Mark Appel, the eighth overall selection of the 2012 draft, is leaning against signing with the Pirates, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). MLB recommends a $2.9MM bonus for Appel, who was considered a potential first overall selection.
Jim Callis of Baseball America keeps hearing the Pirates won't give up a first round pick to sign Appel (Twitter link). Pittsburgh can offer the Stanford right-hander a maximum of $3.84MM without surrendering a 2013 pick, Callis notes. If Appel were to return to school for another season he would be draft eligible following his senior year. Agent Scott Boras is advising Appel.
Just six first round selections remain unsigned with four days to go before this Friday's deadline.