Dear Tyler Beede …

I’ve never met you, you’ve never met me and it’s quite likely we will never meet. From all I’ve heard, you are a tremendous young baseball talent who can throw a baseball pretty hard. That’s great, I like when my favourite teams draft players like this.

However, Tyler Beede, I am not here to praise your baseball skills today. I’m sure you have had people your whole life telling you how great you are Tyler, so today I’m going to tell you something different.

You are an idiot.

You were drafted 21st overall by the Toronto Blue Jays and if Keith Law’s tweets are to be believed, you turned down a $2.3 million signing bonus that was offered to you to play professional baseball. That is about $1 million more than the recommended slot bonus for someone drafted in that position.

So, Tyler, you have decided that instead of cashing in on your physical talents with an amount that could set you and your future kids up financially for life, you will go to Vanderbilt, presumably to try to move up higher in the draft, to stroke your ego and pad your future cheque book. 

So what if you blow out your arm in your college career?

What if college players turn out to be better than the high school kids you’ve been mowing down and you don’t adjust well, falling from a first round draft pick to someone who a team sure as hell isn’t going to pay $1 million for?

Or what if a new collective bargaining agreement is put in place that prevents teens from getting million dollar paydays before they’ve accomplished anything in professional baseball? Wouldn’t that be tragic?

I promise I’m not just being spiteful because you didn’t sign for my favourite team. In fact, I wrote a post about a month ago about this exact same topic – my disbelief that people can turn down this kind of money for a shot at a bigger payday down the road.

I just am at a loss for words that there is that kind of money on the line and somehow a teenage kid is deciding that isn’t enough. Essentially you have just been asked if you’d like to win the lottery today and you have turned that down. Most people dream of that kind of money, you’ve decided it’s not worth it, or not enough. Think about that for a moment.

I can’t imagine that this decision comes solely from the player himself, so perhaps I’m being a little hard on you Tyler. Maybe this vitriol should be directed at your braindead agent? An overbearing father?

I honestly hope this backfires on you. Maybe then you’ll learn a life lesson. Have fun at Vanderbilt.

Good day sir.

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39 thoughts on “Dear Tyler Beede …

  1. Perhaps he is not thinking just about the money. Maybe he is interested in attending university for educational purposes? I mean correct me if I’m wrong, but Vanderbilt isn’t exactly an NCAA Div I baseball powerhouse (although I gather they lost in the CWS last year to Florida). Although also not Ivy League. Maybe he just wants to experience college? You know, before having to ride the buses in the minors for the next 5 years?

    • Alright well yes there’s the educational argument, but, as I said in my previous post on this topic, university will always be there. Professional baseball will not. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, in most cases.

      And riding the buses in the minors for five years? If he’s really such a superstar worthy of more than $2.3 million, he should be out of the minors in two years tops, no?

      • Vanderbilt is a constant SEC power and has churned out 7 first round selections in the past 5 years. David Price and Pedro Alvarez are 2 of those 7. If there’s anywhere a high school pitcher wants to play college ball, it’s Vanderbilt.

    • Apparently pretty obvious I don’t follow NCAA baseball much, as much of the info in the comments below has pointed out that Vanderbilt is in fact one of the stronger programs in the US. Guess I should probably read a bit more (although I did some research, that was admittedly focused more on overall record and championship appearances) before foisting my opinions unto the internet masses.

      Amazing how many people are reading this though. Pretty cool.

      To open another can of worms, are the draft rules of the MLB (which to me are some of the most confusing of the professional leagues) what should be focused on here? Why can’t the Blue Jays retain the rights to sign this guy in the future (i.e. NHL teams can still draft players who commit to attending a college program). I think this would be the best of both worlds, as the Blue Jays are able to draft a good young player (although I guess he would probably go higher if this was the case), he is able to attend college and get some really good competition (equal to AA according to posters below), as well as some life lessons and gain a bit of maturity etc. Sure down the line they might not agree to terms, but at least in the short-term he and the franchise doesn’t have to worry about it. Just a thought.

      Keep up the provoking work Cole.

  2. I am torn between the two sides of this argument and am adding a 3rd option. Perhaps he is trying to jockey for more money now as I understand the Blue Jays have moved up in years past but refuse to do that anymore so it could be a fruitless gamble for him. It does seem a bit senseless that he would turn down the money now and might lose it all if he were to get hurt playing college ball. However education may be important to him and he may not be planning any long time stay in ball. You can also argue that he can go to college after his ball career comes to an end and in the meantime he would be well setup financially. I smell the odious waft of an agent in play here as well. Should be interesting to see how it plays out – worst situation Jays get a 22nd pick in compensation if he declines.

  3. And an update quote courtesy of, from Mr. Beede himself:
    “They were still far off,” Beede told the Worcester (Mass.) Telegram and Gazette.

    “They ended up getting to $2.5 million, but that still wasn’t what we valued the Vanderbilt education at. It was obviously the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make, but I’m tremendously excited.”

    What you valued the Vanderbilt education at? Exactly how much is their tuition? I’m sure he’s on a free ride scholarship at Vanderbilt, what would that be worth? I can’t imagine anymore than $500,000 in tuition and living costs over four years, and that’s a high estimate.

  4. Maybe his figure has everything to do with the team that drafted him and the city in which he would be a resident. Plus, his father let all teams know before the draft where the number was. Maybe you need a new GM?

    • That’s entirely possible and a valid point (not the bit about needing a new GM, but the part about him perhaps not wanting to sign with the Blue Jays).

  5. Just to correct Greg a bit, Vanderbilt is consistently a top-10 program and was ranked #1 for a large portion of last year an pretty much all of 2007. Their recruiting classes are consistently top-5 or top-10 nationally, and this class will be top-3. They are in the top 3-4 teams every year in the toughest baseball conference in America – the SEC. Last year, they were SEC Co-Champs and steamrolled through their regional and super regional and were among the final 4 teams at the CWS (joined by fellow-SEC schools Florida and South Carolina).

    In 2007, VU had two pitchers taken in the top 8 picks. Ever heard of David Price? You know, the starting pitcher in the 2010 All Star Game? He played for Vanderbilt, after turning down $2 million from the Dodgers out of high school. He only parlayed that into the second largest signing bonus in the history of the draft. Some other pitchers and position players from VU include: Jensen Lewis (Cle), Jeremy Sowers (Cle), Pedro Alvarez (Bucs), Mike Minor (Atl), Mike Baxter (NYM), Ryan Flaherty (Cubs AAA and on the way to the show soon), Sonny Gray (18th overall pick this year and already pitching in AA ball in the A’s organization).

    Incidentally, VU had 19 current players and signees drafted this year. They set an SEC record for the number of roster players drafted. Four of those 19 were in the first and supplemental rounds.

    So, maybe Tyler wants the college experience, a top 20 education, to play for a national title and also up his draft stock. Now, tell me again, who is the stupid one here? Sour grapes.

    • Listen, as I said in this post and the one before it, I totally realize the value of education and I respect someone who wants to go to school. But college will always be there and he made it quite clear himself that he WOULD have played pro baseball if someone met his asking price.

      So does he want the college experience that badly, or is he just being greedy because he needs an extra million dollars to be convinced its worth his while?

      • Cole lets face it, you never played the game at a very high level. I am guessing you could not put on a Jock Strap without an instruction manual. FACTS, How many pitchers that have attended Vanderbilt, since Tim Corbin era, have “BLOWN OUT ” their arms? Would you say David Price, Mike Minor, Garrett Cole, Matt Purke made out ” OK” by attending college? DAo you know how many minor leaguers ultimately reach the big leagues? How about 5%? Do you realize that over 65% of all american born Major Leaguers attended college? Do you realize that major league careers of those who signed out of high school average LESS than 4 years and those that attend college have a career of 7 yrs or more? Do you realize that Vanderbilt offers an education that MANY would love to be able to obtain/afford and play in the premier conference in all of college athletics? Also while I am thinking of it…have you ever lived in Dunedin Fla or Lansing MI, or Bluefield WVA? Nashville is a beautiful city. Beautiful campus as well as beautiful co eds. Hey DOUCE BAG, next time you wanna POP off, find a clue, have an idea, PLAY THE GAME and then open your pie hole. Kid made a decision for HIS benefit and HIS future.

        • OK well I’m not sure why someone who comments anonymously on the blog is worthy of a response, but I’ll give you one anyway.

          I’m not sure how you have deduced that I have never played baseball before. Are you trying to say because Tyler Beede is better at baseball than I am, that I’m not entitled to my opinion? I don’t see the point in you pointing this out, but, I have played baseball since I was 10 years old (currently 27) … I have played at a provincial level, played on a high school team that won three provincial championships (I only got to play two out of the three years though, as I broke my ankle one season), played Canadian university ball and continue to play today in a men’s league.

          Yes, it is not as high a level as playing at Vanderbilt or playing professional baseball, but, so what?

          Or is it just some general attack on how much I do or don’t know about baseball? I’ve also coached for 10+ years, at every level from ball school kids to senior men and I’ve also umpired for three years when I was younger.

          At any rate, let’s summarize what you’ve said. Basically, you are trying to point out these ‘facts’ that it is unlikely Beede will get injured, which is fine, I never said it’s a huge possibility, but it is a possibility. He’s not superman. It’s a risk.

          You have also pointed out that a small number of minor leaguers make it to the majors, which, honestly, supports my points more than anything. This could be Beede’s only chance to get a huge payday for his baseball skills. If he’s not ever going to pan out as a major league superstar, he will have squandered the opportunity to cash in on his talents. Do you know how many multimillionaires can afford to attend any university they want? All of them.

          No, I have never lived in Dunedin, Lansing, Bluefiled or Nashville. I am assuming you have lived in all of them and can tell me the pluses and minuses of each?

          Lastly, you ended with some real maturity, by calling me a ‘DOUCE BAG’ (sic), then once again inferred that what you perceive as my never having played baseball before is a reason why I shouldn’t have an opinion.

          Thanks for posting and enlightening me with your brilliance.

  6. The only idiot here is the dweeb that wrote this. Maybe you should learn a “life lesson” in not trying to live your life through others. Enjoy 4th or 5th place for the next 15 years, asshole.

    • I like your use of the word dweeb so I won’t even bother responding to your flames. I’m not trying to live my life through others, I was merely trying to wrap my head around how someone could turn down life-changing money like that.

      I am not an elite-level athlete, so maybe it’s something I can’t wrap my head around, but I just can’t imagine saying no to that much money.

    • @yourmom – What a brainless moron – you are the total asshole here dickwad! Turning down $2.5 million to play in the most beautiful and greatest city in North America is not stupid? especially in this economy? Have you ever been to Toronto? Do you have any clue of anything that happens anywhere else in the world? Do you really think the gravy train ride for MLB and all major sports spending millions of dollars of money that does not really exist any more is going to go on forever? Wake up and smell the roses numbnuts- Your economy is imploding. The USA is Trillions of dollars in debt and your government just made more artificial stopgap measures to make millions of morons like you think that its still all hunky dory. Your real estate and land values are plummeting faster than Elliott Spitzer’s credibility.When you re offered double the slot money that is the norm and times are tough it makes zero sense to turn it down. Anyone who wouldn’t take the money and run has got a screw loose or is getting terrible advice. These are all facts you wouldn’t know that though because imbeciles like you just like to spew out their venom without ever going places or living a real life. – Dipshits like you make Me puke~~ another idiot American who thinks his country is King Shit – enjoy the failing economy and see where you are in 10 years you piece of caca!!

  7. College is more than just class and baseball.

    First and foremost, Vanderbilt is a top 20 college in the US. For 6,000+ undergraduates, that’s a big deal in and of itself. In my (admittedly biased) opinion, Vanderbilt also has the best collegiate head coach in the country and BY FAR the best pitching coach. So he’s going to get a top 20 education and the best pitching instruction (i.e. baseball education) he can get.

    Not to mention the competition he will face immediately. David Price (you may have heard of him — he also turned down big money to go to Vanderbilt) is on the record in saying that SEC baseball (the conference Vanderbilt is in) is akin to AA baseball. That AA education seemed to work out for David Price, as he was fast-tracked to the league (and held his own once he got there). Of course, David isn’t exactly the exception to the rule for Commodore pitchers. There’s Jeremy Sowers. Or Mike Minor. Now Sonny Gray is on his way (the A’s have started him out in AA ball).

    So while Comer and Norris et al. are all living that minor league grind, busing from town to town, Tyler Beede will be living in a dorm, chasing girls (actually, they’ll probably be chasing him), getting a top 20 education, and getting EXCELLENT baseball training. And we won’t talk about the track record Vanderbilt can boast when it comes to kids that choose to forego signing coming out of high school. They almost always sign a more lucrative contract in three years. Statistics are more than on his side.

    Hard to see how you can fault the kid. Your GM knew the risks. The Beede’s gave them a number. They sent a letter out before the draft stating their case. It was going to take money to break their commitment. Your GM wouldn’t match it. Hard to fault them for that. Hard to fault them for standing by their word and not selling out because AA couldn’t cut it at the negotiating table.

    And God forbid something happen to him with injury (actively hoping for this is a deplorable stance), Vanderbilt has one of the top hospitals in the United States.

    It sucks that you didn’t get your player. Sour grapes. I’m just glad that most Blue Jay fans are a bit more classy in defeat.

    • OK first off, you say you have a biased opinion but you don’t leave a name. Are you a Vanderbilt recruiter or something? In some other way affiliated with the school?

      I get it, Vanderbilt is a great school and a great place to play baseball and earn a shot at the pros. I don’t see where I have ever contended anything to the contrary.

      You say players most always sign a more lucrative contract after three years.. But are you not even acknowledging that is within the realm of possibility that he will get injured, not adjust well at the next level or that the MLB CBA will change and these ridiculous signing bonuses will become a thing of the past? Beede was the only first rounder who didn’t sign, presumably many of those other kids realized it is quite a risk to throw away that sort of financial opportunity.

      That is all I have ever contended, and yes while it is unnecessarily harsh to have called him an idiot – and more for dramatic effect than anything else – I just don’t think it’s very wise to turn down that kind of money – especially if wanting to parlay your physical talents into a bigger payday is your primary goal of turning the money down orginally. As I stated before if he’s truly a superstar MLB player in the making, he will make his money regardless. If he’s like the many, many many high draft picks who don’t pan out, he won’t really have an opportunity for huge paydays down the road from baseball.

      While I did say I hope the move backfires on him, I never said I am actively hoping he gets injured. You are right, that is deplorable. I would never want a promising player to have his career derailed, but if like many others his stock slides after playing college ball and he is no longer a first rounder, that would be fine with me.

      A bit more classy in defeat? This isn’t a defeat. I write a blog, I’m not a member of the Blue Jays organization and they will still get a draft pick. My only point of writing this blog was to point out how surprised I am that someone could take a risk and turn down that kind of money.

      I do understand wanting to honour his commitment though and wanting to get a good education. That’s perfectly valid.

  8. The value of a college education is not simply the cost of its tuition over that 4 year period. It’s the present value of all future cash flows and other intangible benefits that it will provide over a lifetime. Go ask Sonny Gray and Jason Esposito from this year’s team that just signed if they’d trade their experience at Vandy for going straight to the pros out of high school. They’ve both already said they wouldn’t. I’m not saying it’s an easy decision, but your viewpoint is pretty myopic. Takes a lot of maturity for a guy like Ty Beede to see beyond the money and to recognize that college at the age of 26-29 isn’t the same as college at age of 18-21.

    • That’s a very valid point and I really can’t argue with it, even if I don’t necessarily agree 100 per cent. I realize college experience is very valuable, but if it’s a simple dollars and cents thing, Major League Baseball (or even minor league baseball plus huge signing bonus) is a little more valuable financially.

      As good a school is Vanderbilt is, I’m pretty sure if baseball doesn’t pan out, the chances of Beede becoming a millionaire aren’t significant. On the other hand, if he took the signing bonus, he is an instant millionaire and still has the rest of his life ahead of him to pursue studies or athletics.

  9. Does it really matter? The Blue Jays have zero chance of ever making the playoffs as long as the AL East stays the same. The only thing that makes you relevant is Jose Bautista’s home runs, which will probably last another season or two at best (unless you find a new way to start stealing signs).

    • you sound like a yankees fan. Only they would ever think of stealing signs, and look the rest of the east. the yankees are old and they cant sign any free agents at a high prices (they would have went after CJ wilson if they could) and the red sox are not the powerhouse they used to be. SO now its the jays rays and orioles. We have a young team that is getting better with our top prospects coming up. And jose bautista is just another piece who wont be around for more than four or five years.

  10. Wow, talk about sour grapes! The kid wants to go to college, get a great education, and play baseball in the best conference in college baseball. Exactly how does that make him an idiot? You may want to check the payday several Vandy pitchers have landed the last few years before you lambast Beede as an idiot. He’ll draw that huge paycheck in 3 years, and he’ll have a great education to go with it.

    • More than likely he will, but it’s no guarantee. The more I thought about this the more I’ve softened my stance on the decision, and obviously calling him an idiot was more for the sake of the blog post than any sort of actual reflection on him as a human being.

      Really though, he was drafted 21st … To think he is guaranteed, or even assured to move up the draft class and earn a higher payday next time he is in the draft has to be considered a longshot. There’s really no telling how strong the draft class of 2014 will be and where he will fit into that.

  11. The only angle that really hasn’t been addressed here is life after baseball. Vanderbilt is one of the top schools in the country, and because it is in the top athletic conference in the country, Vanderbilt is arguably the best option a kid could have. After baseball is over, Beede will have the ability to walk into any interview and command immediate respect for his degree, and he will do so with the knowledge that he played for one of the best teams in the best conference having received the best education around.

    I am a lifelong Orioles fan, so I won’t rip the Jays for trying to compete (I strongly commiserate in fact). I am glad that they do because Boston and New York monopolizing the East isn’t fun, but you can’t fault a kid for having the foresight to say that education is what’s most important to him…. and you really can’t fault him because he told every MLB team what it would take to sign him, and the Jays fell way short. Vanderbilt offers what no other school can (in baseball or any sport for that matter) a top notch degree against the best competition on one of the most beautiful campuses (in a great city by the way) in the world. He made the right choice for the next 4 years and the next 40.

    • Very valid points. The only thing I would say though is that you pointed out that Beede has the foresight to say that education is most important to him, but that’s obviously not the case, or he wouldn’t have had a number of dollars at all that it would take to sign him.

      From the outside, the way I see it is that education was going to be most important to him unless someone paid him what he feels he is worth, which in this case was north of $3million. To me that just seems greedy.

      • All players are asked by MLB bureau for a “number” prior to the draft. I commend this young man for standing up to his values and principals. Can you honestly say, Alex could not of offered $600k more to have a slam dunk top 3 draft? Really ? Look at the Pirates and Royals and Nationals….

  12. At first I was leaning more towards his decision to attend university and parlay his potential MLB career for a few years as a mature decision. It seemed that way at first with him letting teams know prior to the draft that he wanted to attend university and they shouldn’t draft him this year. Fair enough. But then he goes and makes it about money and says he’ll forego university if he gets $3.5million and that $2.3million as a prospect isn’t enough??? Kudos to AA for not caving to yet another kid who feels he’s entitled to a big payday without proving his worth. It’s not about him wanting to go to university then play ball afterwards, it’s his decision to blackmail the Jays with the “you pay me big now or I go to school and don’t play for you” argument. Best of luck to yet another spoiled brat listening too much to his father and agent. May he never put on a Jays uniform. The Jays need team players who want to win not players who are only there for the money and it’s obvious why Beede wants to play in the Majors and winning isn’t at the top of his reasons why.

  13. Alright guys, I don’t think Cole ever said anything derogatory towards Vanderbilt, just that he thinks Beede made a poor decision. I’d respect the kid a lot more if he had straight up told the Jays that money’s not an issue and he’s going to university first and I don’t think he’d have made the posting had that been the case. Whether the Jays offered $500,000 or $20million it shouldn’t have mattered had Beede really had attending university as his primary goal.

  14. As someone who went to university in both the mythical 18-21 window and again in my mid-20s, I can say that yeah, it’s a different experience and there’s a lot to learn the first time through, but the experience is not worth anything close to $2.5 million. I don’t know that Beede is an idiot — maybe he’s just immature and stubborn — but if things go wrong and he misses out on the shot at big money to play a game, he’ll sure feel like an idiot.

  15. The kid made the choice that made the most scense for him, he wlll gain more with Vanderbilt than he would in Low class A on and off the feild, Toronto knew when they picked him that they wouldnt have a great shot at signing him, and thats why he fell to the 20’s in the draft, the chances of him getting a career ending injury are low to none with tommy john and other medical breakthoughs, so as did David Price, Beede made the right choice passing on the contract and going to University for one of the premiere division 1 schools, so I dont agree with your article, it has brought on good discussion, and I guess that was the point of it but the content is a bit biased!

  16. Tyler Beede first start at Vanderbilt…HAHA…4.1 innings with 9 earned runs AND the team is now 1-7, nice choice Beede!!

  17. The best thing about the Beede situation is with the new agreement teams aren’t going to want to get penalized for paying huge bonuses and salaries out of slot. He left millions on the table.

  18. Very good blog you have here but I was curious if you knew of any discussion
    boards that cover the same topics discussed here? I’d really love to be a part of group where I can get responses from other knowledgeable people that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Bless you!

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