In 1985, Pete Incaviglia held out after being selected eighth overall by the Montreal Expos in baseball’s amateur draft. Five months after the draft, the Expos sent Incaviglia to the Texas Rangers in a trade with unintended consequences for Trea Turner 30 years later.
Turner, selected 13th overall by the San Diego Padres in last year’s amateur draft, waited nearly six months to join the Washington Nationals, to whom he was traded on Dec. 19 in a three-team, 11-player deal. Of those 11 players, 10 joined their new teams immediately. But because of Incaviglia, Turner didn’t join the Nationals organization until Sunday.
Before the 1986 amateur draft, Major League Baseball implemented Rule 3(b)6 — the Pete Incaviglia Rule — preventing a draft pick from being traded until one year after signing his initial contract. That prevented draftees from holding out for a trade to another team.
In May, MLB and the players’ association changed the rule to allow players selected in the draft to be traded starting the day after the final game of the World Series — the Trea Turner Rule. Except the rule, which goes into effect this year, did not apply to Turner.
The 21-year-old, batted .322 in 58 games for the San Antonio Missions in the Texas League while the Nationals held their breath that one of their future top prospects doesn’t get hurt playing for San Diego’s Double-A affiliate.
But Turner didn’t complain.
“I don’t worry about it too much,” he told KABB in San Antonio before leaving the Missions to join the Harrisburg Senators, the Nationals’ Double-A affiliate. “I try not to worry about things I can’t control.”