Baseball America’s Aaron Fitt reports that the Phillies turned in their fifth-round draft pick from 2013, Ben Wetzler, to the NCAA for negotiating with the team through an agent. Fitt says that the Phillies did because of Wetzler deciding not to sign and instead returning to Oregon State for his senior year.
Its true that draftees typically use agents to negotiate deals, and even hire agents as “advisors” before being drafted. Normally, teams never tell the NCAA about it because everyone except the NCAA knows that the no-agent rule is harmful to kids who are drafted, given how much money is at stake.
With the NCAA itself and major league teams looking to take advantage of young athletes, often an agent is the only person looking out for their best interests. Many teams have actually said that they prefer to deal with an agent because it gives everyone involved some security knowing that a 20 year-old is not going in alone with seasoned baseball negotiators.
Regardless, it was not the Phillies’ business to tell the NCAA about this “business as usual” situation. It is in their best interest to answer for what they’ve done, but according to reports, they’re not talking.
For more on this story visit: Craig Calcaterra, Hardball Talk