Phillies Notes: Wetzler, Starters, Kendrick

The ultimate lesson of the Phillies-Ben Wetzler affair, writes Baseball America's Aaron Fitt, is that leverage has shifted too far in favor of MLB teams in the amateur draft. Teams generally force quick (albeit legally non-binding) decisions by players on draft night, pressuring them to agree to accept below-slot deals. "The NCAA is going out there saying basically, don't get an advisor," an agent tells Fitt. "Meanwhile, MLB has changed the rules to where advisors are more necessary than ever." And now, Philadelphia's reporting (and the NCAA's suspension) of Wetzler for utilizing an agent adds a stick to the carrot of bonus money and the pressure of the short decision-making timeframe. Needless to say, Fitt advocates for a change to the system.

Here's more out of Philadelphia:

  • Shoulder issues are putting an early strain on the Phils' pitching depth, reports Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Having already seen prospect Adam Morgan go under the knife, Philadelphia is now monitoring young pitchers Jonathan Pettibone (who threw a pen session after getting a cortisone shot for a lingering shoulder problem) and Ethan Martin (who took an MRI because he was dealing with pain and working well under peak velocity). It is worth noting that the team also lost a potentially valuable rotation depth piece when it waived Chad Gaudin over medical concerns.
  • GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said that the injuries were not explainable, other than the fact that, "sometimes anatomy is just anatomy," reports's Jim Salisbury. Noting that the organization had "one of the most state-of-the-art, medically sound organizations in baseball," Amaro indicated that the cluster of issues was plain bad luck. "You can't do anything about it, other than try to prevent it," said Amaro. "If the guy breaks, he breaks."
  • One starting pitcher without apparent physical issue is Kyle Kendrick, who is entering his last season before reaching free agency. As Gelb reports, the 29-year-old righty says that this offseason's free agent spending spree — which included some sizeable deals for durable, mid-rotation arms — provided added motivation. "When similar guys close to your numbers sign those deals, that's a good thing," he said. " … Obviously you see them and you just want to put up better numbers." Though Kendrick hopes to remain in Philadelphia, he says, he has not had any talks with the club about a multi-year deal. 

24 Responses to Phillies Notes: Wetzler, Starters, Kendrick Leave a Reply

  1. BG921 1 year ago

    Sometimes I wonder how a team can be ran this poorly. Even when the Phillies were winning NL East titles, I always had feelings that they were doing a poor job internally. Amaro not only traded most all of the young pieces, but handed out bad extension after bad extension. The news with Wetzler and how they handled that situation just adds to countless other bad baseball decisions made by this front office over the past few years.

    • LazerTown 1 year ago

      Honestly at least they aren’t the Mariners. Phillies at least could make noise if they healthy, really don’t know what Mariners are aiming for.

  2. johnsilver 1 year ago

    How many ST camps is Bazooka Joe hovering around at now.. Awaiting the inevitable call for when his services are needed..

    You watch.. He will be penciled into some MLB team’s rotation before ST is over.

  3. start_wearing_purple 1 year ago

    It seems to me that there was a system in the draft. Players quietly get an “advisor” also known as their future agent, teams accept don’t care, the NCAA accepts that this is the way of things, and finally a mutually beneficial arrangement is reached. The Phils violated the status quo with Wetzler. My guess is agents will force them pay through the nose.

    • johnsilver 1 year ago

      Most here know my feelings regarding aggressive agents/agencies (Boras as an example), but I think 18-23YO kids absolutely should be able to have someone help them with getting possibly monetary advice about either going to school, or signing with a team. It is NO different than going to a stock broker as an example.

      Schools and teams are playing with the livelihoods of young kids here and it is wrong.There is no one against trivial litigation more than myself, but this should be brought to a resolution IMO. It is WRONG and I think it could be thrown out in a court of law.

      • stl_cards16 1 year ago

        They are allowed to get advice, that’s why they are allowed to have advisors. The advisors are not allowed in actual negotiations. That’s not enough, though. You cannot expect a young man with no experience in negotiating a contract to sit down with professionals who negotiate contracts for a living. I’m really not sure why a team would even want to be in serious negotiations with someone who has no idea how to execute a contract.

        • Jeff_Todd_MLBTR 1 year ago

          I’m no authority here, but the general line among those who are is that teams don’t want to negotiate directly with players and their parents. They would rather work with agents. It is the NCAA that wishes to maintain the pristine facade of amateurism.

          • LazerTown 1 year ago

            Yet the NCAA is just rolling in money.

          • stl_cards16 1 year ago

            Agreed. That’s why I’m really confused about why the Phillies did not like it. I still think there has to be more to this story.

        • johnsilver 1 year ago

          So they are allowed to have someone.. Like an agent to talk to, just not actually be there when they are talking dollars and cents?

          • Phillyfan425 1 year ago

            Yea. It’s why the distinction is made between “advisor” and “agent”. The thought behind it is that the “advisor” can tell the kids, “This is what you should ask for, and this is what you should settle for. If you don’t get it, go back to school” – and send the kid into negotiations by himself.

      • Phillyfan425 1 year ago

        It was already brought to court. And resolved. About 5 years ago.

        A kid named Andy Oliver sued the NCAA, won, and then the NCAA appealed the case. It would have dragged the process out for 3-5 years had the kid continued the suit. But he didn’t want to (because at 22, he understandably wanted to get on with his baseball career) – and settled for $750,000.

  4. Mike1L 1 year ago

    All sides need to negotiate a new arrangement. The NCAA should acknowledge that this is a business and the players have a right to representation.

  5. Zak Arn 1 year ago

    Bizzaro Philly? Youngest players headed to the DL and their Oldest running around like spring chickens.

  6. Mike1L 1 year ago

    I have no idea why my previous post was deleted, since it was inoffensive. What I said was that the MLB and the NCAA were immensely powerful, and most of these kids, and they are kids, are unsophisticated and in need of counsel. No rational adult would likely want to go into a negotiation on a six or seven figure deal without help, and a teenager surely shouldn’t have to. The gentleman’s agreement that had these things quietly going on for years, and was good for MLB and the NCAA, is something I would imagine that the Phillie’s drew too much attention to, and I expect that there are more than a few teams quietly unhappy with Amaro and Co because they broke ranks.

    • pft2 1 year ago

      MLB’s monopoly, which is pretty much allowed to continue by Congress, really should come with some oversight. Ethics seems to be in short supply as the Biogenesis investigation showed . I mean, why should any MLB owner complain that a kid has representation. I hope this hurts the Phillies chances of landing future draft picks. NCAA is also a big problem since if the kid had representation from the start they Phillies probably don’t waste a pick.

    • Phillyfan425 1 year ago

      What the Phillies did will possibly hurt them (in the short term). Not even sure how much though because if you are an agent/advisor, and you’re telling your client “we’re going to turn down this $400,000 offer simply out of spite” – you’re a terrible agent who’s hurting you’re client.

      In the long run, I hope this helps address the real problem that is the NCAA’s no-agent rule. Maybe the MLBPA will finally get involved and take on the NCAA (the NCAA already lost this ruling in court, but the player filing the suit didn’t want to go through the appeals process, so he settled).

  7. Dalek Jeter 1 year ago

    I know this is easy for my to say as I lie in my bed with exactly 0 odds of ever playing even minor league baseball, but after what Amaro did if I was a kid entering the draft or the parent of a kid entering the draft I’d contact the Phillies and let them know that unless they’re prepared to offer me something widely above slot value with a guaranteed spot on the 40 man to not even bother drafting me.

    • flyerzfan12 1 year ago

      Easier to say if you’re a high schooler or underclassman but if you’re a senior, congrats on missing out on professional baseball and have fun in the real world.

  8. Great insight from a Stanford graduate – “sometimes anatomy is just anatomy”

  9. Damon Bowman 1 year ago

    It probably won’t happen, but somebody on the medical side of the Phillies organization needs to answer for a few things. I’m not talking about injuries that crop up during Spring Training. This is now the 3rd year in a row that a top starting player has shown up to Clearwater with lingering medical issues that appear to have been a surprise to the organization. Two years ago it was Howard’s heel not healing properly. Last year it was Utley showing up saying his knees needed some time to get right . This year Hamels comes to town saying he hasn’t been able to properly work out since the season ended because of discomfort in his shoulder. How can you invest hundreds of millions of dollars in individual players and not keep closer tabs on them during the offseason as they recover from surgeries?

  10. Klaus D. 1 year ago

    Why the mentioning of pressuring kids to accept below slot value in this article. I’ve read other articles saying the Phillies offered him ABOVE slot value, he verbally agreed to the deal then backed out after he was drafted. Didn’t sound to me like they were trying to short change the kid.

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