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Jay Z’s Pricey Gift to Robinson Cano Investigated by Major League Baseball

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Scott T. Sterling
Scott T. Sterling Scott is the rock associate producer for Radio.com....
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(Jay Z and Robinson Cano CREDIT: Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images)

(Jay Z and Robinson Cano in 2009; Photo credit: Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images)

Jay Z is looking at a new problem.

While the rapper/mogul famously divested his ownership stake in NBA team the Brooklyn Nets to throw his hat in the ring of representing athletes with the formation of Roc Nation Sports, an expensive watch given to his superstar client Robinson Cano has generated an investigation by the Major League Baseball Players Association for violating agent regulations (via CBS Sports).

The gift in question is a limited-edition Shawn Carter Classic Fusion watch by Swedish watchmaker Hublot and co-designed by Jay Z that the five-time MLB All-Star received for his 31st birthday at a party in Belgium on Oct. 22. Cano showed off the extravagant timepiece that retails for $33,900 on his Instagram account.

According to Page Six, Cano and Jay Z partied at Belgium nightclub Magic where “they plowed through dozens of bottles of Ace of Spades Champagne,” referencing the boutique wine brand that the rapper has been pivotal in making popular with his very public support, where Cano received the watch.

The trouble arises in that such a gift is in direct conflict with Section 5(B)(5)(a) of the Players Association regulations, which states in no uncertain terms: “No Player Agent or Applicant shall provide, cause to be provided or promise to provide, any money or any other thing of value to any player, or any person related to or associated with such player, the purpose of which is to induce or encourage such player to use or continue to use any person’s or firm’s services as a Player Agent, Representative, or Draft Advisor.”

According to Players Association officials, the gifting rules are in place to prevent athletes from choosing representation based on “improper inducements.”

Cano, who left noted sports agent Scott Boras back in April of this year to sign with Roc Nation Sports (he’s co-represented by Creative Artists Agency), is reportedly looking for a 10-year deal with the Yankees worth $310 million when he becomes one of baseball’s most coveted free agents this winter.

Hublot and Jay Z are set to offer 100 of the limited edition timepieces for sale as part of the rapper’s high-profile holiday collection through retailer Barneys New York, which has been called into question due to recent accusations of customer racial profiling by the department store chain.

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