Jhonny Peralta is changing agents, according to a report from Jason Beck at MLB.com. The Tiger infielder has fired the ACES agency, run by Sam and Seth Levinson, and hired Diego Bentz of the SFX agency which is based in San Diego. SFX also represents Tiger players Miguel Cabrera, Justin Verlander, and former Tiger Avisail Garcia. Beck reports that Ramon Santiago is also a former ACES client who has switched to Bentz.
ACES came under scrutiny in the Biogenesis scandal when one of their employees, Juan Carlos Nunez, reportedly referred a number of ACES clients to Tony Bosch, owner of the now defunct "anti aging" clinic. According to this article in the New York Times, which details Nunez's invovement, "the dirty dozen", who accepted suspensions in relation to the Bigenesis scandal were all current or former ACES clients tied to Nunez.
Major League Baseball Players Association's Chief Executive, Michael Weiner, blamed the scandal on Nunez. The Times quoted Weiner:
"I think Nunez is a snake,"... "What he did was horrible"..."He should have the book thrown at him."
Weiner went on to say that he saw no ties between Biogenesis and the Levinsons.
Nunez also has been tied to the fake website that was set up in an effort to help clear Giants' outfielder Melky Cabrera of charges after he had been caught using PED's in 2012. Nunez was sued by Major league baseball, has been banned from all non public areas of major league facilities, and fired by the Levinsons.
Peralta, to his credit, has not attempted to deflect blame for his actions on anyone else. He took full responsibility when he spoke to the media after his workout in Chicago prior to Wednesday night's game.
"Right now, what happened before, I’m angry with myself," he said. "I don’t know how to explain it, the situation that happened, but I’m kind of mad at myself."
ACES, who still represent Tiger pitchers Joaquin Benoit and Al Alburquerque, released a statement after Peralta announced his change. They appeared to blame race for his decision.
"ACES takes great pride in standing by our players during difficult times in their lives. Thankfully, the darkest chapter in Jhonny’s professional career has concluded. We wish him the best in all that he does moving forward, and fully understand that Jhonny is more comfortable with a Latin agent...."
Peralta will be a free agent after the current season, as will Benoit and Santiago. Alburquerque is a likely "super two" arbitration player because he will have enough service time in the major leagues to qualify. Texas Rangers' outfielder Nelson Cruz, who is the only other player among the twelve who plays for a playoff contender, has also switched agents.