A Dominican court order is telling Oakland A’s outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to pay up.
In unsealed records released Wednesday, the Cuban ballplayer is being required to pay 22 percent of the value of the contract he signed with the Athletics to the former agent who helped him secure the deal.
Cespedes must may nearly $8 million to Edgar Mercedes, according to Guillermo Estrella, the lawyer who represented the former agent in the commercial arbitration court in the northern city of Santiago.
Estrella said the order, which was issued March 15 but only made public Wednesday, is immediately enforceable and he plans to notify the Athletics so they can begin docking the slugger's salary. They can also place a lien on any property he has in the U.S. and they plan to file suit against the outfielder for damages.
"We have now an order that is applicable in the U.S. and allows us to say that the rules are clear," Estrella said.
A lawyer for Cespedes, Cristian Martínez, told The Associated Press that by their analysis the amount the court has ordered to pay will total much less, perhaps around $2 million, in part because of the taxes the player must pay on his salary in the United States. He said they are still reviewing the decision to see if they have any options to appeal.
Mercedes filed suit in 2012, alleging that Cespedes reneged on their contract. The decision was announced Wednesday.
The 27-year-old Cespedes defected from Cuba to the Dominican Republic and later signed a $36 million, four-year contract with the Athletics.
He batted .292 with 23 home runs and 82 RBIs in 129 games, finishing runner-up to the Los Angeles Angels' Mike Trout for AL Rookie of the Year. He also hit 25 doubles and five triples while striking out 102 times.
Based on reporting by the Associated Press.