A lawsuit was filed on Tuesday, April 19th against Seattle Mariners’ 2021 2nd round pick, Edwin Arroyo. The lawsuit was filed by Los Angeles-based management agency Amuse Sports USA (“Amuse”) in LA Superior Court. Arroyo, an 18-year-old Puerto Rican shortstop, was the 48th overall pick in 2021, coming out of Central Point Christian Academy in Florida. Arroyo was one of the youngest players selected in the draft at just 17 years old.
Amuse claims that in 2020, they noticed Arroyo’s talents and later “made his dreams [of playing professional baseball] a reality.” On May 15, 2020, Edwin Arroyo and Amuse entered into an advisor agreement, which provided that Arroyo would pay Amuse 5% of his signing bonus of any contract signed with a professional baseball team participating in the Major League Baseball draft. Arroyo was a minor at the time of signing. In return, Amuse was to hold showcases and give Arroyo a chance to demonstrate his talent to prospective teams. Amuse claims it incurred costs associated with those showcases, including staff fees, staff transportation, staff lodging, meals for staff and Arroyo, as well as Arroyo’s reimbursable expenses.
According to the complaint, around April 30, 2021, Arroyo notified Amuse of his intent to “unilaterally” terminate the advisor agreement. Arroyo confirmed this in a telephone call to Amuse on May 8, 2021. This was all prior to the 2021 MLB draft, which took place from July 11 to July 13, 2021. The only monetary value to the contract for Amuse was 5% of Arroyo’s signing bonus upon getting drafted.
With that, Amuse tried to settle with Arroyo as it was clear to them he was not going to honor the agreement. On May 10, 20201 Amuse offered Arroyo a waiver of the 5% advisor fee in exchange for one lump sum payment of $70,000 or two payments of $40,000, due two months apart. Arroyo declined the plaintiff’s offer.
Then, the MLB draft commences. Arroyo doesn’t hear his name get called in the first round, but he soon after lands with the Seattle Mariners at pick 48 overall. The Mariners, led by General Manager Jerry Dipoto, awarded the shortstop with a $1,650,000 signing bonus.
Therefore, on July 26, 2021, Amuse sent Arroyo an invoice for $82,500.00 (i.e., five percent of Arroyo’s signing bonus) pursuant to the Advisor Agreement, which, according to Amuse, was not subject to unilateral termination and was still in effect. Since then, Arroyo has not paid the invoice and Amuse filed this lawsuit in response.
Amuse also names Does 1-20 as defendants, alleging that one or more “does,” with intent to cause harm, undertook conduct that caused Arroyo to terminate the parties’ contract. Amuse claims that one or more does offered Arroyo a contract at a different sports talent agency while he was signed with Amuse. Amuse claims inducement to breach contract and intentional interference of contractual relations against the unnamed defendants.
Relevant portions of the contract between Amuse and Arroyo may be seen below:
Jason Morrin is a third-year law student at Hofstra Law School in New York. He is the President of Hofstra’s Sports and Entertainment Law Society. Additionally, he is a Law Clerk at Zumpano, Patricios, and Popok. He can be followed on Twitter @Jason_Morrin and reached by email at [email protected].
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