Court orders A's Cespedes to pay ex-agent

Published: Thursday, Mar. 28, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 2C
Last Modified: Thursday, Mar. 28, 2013 - 6:33 am

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic – A court order unsealed Wednesday requires Yoenis Cespedes to pay 22 percent of the value of the contract he signed with the A's to the former agent who helped him secure the deal.

Cespedes must pay nearly $8 million to Edgar Mercedes, according to Guillermo Estrella, the lawyer who represented the former agent in court in Santiago, Dominican Republic.

Estrella said the order, which was issued March 15 but made public only Wednesday, is immediately enforceable, and he plans to notify the A's so they can begin docking the Cuban outfielder's salary. Estrella said the order allows for a lien to be placed on any property Cespedes has in the United States, and he plans to sue him for damages.

"We have now an order that is applicable in the U.S. and allows us to say that the rules are clear," Estrella said.

A lawyer for Cespedes, Cristian Martínez, said that by his analysis the amount the court has ordered to pay will total much less, perhaps about $2 million, partly because of the taxes Cespedes must pay in the United States. He said he still is reviewing the decision to see if there are any options to appeal.

Mercedes filed suit in 2012, alleging that Cespedes reneged on their contract.

Cespedes defected to the Dominican Republic and signed a four-year, $36 million contract with the A's in March 2012.

Cardinals – Ace Adam Wainwright and St. Louis agreed to a five-year, $97.5 million contract extension through 2018, two sources said. The contract is the richest ever for a Cardinals pitcher.

As a rookie, Wainwright was the closer during St. Louis' World Series title season in 2006. He then moved into the rotation, leading the National League in victories with 19 in 2009 and winning 20 games in 2010.

He missed the 2011 season after Tommy John elbow surgery and went 14-13 with a 3.94 ERA last year.

Diamondbacks – Utilityman Willie Bloomquist is expected to miss two to four weeks after he strained a muscle in his side while swinging the bat Tuesday.

Outfielder Cody Ross also is expected to start the season on the disabled list because of a strained calf.

Yankees – Pitcher Phil Hughes, who is recovering from a bulging disc in his back, will start the season on the disabled list.

Media – Veteran TV announcer and former major-league catcher Tim McCarver, 71, said he will retire from broadcasting after this season.

McCarver will call the World Series this year as a Fox analyst and then retire.

"I wanted to step down while I know I can still do the job and proud of the job I've done," said McCarver, who played 21 seasons before retiring in 1980, when he began broadcasting.

Franchise values – Forbes estimated the Yankees have the highest team value in Major League Baseball for the 16th straight year at $2.3 billion, and the average for an MLB team rose by 23 percent in the last year to $744 million.

The magazine said the Yankees' value increased from $1.85 billion last year.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.

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