Jimmy Rollins spoke with MLB.com's Todd Zolecki regarding the team's struggles last season and noted that 2013 was just one year, and he is looking forward to a new chapter. Rollins spoke about trade rumors that surrounded his name last summer, noting that he had no plans to waive his 10-and-5 rights if asked. Rollins, who is just 60 hits shy of becoming the franchise leader, said he doesn't plan on ever playing for another club: "I don't plan on putting on a different uniform," he said. More links pertaining to the Phillies and the NL East…
- Until the Phillies share their side of the Ben Wetzler controversy, the team will simply look vindictive, opines David Murphy of the Philadelphia Inquirer. He adds that the Phillies clearly thought they'd be able to sign Wetzler, who instead returned to Oregon State for his senior season and is now unable to play after the Phillies notified the NCAA that they feel he violated the "no agent" rule. Murphy goes into detail on how the vast majority of draft prospects circumvent this rule.
- The only rationale that Fangraphs' Jeff Sullivan can see for the Phillies' decisions regarding Wetzler and Jason Monda (who also declined to sign but has already been cleared by the NCAA) was to send a message to future draftees: "Sign or face, at the very least, an extended, attention-grabbing inconvenience." Like Murphy (and many baseball fans), Sullivan hopes to hear the Phillies' side of the story and their explanation behind making what he calls an "unambiguously bad decision" that seemingly benefited no one.
- Greg Stoda of the Palm Beach Post writes that Giancarlo Stanton is ok with the fact that the Marlins don't want to have extension talks until after the season. Stanton said that Freddie Freeman's recent eight-year, $135MM extension with the Braves won't be on his mind this season, though he did tip his hand a little in stating, "The contract would be similar, I guess."
- Mets ace Matt Harvey tells Adam Rubin of ESPN New York that he's been cleared to begin tossing a baseball in the next couple of days. Rubin writes that Harvey is not yet resigned to missing the entire 2014 season, but the Mets have stated in the past that Harvey will not pitch in 2014. "I'd always love to pitch and get back out there, but I don't make those decisions," said Harvey.
- Newsday's Marc Carig writes that despite his elite defense in center field, Juan Lagares isn't a lock to be an everyday player for the Mets in 2014. Carig talked with an official from another club whose background is in analytics, with that official noting that a key factor in defensive metrics is a need to factor in regression due to the volatile year-to-year nature of defensive numbers.
As a Braves fan I hate the Phillies on a normal day, but this news about them ratting the guy out to the NCAA really bothers me. He decided not to sign with you, take it like a man and move on.
Classless org. for sure
The Wetzler story is bizarre. What possible value could there be to the Phillies in essentially forcing the NCAA to ban the player? The rule itself is ridiculous, but breaking the gentleman’s agreement about how these things really occur lacks logic. Since it hurts the player, doesn’t get the Phillies anything, they had to have done it for symbolic reasons. But what message were they trying to send?
The Phils got a tiny bit of satisfaction from sticking it to two kids they felt gave them a raw deal. Hard to imagine that is going to be worth being left out of the loop on info about a huge chunk of kids in the draft for the next couple years. “Advisors” aren’t going to work with them at all and potential draftees are going to be wary to engage with them.
The players and agents most likely verbally agreed to sign a contract but backed out on the last minute thinking they could get more money similar Furcal 2005. That’s the only thing that makes sense.
Were the two players represented by the same “advisor”?
I appreciate the fact that at least someone here isn’t jumping straight to conclusions and blaming RAJ for this. I thought I was the only one who preferred logical process to mindless rambling about ethics.
One time maybe there’s some underlying story, but two players? This is RAJ essentially taking his ball and going home.
I am a Pittsburgh resident and Pirates fan but still maintain a strong
tie to the Phillies as they were the team of my youth (originally from
eastern PA). I’m saddened by how far they have fallen since winning the
WS, but this NCAA news (if true as reported) is a new, shameful low. There seems
to be no direction w/ RAJ at the helm and I worry they are entering a
new era of futility. I just hope we do not see anything rivaling the
losing stretch I endured in my youth from 1987-2000 (with the exception
of the glorious 93 season).
Stanton to the Rangers.
Nooo!!! Stanton to the Mariners. I already wanted the Mariners to get Fielder, I can’t let two of the guys I want to go to a division rival.
I think you guys will be competitive this year. All you need is another good bat, and for the young rotation to produce.
I agree. The young core of Zunino, Walker, Paxton, Seager, and Miller should only improve….but you’re right, they need a couple of pieces. Still think they need to get Cruz and maybe one more pitcher in order to contend.
i like Seager alot too. He would fit in well in Texas once Belt hits the DH role..not gonna happen though : /
I love Seager too. The only one I’d maybe considering dealing him for though is…Stanton. Almost have to be the main player though with other pieces. And, the only reason I say that is because they have D.J. behind him. Although, they do project DJ moving to 1B too. I don’t even know that I would include Seager to Miami though…
Why aren’t players in the draft allowed to have an agent anyway? What a stupid rule.
It seems unfair to deny professional advice to 18-, 19-, 20- and 21-year-olds making million-dollar decisions in negotiations with seasoned executives of a billion-dollar industry.
I thought Stanton wanted to be traded?
He did when they had a firesale. Now that they actually look to have a team with potential, I think he has more faith in them.
I’d be more than happy to see the Mariners acquire him and lock him up long term though 🙂
He’s in a wait and see mode with how the team does. Possibly after 2014 on talking about a LT deal with the Marlins.
What is shocking is that he lets Loria know he’s willing to sign a LT extension for as low as did Freeman. He’s superior to freeman. One of the best young Positional players in the game, barring Trout, even considering the fact he was injured much of last year and sill played through it (legs).
Yes, he has some issues in his game, such as trying too hard to be “the guy” and pushing too hard when the right pitch is not there, but on a team with protection around him? This man could put up devastating numbers, or on that same Marlins team as well. He is worth way more than was the 8/135m, based just on what both had put up thus far.
Run Support Group
Terry is so wrong to start EYJR over Lagares. He has this weird infatuation with EY because of he’s a “bona fide leadoff hitter” while in reality he’s a valuable bench piece/pinch runner
To be honest, I wouldn’t mind seeing EY in there, but in place of Chris Young. I’d start Chris Young out there and if he struggles, put in EY. Although I do wonder who’s going to lead off.
Also, Collins said something recently about platooning Davis and Duda at first base because, according to him, ‘Duda can hit left-handed pitching’. Sometimes, I swear it’s like he doesn’t even look at stats. If he starts platooning Duda instead of Satin, I hope someone above him corrects that.
The whole Chris Young signing made little sense to me this off-season. Young players need time to develop and to develop they have to play. I liked what I saw in Legares last year. He was a bright spot (along with EY) in another dismal season.
I have long since given up trying to make sense of the muddled mind that is Terry Collins. I firmly believe the Mets will not go anywhere with him at the helm and while I hope I am proved wrong his body of work thus far has not done anything to make me think of him as anything other than overmatched.
“the vast majority of draft prospects circumvent this rule”
Oh, so the majority does it. Then I guess it’s ok.
If everyone is doing it maybe it’s time to change the requirements. The last time MLB swept “rules” under the rug didn’t work out to well in the long run, if I recall.
It’s an NCAA rule, not an MLB rule.
You’re also telling 18-21 year old kids “It’s okay to break this rule because it’s not fair”. Sends the wrong message to them – and could spiral into them deciding which rules are “fair”.
It’s a bad rule. I think everyone in the country (outside of the NCAA) agrees with that. I just think that if the rule is in place, it should be followed. Or find some way to change it or get around it while not breaking the rule.
I’ve read multiple things in the past 24 hours, and the one that I can’t find an answer to is what they’re actually allowed to do with the “advisor”. From what I get, they can meet with the draftee, talk to the draftee, tell them what they should aim for from a contract standpoint – without being in the room when the draftee negotiates with the team.
Would the Phillies have had a problem with the player’s actions if he had decided to sign with them? If they had such a problem with the rule-breaking, they probably should have let the player and advisor know up front before negotiations started. It sounds like they were OK with the arrangement up to the point where the player decided to go back to college,
Not sure what the actual rule is (which is why it’d be nice if people would start giving us facts about the case instead of narratives – not MLBTR-specific). From my view, a player is in limbo from the time they get drafted until they sign or decided to go back to college. They are not under the NCAA rules in that time, since they have the option to leave the NCAA. If they leave, they aren’t breaking the rules, because it was designed to protect their “amateur” status in school. If they go back to school, they have had an agent represent them (even if they don’t call it an agent, by definition, if you are not representing yourself in a negotiation, an agent is), and thus have forfeited their amateur status.
If you’d like me to cite the specific rule I could, but the jist of the rule is that an NCAA athlete who still has eligibility left in the NCAA, will forfeit said eligibility if they obtain representation such as an agent.
Agents are a allowed to act as advisers, but not actually negotiate on behalf of the player. Also players are not in “limbo” until they decide to go back to school, they are still college eligible players subject to NCAA Rules. If they were seniors with no remaining eligibility, it doesn’t matter.
But if things were as you say, during this limbo the player could accept cash gifts or many other things, but that’s not how it works. Until they actually leave school they are completely subject to NCAA rules.
That’s kinda my point (you’re last paragraph). Once they sign the contract with the team, they have left school, so they don’t fall under the NCAA rules – so there is nothing to report. The limbo was more of a description for reporting them, not their actual status with the NCAA (my bad for not being clear there).
Also, thank you for reporting what the actual rule is (or at least the gist of it). In the last day plus, I’ve read a dozen articles, and not one person seems to feel the need to describe the rule. They just say “it’s a bad rule”…and that makes it “okay” that all players break it and no one reports it.
I mean, I personally understand why the rule is the way it is, it’s because agents, especially when vying for new clients will often either give/loan or advance money to draftees in order to get them through the draft/signing process. Agents also give elaborate gift bags to potential clients containing things like Ipads and Xbox’s etc. (Even up to a car!) All of that would fall under the “improper benefits” area of NCAA rules.
So their thinking is, restrict Agent access to students until they either are ready to forego eligibility or their eligibility is up. When you have a student such as this who flip flops, you can see how it can be sticky in the eyes of the NCAA especially when it comes to improper benefits.
With that being said, I actually think it is a stupid rule. I think a player should be able to hire representation if he is thinking of entering the draft, because it makes no sense to put kids out on an island alone when negotiating with MLB teams who will do anything to sign em for nothing. And kids have a right to change their mind and go back to school and shouldn’t be punished for it. How you change it? That’s for brighter minds than me.
Agree. I get the idea behind the rule. But (like most NCAA ideas), the practice doesn’t equal what the intent was.
I think there could be a solution, something along the lines of MLBPA hiring current agents to act as an arbitrator of sorts for the draftee during negotiations. That way, the student still negotiates, but they get the added bonus of having an agent (not theirs, just a present agent) telling them whether the deal is fair or not. If they like how that agent handles their case, they can hire the agent after they sign. If they don’t they can hire another agent (once you’re on a team, I’m sure players talk about the quality of their agents, so I can’t imagine it would be too difficult to seek one out). Agent wouldn’t be able to agree to the deal for them – so it wouldn’t break NCAA’s rules – and the player could still get a pseudo-representation (instead of going up against MLB execs by themselves).
I would guess the current “solution” (or at least part of it) is the whole idea of the draftee’s slot value. MLB says a 5th rounder is worth $x. That slot value didn’t previously mean all that much until MLB changed the rules, limiting teams’ draft spending. So teams now have much more reason to stick to those slot values, and theoretically the draftees are supposed to accept those values. If they’re accepted values, (meaning if I know exactly how much I should expect to make as a 5th round draft pick) a draftee wouldn’t need an agent or “advisor”. Obviously there’s some flexibility, but not as much as there once was because MLB is essentially making the decision for everyone. If I think I’m worth more and/or have the confidence in my ability, I can go back to school for another year and hope next year I get drafted higher. I’m not saying this is a good or bad system, or that the non-agent rule is good or bad either. Just trying to put things into perspective as I see it. Are the Phillies a terrible organization for doing what they did? Right now it sort of looks to me like they were being spiteful, but I reserve the right to hold my judgment until the whole story is revealed. I hope there’s more to it.
Right. So the Phillies are mad they couldn’t send their professional negotiating guys in with a 20 year old by himself. Seems reasonable of them.
What are you talking about? The MLB commissioner did an impeccable, outstanding, flawless job at protecting the game from PED usage for the past two decades. It’s a shame he retired and one can only hope Manfred or whoever takes over is just as great as Selig. That would be another two decades of pure excitement and joyous moments.
I think Stanton should secure a much larger extension than Freeman.
Ruben wanted to sign the agent instead is what upset him. Draftees are just too young to be wasting time negotiating with.