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Friday, October 24, 2014

Albert Pujols’ Agent, Dan Lozano, Reportedly Negotiated Team-Friendly Deal in 2004 Because He was Broke

Anyone who is familiar with sports knows about the stereotypes associated with sports agents. They lie, they back-stab, and they tell a player anything he or she wants to hear. An agent will give off the appearance that he is a player’s best friend, but at the end of the day we all know it’s about nothing more than money. Since it is usually strictly about money for the player, the relationship works out nicely. For someone like Dan Lozano, recent accusations could complicate things a bit.

On Tuesday, Deadspin released a lengthy report about Lozano that highlights all the sleaze ball tactics he has used to build his list of All-Star clients that includes Alex Rodriguez and Albert Pujols. Among the entertaining recollections of running a prostitution ring, sexually harassing employees, and drinking excessively was some information that could be particularly disturbing to Pujols.

The sources who fueled the Deadspin story claim Lozano is a a brilliant chameleon — one who has played the rowdy party animal for guys like Mike Piazza and the Christian church-goer for Pujols and his wife.  In addition to pretending to be someone he is not, Lozano also may have screwed Pujols out of millions of dollars because he was in such serious financial trouble.

Albert Pujols was the best thing that ever happened to Dan Lozano, who by 2004 was nearly broke, colleagues say. A source familiar with the negotiations says the Cardinals knew of Lozano’s money issues (as did many GMs around baseball), and they knew he was desperate to get a contract extension signed as soon as possible.

“How can you handle your client’s finances when you can’t handle your own?” asks a rival agent.

The result: eight years at $14.5 million a year. One executive called it “the best owner’s contract in baseball,” according to a baseball source.

If it wasn’t full market value, but it was money right when Lozano needed it. A year before, he had paid out nearly a million dollars to settle accusations of sexual harassment from two former employees…

For such a team-friendly deal that makes very little sense, it is not surprising that there is an alleged reason for it.  It has also been said that Lozano’s entire career hinges on Pujols next contract — which could be worth more than $200 million (much to the dismay of Curt Schilling) as we all know.  A-Rod and other players have reportedly invested money in Lozano’s company and helped him recruit young talent.  If and when Pujols signs his mega-deal, Lozano will be able to pay A-Rod and others back with interest.

Now, the question becomes whether any of the accusations against Lozano will be taken seriously.  The behavior that was outlined is not surprising considering what we know about the world of athletes and agents, but how will Pujols and his wife react to the stuff about being a fake Catholic and taking a team-friendly deal to get out of financial trouble?  If Pujols buys it and the rumors about Lozano’s financial issues are true, he could find himself in a world of trouble he never imagined.



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