Labor and Agents

WME beefs up baseball representation practice with new hires

By Liz Mullen
(clockwise from top) Murray, Eppler, Stival will report to WME Sports Co-Heads Jordan Bazant, Josh Pyatt and Karen BrodkinWME

WME Sports hired former Excel Sports Management MLB agents Jim Murray and Michael Stival and former Angels GM Billy Eppler to run its MLB player representation practice. Eppler, Murray and Stival all joined WME Sports as partners. Murray and Stival will be based out of N.Y., and Eppler will be based in Southern California. They all will report to WME Sports Co-Heads Jordan Bazant, Josh Pyatt and Karen Brodkin. Murray joins after working more than nine years at Excel, where he helped grow the baseball business and helped negotiate more than $2B in contracts. Stival, an expert in salary arbitration, joins WME after seven years at Excel, and prior to that, worked as an attorney at the MLBPA. Both Murray and Stival are MLBPA-certified agents. It is not clear what clients, if any, will follow them to WME Sports. Eppler is not MLBPA-certified. He was Angels GM from '15-20, where he oversaw a staff of more than 200 and was responsible for player development, drafts and signings, including Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, and Anthony Rendon. Prior to that, Eppler worked for the Yankees and Rockies.

DIVISION LEADERS: WME has an existing MLB player representation practice that began on-the-field work when TV agent and partner Jon Rosen got MLBPA-certified to represent Astros SS Carlos Correa in '19. The division grew when WME hired MLB agent Kent Matthes from CAA Sports in December '20. Matthes in August told SBJ, "We are very committed to growing this baseball division to be the best division in baseball."

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