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Report: Phillies turned unsigned draft pick Ben Wetzler in to NCAA for consulting financial advisor

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

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(AP)

Last week, the NCAA announced Oregon St. pitcher Ben Wetzler has been suspended indefinitely while they hold an investigation for inappropriate use of a financial advisor in dealing with the Philadelphia Phillies following the 2013 draft. It's a potential crushing blow to OSU's program, and just the same a major blow to Wetzler's future as it's uncertain when or if he'll have an opportunity to raise his stock for the 2014 draft.

Now in another layer to the story, Baseball America's Aaron Fitt reported on Wednesday that it was actually the Phillies who turned Wetzler in to the NCAA after the fifth round pick declined to sign a contract before the August deadline.

On the surface, this may not seem like a big deal. But the Phillies decision to turn in Wetzler is a highly unusual and universally frowned upon tactic.

As Mike Axisa of Eye on Baseball notes, having an agent (labeled as an advisor) involved in the draft process is an almost necessary exercise in order for the player to make the best decision about his future. Most players utilize one anyway understanding the circumstances that go along with it. MLB teams are obviously aware of it as they're often involved in direct discussions with these agents/advisors, but never go out of their way to inform the NCAA.

You can chalk it up as another head-scratching NCAA rule that does more harm to the athlete than good, and another rule that's almost impossible for them to enforce anyway unless an MLB team decides to chirp. And really, the only reason to chirp is to soil and sabotage a young kid's future.

In this case, it feels like a cheap move that is lathered in sour grapes, but I suppose the Phillies are owed some benefit of the doubt. Perhaps there's more to the story that we'll learn in the coming days.

By the same token, we should note this isn't the first time Philadelphia has done this.

Either they've decided they're the moral police, or they just aren't very good at hiding their bitterness. Either way, future draft picks who are on the fence about signing a contract may be hesitant to even begin negotiations with the Phillies in wake of this news. Honestly, who would blame them if they didn't answer the phone at all?

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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