Did Phillies tattle on two of their own draft picks?
FEB 20, 2014 7:00p ET
What’s going on with the Phillies?
On Wednesday night Aaron Fitt of Baseball America reported that, according to his sources, the Phillies alerted the NCAA in November 2013 that two of their draft picks had violated the NCAA’s “no-agent” rule. It is a rule that Fitt says “is widely disregarded by baseball prospects, whose advisers routinely negotiate with teams on players’ behalf, against NCAA rules – because that is the industry norm.”
Those two players are Ben Wetzler, a left-handed pitcher for the Oregon State Beavers drafted in the fifth round in 2013, and Jason Monda, a left-handed outfielder and pitcher for the Washington State Cougars drafted in the sixth round.
The NCAA subsequently began reviewing both cases back in November. And while Monda was cleared to play last Thursday, just one day before the start of the college season, Wetzler remains under investigation and is unable to play until his case is cleared. This leaves OSU without a key part of a rotation that took the Beavers to the Pac-12 Championship and the College World Series last season.
So why would the Phillies report two of their draft picks to the NCAA?
The only reason anybody can come up with is they did it out of spite. Both Monda and Wetzler elected not to sign pro contracts with Philly in order to return to their college teams, resulting in two wasted draft picks for Philly.
This would seemingly put the Phillies in hot water with prospects and agents alike because who would trust them now? It seems as though, according to Fitt, the backlash has already begun.
One agent: "As of today, Phillies are out. Phillies are not getting into any more of our households. We're shutting down all communications"— Aaron Fitt (@aaronfitt) February 20, 2014
According to Fitt, sources expect a ruling to come down by the end of this week. Until then, nobody will know the whole story or what exactly the Phillies are thinking.
Fitt reported that the Phillies declined to comment when asked about the Wetzler situation.