This is a serious blot on the Commissioner, the owners, and MLB in general. Another case of refusing to enforce its own rule, let alone simple ethical business conduct, in order to further its negotiations position and further line the pockets of the billionaire owners at the expense of teenagers.
It reinforces several of my most strongly held beliefs:
1. Baseball's anti-trust exemption needs to be repealed by Congress
2. Many of baseball's most successful teams win by a combination of cheating and bending the rules to follow the bare minimum of what the Commissioner will allow, rather than adhering to the 'spirit of the rules'. or even to the broadest possible linguistic stretch of what the written rules actually say.
3. A major reason the Phillies have limited success is their boy scout adherence to the spirit of each and every rule, largely motivated by ownership's willingness to sacrifice team success in its spirited participation in the war against players' salaries and bonuses to uppity kids (of which the Drew saga is simply the worst case). Not surprising that win-at-all-cost baseball organizations would have more success than Main Line plutocratic culture warriors.
Which brings me yet again to Yhoswar. In an environment where multiple teams promise too many players big bonus commitments and then, with no pushback from MLB, go to the players the committed to and demand (and receive) substantial bonus reductions, the Phillies are too what? Timid, rule abiding, unconcerned with getting the most production for their bonus $, to demand a decrease when the player/agent-trainer have cheated them on age, costing them 2 years of prospect development time.
While I'm glad the PHillies aren't following the unethical pattern of some other teams in reneging on bonuses which they never intended to fully pay out, it seems they go too far in the Yhoswar case and are, quite simply and starkly, the team that brings a penknife to a gun fight.