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Jody Gerut working to prevent athlete bankruptcy

Ezra Shaw

This is a terrific story on former Pirates outfielder Jody Gerut, who retired in 2011 and is now a player agent who's working to help keep players, and particularly Latino players, from going bankrupt after retirement. Players are bombarded with bad investment ideas, and Gerut wants to help them avoid those.

"In a lot of cases, there's a lot of trust being put into people that shouldn't be trusted," Gerut says. "There's a lack of understanding of what power of attorney means and the implications of giving the wrong person power of attorney.

"If there's one consistency through my interviewing with bankrupt or financially distressed guys, it was, 'I couldn't say no to family.' So you've got some really difficult human situations, compassion situations."

Gerut has a history degree from Stanford.

It's easy to forget that Gerut was ever a Pirate in the first place. He had a strong rookie season with the Indians in 2003, then got traded to the Cubs, who shipped him to the Pirates in 2005 for Matt Lawton. It was a trade that didn't make much sense at the time, and it made even less sense when, almost immediately, it became clear that Gerut wasn't healthy. Then in 2006, Gerut didn't make the team out of Spring Training, at which point he told Dave Littlefield his knee was hurt. He never played for the Pirates after that and was released the following March. He reemerged with a strong 2008 season with the Padres.