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Report: Phillies turn unsigned draft pick in to NCAA for using an agent

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

The Phillies reportedly ratted Oregon State LHP Ben Wetzler out to the NCAA.
The Phillies reportedly ratted Oregon State LHP Ben Wetzler out to the NCAA. (USATSI)

One of the NCAA's many silly rules prohibits its athletes from using an agent to negotiate with professional teams, but many do and it is an open secret in baseball. The agents are typically referred to as "advisors." With thousands and sometimes millions of dollars being discussed, having proper counsel is imperative.

According to Baseball America's Aaron Fitt, the Phillies turned Oregon State left-hander Ben Wetzler in to the NCAA after he declined to sign as their fifth round pick in last summer's draft and returned to school for his senior season. Here's more:

Fitt says the Phillies also tried to turn in sixth rounder Jason Monda, an outfielder/first baseman who declined to sign and returned to Washington State. Fitt adds the team was upset both players didn't sign, so this is all sour grapes.

The exact details of what happened are unknown -- were the team's decision makers on board with this, or did someone do it behind the boss's back? did Wetzler even do anything wrong? -- but based on what we know, this is a rather scummy move by the Phillies. Yes, Wetzler broke the rules, but the rule itself is unfair and unrealistic and the team intentionally sabotaged the kid's future. Wetzler has been suspended indefinitely by the NCAA, so he can't play and try to improve his stock for this year's draft or simply help Oregon State try to win a national championship.

The NCAA has not yet ruled on Wetzler's case, which has been pending since November. Shame on the Phillies.

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