Now we know why that possum was hanging around at Phillies spring training yesterday. It has a taste for rat.
According to Aaron Fitt of Baseball America, the Phillies recently snitched on a prospect who technically broke NCAA rules by negotiating with them through an “advisor,” and all indications are the move was done out of spite.
The player in question, Ben Wetzler, was taken by the Phillies in the fifth round last summer but declined to sign with them, electing instead to return to school at Oregon State.
Wetzler has since been suspended by the NCAA for violating their rules against players using agents and then returning to school.
Maybe you could forgive the Phillies if their intentions had been noble, but it seems they turned in Wetzler simply to get back at him for not signing.
The team also tried to turn in unsigned sixth-round pick Jason Monda, so it’s a whole pattern of behavior for the Phillies organization. A pattern that goes against the norm in major league baseball.
It’s nothing new for draft picks to have “advisors” when they negotiate with teams, but normally the teams turn a blind eye. But the Phillies broke that whole wink-wink-nudge agreement, for the most petty and selfish of reasons.
It makes you wonder what the hell is going on in that whole Phillies organization. The culture there seems pretty toxic. And they’re still handing out huge contracts left and right.
Gonna be another interesting year in Philadelphia.