Exclusive Sit-Down With Agent Josh Kusnick
The MLB Talk 101 had the greatest of opportunities on Sunday when host Jack McNeil was lucky enough to talk to MLBPA-certified agent Joshua Kusnick. Mr. Kusnick represents multiple players throughout the majors and different levels of the minors. On the show he talked about the recent Winter Meetings, the use of medical marijuana in baseball, and how he got started in the baseball world. Kusnick stated, “For my career, I would attribute most of it to working hard and knowing what I am doing.” The interview has great things about Kusnick beginnings on the field and how he has become successful. Another thing you can take away from the interview is that in order to become successful in baseball you have to be professional. Trust is extremely important. Kusnick points out that by treating everyone equally and not lying you can only increase your success throughout baseball.
As a player agent, Kusnick was at the Orlando Winter Meeting’s last month and he talked about the structure of it all. Most of it is meeting after meeting about different rules, talking to other agents and teams about players he represents, and marketing those players. These meetings go on all day beginning at seven in the morning and ending as late as three A.M. While he represents multiple players, he is still able to talk about every single one of them to their respective clubs.
One big name player he represents is Michael Brantley, an outfielder for the Cleveland Indians. Kusnick talked about how the television revenue and the collective bargaining agreement have really altered the market for the players as player values have increased. Looking at one example, Kusnick points out Shane Victorino making $13 million dollars and how he has set a bar for other outfielders in the free agency market. Brantley would be able to make a lot more now than he could of a year or two ago. Another example of this is seeing number four or five starters signing eight-figure contracts. For the youngest certified agent, who was certified in his early 20’s, this is ok. With the amount of revenue that comes in from television and other advertisements, players deserve their fair share of the market.
Mr. Kusnick has made recent headlines as he discussed the use of medical marijuana in Major League Baseball. While he is not one to endorse any type of drug, he feels that if someone is prescribed a drug for a medical condition they should be able to take it. One of his clients, pitcher Jeremy Jeffress of the Toronto Blue Jays, suffers from seizures and has used marijuana as a prescribed medication to treat his condition. Jeffress, a pitcher who throws over 100 mph, has been suspended for taking the banned substance. However, he is a resident of Colorado with a valid driver’s license and could purchase this and without facing any criminal charges in the state. In other words, Kusnick feels that non-medical employers (like Major League Baseball) should not dictate whether or not a player can take their prescription. Kusnick’s full response can be seen in the interview above around the twenty minute mark.
On a brighter note, Kusnick has had nothing but success. He enjoys many types of music and has done stand-up comedy; something he considers to be a hobby. Jack and Joshua had a great discussion about baseball and I recommend any baseball fan watch it.