The agent for San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval has been named in a lawsuit alleging that he was in the process of creating his own company while simultaneously representing players on behalf of another firm.
Gustavo Vasquez and partner Michel Velasquez are defendants in a civil action suit filed in South Florida District Court by Morgan Advisory Group of California. The suit seeks more than $5 million in damages for breach of contract and fiduciary duty and fraud, among several other allegations.
The suit alleges that Vasquez illegally conspired to use his new company against the Morgan group by "diverting away clients, misappropriating funds, and interfering with and harming the present and future business relationships between MAG and its former and current clients."
The suit also seeks damages for baseball equipment, computers and other items that the defendants failed to return.
"This lawsuit is not about retribution or payback," said Darren Heitner, the lawyer for the plaintiff. "It's about seeking just relief for damages that were caused to Morgan Advisory Group. Ryan Morgan believed in these guys and pumped money into their fraudulent scheme, and the result is that he's been left without a baseball division."
Vasquez didn't immediately return a phone call seeking comment.
Vasquez left Morgan Advisory Group last year to form SPS Sports Group and took Sandoval, Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez, Pittsburgh pitcher Jeanmar Gomez, Atlanta reliever Luis Avilan and numerous other players with him to his new agency. Before joining the Morgan Group, Vasquez had worked for Gaylord Sports, the agency that represents Atlanta second baseman Dan Uggla and Arizona pitcher Bronson Arroyo.
Sandoval, 27, is a .298 hitter and a two-time All-Star in five-plus seasons with San Francisco. He hit three home runs against Detroit in the opening game of the 2012 World Series and batted .500 (8-for-16) in leading the Giants to a sweep of the Tigers.
Sandoval is eligible for free agency in November and looking at a significant gap in what he's seeking in a long-term deal and what the Giants say they are willing to pay him. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Vasquez recently rejected the team's three-year, $40 million contract offer and wants a deal more in line with outfielder Hunter Pence's five-year, $90 million agreement with the club.