the Wasserman Group, the agency that represented Cespedes in negotiations with Oakland and other MLB teams.

"Yoenis has not complied with the agreement, which obliges us to resort to Dominican law to force him to do it," Mercedes said by phone. "I regret having to do this, but you must set an example."

Cespedes acted as if it was much ado about nothing and said they were nothing more than "internet rumors" and said he talked to Mercedes by telephone.

"I have no opinion about that right now," Cespedes said. "I talked to Edgar by telephone, those are Internet rumors." 

Mercedes says he hasn't spoken to Cespedes since spring training. Somewhere the truth lies in the middle.

"Since Cespedes joined the A's, he stopped taking our calls, he didn't respond (to) our messages and his financial adviser, Anthony Fernandez, informed us that at this time, he does not have any scheduled payment for us," Mercedes said.

"The basic understanding with Cespedes was that he would pay 22 percent of all the money received from Oakland 48 hours after receiving payment. We have evidence that he has already received a $5 million signing bonus in addition to his regular April salary, but now he's evading payments. He is an ungrateful one,"  Born To Play Lawyer Guillermo Estrella said.

This isn't an uncommon thing to happen to foreign players from the poorer Latin America region. This isn't the first time someone is saying a player owes money to them and it won't be the last.

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