Baseball is weird, and its weirdness has claimed another victim. This time, it's Nationals, er, Padres shortstop Trea Turner. Turner was traded from San Diego to Washington in the three-team, 11-player Wil Myers trade. But Turner can't join the Nats until mid-June.
Here's Ken Rosenthal with the explanation:
Major League Baseball rule 3(B)(6) states that a drafted player cannot be assigned to another club for one year after signing his original contract. Thus, Turner must spend spring training and the first part of the season with the Padres, knowing he has been traded.
The official announcement by the clubs, in accordance with the rules, referred to Turner only as a "player to be named." But a number of media outlets, including FOX Sports and baseball's official website, MLB.com, reported that he was part of the deal.
Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo acknowledged to reporters Friday that the situation is virtually unprecedented, but said the teams are "going to trust each other and do what's right by the player."
Turner is not some insignificant prospect. He was the 13th overall pick in the draft last year, and could play short for the Nats within a few years. Turner's agent, CAA's Jeff Barry, has vowed to fight the archaic rule.
"Regardless of the sham press releases being put out by teams, there is no Player to be Named, there is only the player already named, and that player is Trea Turner," Berry said.
"Trea is one of the top prospects in baseball and on a fast track to the major leagues," Berry said. "In this case, the plan to 'trust us' is not enough when it comes to a player's well-being and career.
"Given the circumstances and the undoubtedly negative impact on Trea Turner, for the teams involved and Major League Baseball to endorse and approve this trade is not only unethical, but also goes against the very spirit of the Minor League Uniform Player Contract that players sign when they first enter professional baseball. That contract requires a player to 'serve the club diligently and faithfully.' Shouldn't the clubs and the controlling parties at Major League Baseball be held to the same standard?"
Is there no unwritten rule that supersedes this nonsense?
Photo via AP