D-Backs to announce Moorad's hiring

Updated: August 6, 2004, 11:53 AM ET
By Darren Rovell | ESPN.com

Sports agent Jeff Moorad will leave his agency, Moorad Sports Management, to accept a high-ranking job with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Diamondbacks are expected to hold a news conference Friday to announce Moorad's hiring, ESPN's Pedro Gomez reports.

Sources told ESPN.com that Moorad called his clients -- among them Red Sox outfielder Manny Ramirez -- to inform them of the direction his career is taking. Calls placed by ESPN.com to Moorad's office and home were not immediately returned.

A move from sports agent to a professional sports team's front office would not be unprecedented. In August 2001, agent Mike Barnett, who represented Wayne Gretzky and other NHL players, joined Gretzky in the Phoenix Coyotes' front office, accepting the role of executive vice president and general manager. In June 2002, high-profile NFL agent Ray Anderson left his practice to become the executive vice president of the Atlanta Falcons.

When Moorad was aligned with football agent Leigh Steinberg, he became one of the most powerful agents in baseball. Four years ago, he brokered the second-richest deal in baseball history -- Ramirez's eight-year, $160 million free-agent contract with Boston.

In April 2003, after 18 years of working together, Steinberg and Moorad parted ways.

Since Moorad began representing athletes in 1983, he has been included in The Sporting News' list of the 100 most powerful people in sports seven times. He has represented more than 40 players taken in the first round of Major League Baseball's draft, according to the company's Web site. His current clients include Diamondbacks left fielder Luis Gonzalez, Minnesota Twins left fielder Shannon Stewart, Anaheim Angels first baseman Darin Erstad, and New York Yankees pitcher Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez.

Moorad's firm is owned by Loring Ward, a wealth and life management services company. It is unclear whether Moorad associates Brian Peters and Gene Mato will remain with the firm following their boss' departure.

Mato and Moorad had represented Sean Taylor, who was selected by the Redskins in the first round of the 2004 NFL draft. Taylor fired his first agent after the draft, hired the two in July and signed a deal they negotiated with Washington. Unhappy with the contract, he fired them Tuesday.

Meanwhile, a source within Major League Baseball told ESPN's Gomez that by next season, Diamondbacks chairman and CEO Jerry Colangelo likely will no longer have any significant role with the team -- if any at all.

Due to previous cash flow problems, Colangelo does not have a controlling interest in the Diamondbacks, so it has been clear he could be phased out at any time. Colangelo has maintained that although he did not have a financial interest in the franchise, he was promised that he could leave as managing partner on his own terms.

Colangelo sold the NBA's Phoenix Suns in April to real estate and banking executive Robert Sarver for $401 million. Colangelo, who owned 20 percent of the Suns, sold his share but has stayed on as chairman and chief executive.

Darren Rovell, who covers sports business for ESPN.com, can be reached at Darren.Rovell@espn3.com.

Darren Rovell | email

ESPN.com Sports Business reporter

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