Baseball WME Sports

WME Sports Hires Jim Murray, Michael Stival And Billy Eppler To Run Baseball Business

September 15, 2021

WME Sports today announced the hiring of baseball executives Jim Murray, Michael Stival and Billy Eppler to lead its baseball representation business as Partners.

Murray joins WME Sports from Excel Sports Management, where he helped grow the baseball practice from 25 clients to more than 150 clients over the last nine years. Murray played a role in every significant contract negotiation—both on and off the field—for Excel baseball clients during his tenure, totaling more than $2B in client earnings. Prior to joining Excel, Murray served as a partner with Hendricks Sports Management. He started his career at SFX Sports Group more than 20 years ago. 

Stival also joins WME Sports from Excel Sports Management, where his primary responsibility was developing, directing and executing the contract negotiation strategy for Excel’s baseball clients. In only seven years, Stival quarterbacked free agent contract negotiations totaling approximately $1.5 billion. Stival also led Excel’s efforts in salary arbitration and played a major role in Excel’s representation of amateur players. A lawyer by background, Stival led Excel’s efforts to protect and enforce its clients’ collectively bargained rights. Prior to joining Excel in 2014, Stival spent seven years at the Major League Baseball Players Association, most recently as Assistant General Counsel.

Eppler served most recently as General Manager of the Los Angeles Angels, where he oversaw a staff of more than 200 employees, managed the major league payroll and all baseball operations budgets, and advised ownership on trades, contract signings, and Major League transactions. At the Angels, he was responsible for all drafting and player development and for signing the likes of Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, and Anthony Rendon. Eppler joined the Angels from the New York Yankees, where he served as Assistant General Manager, contributing to player acquisition and scouting, roster composition and management, staffing and personnel, and player contract negotiation. His efforts helped the Yankees build the 2009 World Series Champions. He began his career at the Colorado Rockies as an area scouting supervisor and assistant director of player development.

“The business of baseball has transformed over the last two decades, and our combined expertise backed by the unmatched reach and resources of WME uniquely position us to best serve the changing needs of players,” said Murray, Stival and Eppler. “We are excited to create an offering unavailable anywhere else in the industry to further players’ interests both on and off the field.” 

“Jim, Michael and Billy’s unrivaled experience combined with a shared mission to revolutionize the way baseball players are represented make them the perfect trio to lead our efforts in this space,” said Jordan Bazant, Co-Head of WME Sports. “Their complementary expertise will fast-track our goal to move to the forefront of baseball representation.”

Baseball WME Sports