Buster Olney Eviscerates Phillies for Ratting Out Draft Pick to the NCAA

Buster Olney, writing in an ESPN INSIDER piece about the Phillies’ decision to rat out a draft pick who didn’t sign with them to the NCAA for using an agent (a common practice in negotiations with college players):

It would be really, really interesting to know if the Phillies had contact with “advisers” for signed draft picks in previous seasons, but chose not to reach out to the NCAA. Major League Baseball should be asking questions about this, given the ramifications. “If this is true, it could change the way business is done,” said one agent.

If the Phillies are only targeting draft picks who chose to reject their offers and stay in college, this really is not that far removed from a form of blackmail, with Philadelphia’s future draftees perhaps believing that if they don’t sign, the Phillies could threaten their NCAA eligibility. If it’s a case of conflict between the team and particular agents — and the player has become a pawn in that conflict — then somebody should step in and do the right thing.

It’ll be interesting to hear the Phillies’ explanation for all of this, because on its face, it looks like it could be dirty pool, a case of a billion-dollar company using its power to complicate the lives of a couple of college kids it failed to sign.

The Phillies declined to comment. They’re turning into a B-level franchise before our very eyes.

H/T to Doug for the text, (@Andy__German)

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  • Junkhead February 20, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    Total bitch move on the Phillies part.
    What do they have to gain by wrecking the kid’s career? A little revenge?
    Very petty.

  • Chris KR February 20, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    Glad you lap up everything ESPN spoon feeds you.

    • Andrew Bailey February 20, 2014 at 1:07 pm

      Each party is wrong. The draft system is fucked. I’m happy this happened so we can start changing things.

  • Bill February 20, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    I’ll wait for the full story to come out to make a judgement…I doubt it’s as one sided as it appears though.

    • Fran Dunphy February 20, 2014 at 1:26 pm

      Agreed, no need to pile on the Phils when we’re not even sure exactly what happened, unless you’re running a B-level website. Why slander your own team when you don’t know what’s going on yet?

      • Shortzy February 20, 2014 at 4:10 pm

        Whats there to not know? Player doesnt sign, team reports him to the NCAA. First time its ever happened. Seriously, what other side of the story could there be to make the Phillies come out of this not looking like a bunch of douchebags??

      • Angelo's Inner Voice February 20, 2014 at 10:25 pm

        Dunphy, don’t you have more pressing matters than to comment here? Such as, finding a way for that shit-house team on North Broad to win a basketball game?


  • Frank Underwood February 20, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    Go O’s! They would never be caught up in something like this, by the way the owner of the Phillies is Raymond Tusk. Go Figure.

  • teamozzy February 20, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    evis·cer·ate verb \i-ˈvi-sə-ˌrāt\

    : to take out the internal organs of

  • Phillieswillalwayssuxass February 20, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    .first they wayyyyy overpay for Cole hamels and he comes up snake oil. Instead of starting their own channel they get smoked by Comcast. Now they nark out 20 year old kids.Go Pirates

  • Phillieswillalwayssuxass February 20, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Hope the sillies move to Montreal

  • SJDinAudubon February 20, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    LOVE the Phillies apologists here – “Wait for the full story!” Lolz… The full story will be WORSE, I am sure. Reuben is as unethical as he is stupid. He’s not just half-Cuban, you know – there’s another half in there. And he didn’t have to worry abbout having an agent – he knew he was getting a courtesy draft, after getting a free ride from Stanford which he didn’t need. So he’s used to taking away scholarship dollars from kids who need it.

  • Reader James February 20, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    This whole situation is laughable. I love when there are rules in place but it’s not common practice to follow these rules even though there are said repercussions for not following them and then everyone gets bent out of shape when a person or an organization sheds light on the fact that someone didn’t follow these rules. And everyone’s response is, ‘well this is how it’s always been done’ or ‘this type of thing happens all the time.’ If that is the case then why not get rid of the dumb rule about these college players not being allowed to have some type of representation when they are negotiating? I could careless that the Phillies did this. It means nothing. This kid will most likely never be an impact player in the majors anyway. This is making them a B-level franchise? That is quite a reach Kyle.

  • Walter Sobchak February 20, 2014 at 2:18 pm


    They can’t turn in to something they’ve been since their inception Kyle. They’re a B level franchise. They make a run and have a good team every 20 years or so and in between they’re a fucking slop ridden mess.

  • Shortzy February 20, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    Rueben is doing everything he can to lose me as a fan. This is disgusting. It honestly breaks my heart that its my team thats doing this. Fucking Bush league, amateur hour bullshit.

  • mike February 20, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    Why did the kid enter the draft?

  • Ruben T'Maro February 20, 2014 at 10:29 pm

    99% of the commenters here and on philly.com are roasting the Phillies for being pricks.

    Did anyone consider that the kid and his “advisors” tried to play hardball with the Phillies by taking the position of “we’re not signing unless we get X, otherwise he’s going back to college and the Phillies are screwed”.

    Depending on how much of a dick he and his advisor were to the Phillies, maybe the Phillies had enough of their petulance, and decided to teach him a “life lesson” about posturing with the big boys.


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