Jhonny Peralta changes agents (updated)

As we wait to see what Jhonny Peralta has to say at U.S. Cellular Field this afternoon, both to his Tigers teammates and to the media, it’s worth noting that Peralta has made one major change heading into free agency: His agents. He’s the latest client of ACES to change his representation, hiring Diego Bentz of SFX. It’s believed the change was made in the last month or so after Peralta was suspended.

ACES, headed up by Sam and Seth Levinson, negotiated Peralta’s current deal with the Tigers before the 2011 season. But the agency has also been heavily mixed in with the Biogenesis investigation, having had several clients involved, including Nelson Cruz (who has also changed agents) and Jordany Valdespin. Juan Carlos Nunez, a central figure in the investigation, was a contractor paid as a consultant of ACES at one time.

Bentz represents another Tigers infielder and former ACES client, Ramon Santiago.

UPDATE: ACES forwarded a statement on Peralta’s move, which included a reason given on the move:

“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. ACES is proud to represent great players who are quality people for over three decades and we will continue to defend and assert our players’ rights under the rules of the game.”

The MLB Players Association investigated ACES last year, according to USA Today. The agency was reprimanded, but the investigation found no evidence linking the agents to Biogenesis.

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