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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Law

Excel Files Claim Against Endeavor for Poaching MLB Agents

  • Excel Sports Management has filed a claim against Endeavor for allegedly inducing two of its MLB agents to breach their contracts.
  • The claim will go through MLBPA's arbitration system.
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports/Design: Alex Brooks

Editor’s note: This story was updated on Oct. 4, 2021. Excel has dropped its lawsuit against Endeavor, and filed a claim with the Major League Baseball Players Association against Endeavor, Michael Stival, and James Murray IV.

Major League Baseball teams are gearing up for a star-studded free-agent class, but in the meantime, there’s a tussle over talent between two agencies. 

Excel Management filed a lawsuit against Endeavor, claiming that the UFC owner knowingly induced two MLB agents to breach their contracts by agreeing to join a competitor. 

Michael Stival and James Murray IV both resigned from Excel on Aug. 31 and joined Endeavor’s agency WME shortly after to lead its MLB division with former Los Angeles Angels general manager Billy Eppler.

  • Excel’s legal team wrote that “Endeavor was under enormous pressure to build a baseball division at the risk of losing its sole MLB player — a star player who is up for free agency after this season and who will likely command a contract worth over $200 million.”
  • The lawsuit does not name the player but is almost certainly referring to Carlos Correa, WME’s only MLB client, according to MLB Trade Rumors. 
  • WME told FOS that it also represents MLB players Spencer Turnbull, Chasen Shreve, Garrett Whitlock, and Brady House.
  • Excel’s MLB clientele includes pending MLB free agents Freddie Freeman, Trevor Story, and George Springer, who signed a six-year, $150 million contract with the Toronto Blue Jays last offseason.

The legal filing states that “Endeavor repeatedly failed in its efforts” to “build or acquire a baseball agency” and instead poached senior agents at another firm, thus benefiting from the “confidential information, business strategies, and goodwill of their former employer.”

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