No Deal For Pirates, Mark Appel

4:14pm: Pirates GM Neal Huntington explained in a statement that the team offered as much as it could without losing future picks.

“Our final offer exceeded the available bonus pool money and was essentially up to the last dollar we could offer prior to falling into the second tier penalty which would have resulted in the loss of a first round draft selection," Huntington said. "While, as we have shown in past years, we are willing to be aggressive with our financial offer, we simply did not feel it was in the best interest of the organization to forfeit our first round selection in the 2013 amateur draft."

The Pirates will select ninth overall next year, ESPN.com's Buster Olney tweets.

4:05pm: The Pirates did not reach a deal with first round pick Mark Appel, Jim Callis of Baseball America reports (on Twitter). The right-hander established himself as one of the country's top amateurs as a member of Stanford's starting rotation. He was considered a candidate for the first overall pick, but fell to the Pirates at eighth overall.

Appel stands 6'5" and his repertoire includes a fastball that has touched 98 mph plus a "nasty" slider, according to Baseball America. MLB recommended a bonus of $2.9MM for the eighth overall selection. Scott Boras is Appel's advisor.


Leave a Reply

96 Comments on "No Deal For Pirates, Mark Appel"


3 years 1 month ago

Thank God Selig changed those draft rules. Almost had the Pirates building a nice team. Would hate to take away revenue from NY, Boston or LA

Amakiir
3 years 1 month ago

Yeah because it hurts the Pirates so much to have two first round picks next year.

3 years 1 month ago

 They “earned” the #8 pick. They will get the #9 pick next year. That hurts.

macabra11
3 years 1 month ago

Considering Appel was supposed to go 1 or 2 this year and fell as far as he did, I wouldn’t necessarily say it would “hurt” the buccos. I am glad we didn’t overpay for him and loose future picks. Best of luck to Appel and Boras!

BK
3 years 1 month ago

No it definitely hurts them.  They lose a year of development of what is supposed the #1 asset a losing team earns to turn around their fortunes (accesses to elite young talent).  In addition MLB is regulating the only pool where low revenue teams can access top talent competitively, while offering VERY little regulation in free agency where larger market teams have access to elite talent in ways that many small market teams cant.
-Large Market Team Fan

Red_Line_9
3 years 1 month ago

They could in theory apply the Appel money to free agent spending in the offseason.  I’m not sure how this helps the Pirates sign TWO 1st round picks next year now.  Then again, they can draft and spend the money on the top picks…but they’ll need draft college guys who don’t have much leverage after the first round.

scbucsfan
3 years 1 month ago

 $3.8M can buy a good bench player on the FA market, that really helps.

Red_Line_9
3 years 1 month ago

And that’s absolutely critical to winning in the NL…..always nice to have a good veteran lefty bat to face a teams righty closer in the ninth.

Guest
3 years 1 month ago

yeah in a weaker draft class and no chance of a guy like this dropping to them

Karkat
3 years 1 month ago

Yes it benefits the big market teams soooooo much that they can no longer expect better players to fall lower in the draft due to their ability spend infinite amounts of money on draft picks.

…wait.

Guest
3 years 1 month ago

 yes it does because pittsburgh cant continuously go out and spend hundreds of millions in free agency like the big markets

Karkat
3 years 1 month ago

This case is rare and in the future this system is going to greatly benefit teams like the Pirates.

Guest
3 years 1 month ago

 how? the nats and pirates absolutely loaded up the past few years under the old cba and built great farms.  thats literally impossible to do now

Tommy Ngo
3 years 1 month ago

 They knew it would have been a tough sign they should of saved more money on their other picks to have enough money to attract Boras, I mean Appel.

Guest
3 years 1 month ago

 they did.  i may be wrong, but didn’t they not sign 2 other guys, and underslot draft guys just so they could have extra money for appel?  what do you want them to do, draft all college seniors with 17.00 ErA’s and sign them to 10 dollar contracts?

in fact they signed a college senior to a 5 thousand dollar contract just to open up money for greedy appel/boras

Tommy Ngo
3 years 1 month ago

 I think if you don’t sign players you don’t get their slot money for your total pool.

Karkat
3 years 1 month ago

Because people like Appel are going to realize quickly the holdout nonsense doesn’t work. Better talent will fall higher, and accept smaller deals because they have to. Also, consider two things about this draft:

1. Appel fell to the Pirates at 8 because it was known he was going to be a pain to sign due to the new CBA limits. Under the old rules he might not have even fallen to the Pirates anyway (Cubs probably could’ve afforded a sufficiently large deal. Baltimore too).

2. The Pirates knew what they were getting into. Any of the next three picks could’ve realistically fallen eighth if Appel had gone to a slot corresponding to his talent, and the Pirates could’ve done what each of the first seven teams did and skip over Appel.

If this had happened to the Astros with their number 1 pick they might
have a gripe (but even then, not really. It’s on Appel and Boras for
being foolish, which is just going to stop happening pretty soon). And
now the Pirates get a #9 pick next year (in addition to their actual
first round pick, which will probably be lower than 9). Hardly
crippling. Barely a setback.

Basically, Pirates fans are complaining because their team took a gamble in an attempt to get quality talent at a bargain price, and it didn’t come through. That’s life.

3 years 1 month ago

good riddance.

David X
3 years 1 month ago

Yeah, because god forbid MLB teams get even more leverage over draft prospects. This was not a bright, shining moment for MLB.

3 years 1 month ago

I didn’t want Mark Appel on the pirates.  A lot of teams passed on him for a reason (boras).  I agree it is stupid that the MLB has implemented these draft rules since in the end it hurts small market teams and helps the larger market teams.

I do not see him being a top 5 draft pick in next years draft…this just seems like a bad move to me.

Red_Line_9
3 years 1 month ago

I’m not exactly sure where Appel and Boras are going with this either.  It’s still going to be the same situation next year…and it’s a huge gamble to project him going higher. 

Tommy Ngo
3 years 1 month ago

 It is not perfect but it hurts bigger markets too because they can’t sign first rounders in the second and third rounds for ridiculous signing bonuses.

3 years 1 month ago

 But they can overpay in the FA market.  Smaller market teams have trouble doing that. 

Also, history shows that larger market teams do not spend as much in the draft compared to smaller ones.  The pirates are a great example of this.

TheBurgh88
3 years 1 month ago

Dumb move on his part.  Very little to gain but lots of risk.  He better have a steller senior year or he could drop even further.

Karkat
3 years 1 month ago

If he thinks he’s getting a better offer next year, when the draft class will presumably be stronger and he’ll be a year older, he’s insane.

JayTeam
3 years 1 month ago

By all accounts, next years draft will not be stronger.

Karkat
3 years 1 month ago

Oh? I thought I had read otherwise but I’m not very up on prospect news.

3 years 1 month ago

which i dont understand because all i ever heard was how weak this draft was and there were only eight good players and no clear cut number one so i dont understand the recent switch to 2013 being a weaker draft. 

pirateswillwinin2013
3 years 1 month ago

 It only became weaker once the Pirates got two 1st round picks now

go_jays_go
3 years 1 month ago

I’ve heard reports that the 2013 Draft Class is actually weaker. I can’t verify that though. 

pmc765
3 years 1 month ago

Schadenfreude. This doesn’t even hurt the Pirates.

If he doesn’t get hurt (a big if for a pitcher) he’ll have other chances, but not for this dough. He has every right to withhold his services if he thinks the offer is inadequate.

Beating your chest is not always the smartest thing to do, though.

steelparrot
3 years 1 month ago

Oh well my pirates did the right thing, no way you give up draft picks for anyone with the new cba.

MLB_in_the_Know
3 years 1 month ago

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. 

You make money getting to Free Agency, this delays his progress to get there. A couple hundred thousand in a signing bonus is going to be nothing to Appel in a few years.

3 years 1 month ago

does this guy even want to sign with a MLB team? a couple years ago he didnt sign with the tigers and now the pirates. i think MLB need to implement some kind of rule you can only enter the draft two or three times, if you dont sign on the 3rd try you got to wait 2 or 3 years before you can sign with anyone.  this will change the way players handle things like this.

not_brooks
3 years 1 month ago

MLB shouldn’t have to protect draft picks against their own pride and arrogance.

If Appel wants to pass up $2.9MM because he thinks he’ll get more next year, or he doesn’t want to play for the Pirates, that’s his decision.

What I do believe is that this type of thing will discourage draft prospects from signing up with Scott Boras. He’s a great advisor for MLB players, but the list of draftees who have lost money due to Boras is only going to continue to grow with the new slotting rules in place.

Red_Line_9
3 years 1 month ago

Absolutely!  Boras cost Appel a likely first overall pick and between $6-7 Million.  Boras must have something up his sleeve…because I’m guessing the team that in best case scenario would take him fist overall in 2013 would likely have just about the same slot money that Houston had this season.

3 years 1 month ago

Please be the beginning of the end for Scott Boras.  He just cost his client millions.  No way Appel goes higher than 8th in next year’s draft.  Better talent and more depth…

DK8
3 years 1 month ago

 Even if he goes higher next year, he will likely reach the big leagues later than if he began his career now.  The lost service time for an advanced college pitcher is probably worth more than the difference between being the 5th pick next year versus 8th this year.

BeatEmBucs
3 years 1 month ago

Sucks, but absolutely the right call on Huntington’s part.

Thanks, Bud.

AlKelz
3 years 1 month ago

The new system has it’s flaws but then again so did the old one or anyone. Boras is just using this kid . He should have let Appel sign for the 6 million the Astro’s offered , Boras overplayed his hand and there was no way he would allow this kid to sign for below that . He was hoping to bluff the Pirates into overpaying or use the case as evidence in a legal proceeding to overturn the new system .

Since this new system was agreed to by the players under the new collective barginning agreement , I don’t see how that’s possible . Boras isn’t doing his client any favors by costing him the Pirates 2.9 million after costing him the Astro’s 6 million.

Kudo’s to the Pirates for trying but the lesson here is that every rotten Appel has a worm 😉

Bucn24
3 years 1 month ago

I hope they pick him with their 2nd 1st round pick next year

3 years 1 month ago

 Unless the new CBA changed the rules, I don’t think they are allowed to draft him next year, unless he gives them permission…. anyone know if there was a change on that rule?

3 years 1 month ago

Another question I would like to ask is WHY does the NCAA allow these players to return to school after they work with an agent?? I know technically they’re “unpaid advisers” but give me a break. We all know what goes on. Football or basketball players can be punished for letting someone buy them a burger at McD’s but, inexplicably, the NCAA allows baseball players to toy around and come back to school like nothing happened. Double standards

DK8
3 years 1 month ago

MLB teams already have way more leverage than draft prospects. You want to take away either their legal representation or the ability to return to the amateur ranks?  Football and basketball don’t allow you to reenter the draft…

3 years 1 month ago

 “Football and basketball don’t allow you to reenter the draft…”

Thank you for helping me make my point

DK8
3 years 1 month ago

It doesn’t have anything to do with the NCAA letting or not letting something happen. Football and basketball don’t allow you to reenter the draft. Baseball does. Those are the rules, so the NCAA sets its policies based on the professional sports’ rules.

Beersy
3 years 1 month ago

You hit the nail on the head.  It is a joke that these college players can go back to school, but it is also a joke that high schoolers can even get into a college after working with an agent.  I’m not exactly sure how the NFL does it, but don’t college football players have to declare for the draft?  That would solve all of these.  If you are in high school and you declare, guess what, you’re not going to college and if you are not a senior and declare, you are done playing college sports.  Sure that would take away any leverage that the player has, but by the looks of things with this new CBA, they don’t have a whole lot of leverage anyway.

DK8
3 years 1 month ago

 That’s bad for the kids and bad for baseball. Baseball’s draft lasts probably 40 rounds, and guys in their first year make peanuts.  Unless you get drafted in the top 3-4 rounds, your bonus is not a life-changing amount of money. Baseball would end up with maybe 200 kids declaring for the draft in your system.

Red_Line_9
3 years 1 month ago

Pretty solid points…but the baseball draft is a little different than the other drafts.  There are a lot of these kids that don’t even know they are going to be drafted….you certainly can’t make 40-50 rounds of players declare.  Very few drafted players have agents initially.  Really it’s the top round and into the second…maybe the 3rd that there are issues.

Beersy
3 years 1 month ago

Every year there are a lot of undrafted free agents, the players who weren’t drafted could go back into the pool the following year, or sign, and the ones who were lucky enough to be drafted, could sign or else deal with life after baseball.

Red_Line_9
3 years 1 month ago

It’s just not as practical as it is with the NFL and NBA where draft picks typically have an immediate impact on the main roster.  Baseball players take years to develop….there are exceptions like a Bryce Harper and Mike Trout…..but for the most part it’s a crap shoot especially after the first round.  Essentially right now….every player is eligible for the MLB draft if they meet certain status.  The other leagues have a limited draft…so it’s very much needed to know who is declaring…it’s just a different structure in the other leagues.  The draft is higher profile with each.

johnsilver
3 years 1 month ago

Bucs did all they could, took the best person available when they picked and according to Huntington here..Even offered every last dime up to loss of a draft pick..

That throws the bag squarely onto Boras and Selig.. Now.. Publicize the flaws of the CBA and show what the issues are and try to get Appel’s draft rights negated away so he cannot make his way to Japan, Taiwan etc.. After his senior season like Boras is going to try to do again next year when he doesn’t (again) get the money he wants and attempts to become a FA..

lets plug a hole in this brutal CBA at least if they cannot just undo it, since it already has shown it is hurting small market teams like the Pirates that DID spend..

Beersy
3 years 1 month ago

I’m not sure how badly this hurt the Pirates.  Seven teams didn’t think Appel was worth a high 1st round pick and now the Pirates will get two 1st rounders next year in an apparently deeper draft.  After what they spent last year on the draft, they could probably use a little break anyway.  :)

johnsilver
3 years 1 month ago

Not so sure they didn’t think he was worth the pick, rather than didn’t want to try and deal with Boras and his figures. Have a feeling the Pirates had an idea of what Appel was after, but took him anyway and nothing wrong with that, the reason the other teams passed.

Just bringing this up.. Boston took Boras represented Deven Marrero at #24, who had a bad Jr season.. Slot of 1.7m and somehow Boras wheeled the team out of 2.05m..

Think some teams just plan on giving into Boras if they draft someone they are after, rather than toe the line and negotiate to drive the price down when the draftee has no leverage. That hole am pretty sure going to get plugged after this fiasco, it’s why a super talent like Appel was passed over by so many teams and some, like Houston drafted people they could sign others further on down by passing him over.

It exposed the flaws of the CBA right away and allows people like Boras to try and exploit them in other ways and am pretty sure Selig is not going to allow this to happen.

Pirates will get the pick back at least in a deeper drat, just a shame the kid Appel is a pawn in one of Boras’s child like games.

Beersy
3 years 1 month ago

This amy be a small conselation prize, but if Boras plays with the futures of a few more kids, the way he has with Appels’, then maybe these kids will pick different “advisors” and we could rid the draft of Boras all together.  Sure let him get huge contracts for free agnets who have already made a ton of money, but using these kids as pawns is a joke.  I know Boras wasn’t his “advisor”, but I’m pretty sure Matt Harrington wishes he had signed with the Rockies all of those years back.

Red_Line_9
3 years 1 month ago

I’m not sure this isn’t what the Pirates had in mind.  They really weren’t in a position to lose with Appel. 

DK8
3 years 1 month ago

 In my opinion, Appel not signing is far more damaging to him than to anyone else, including the Pirates.

Edgar4evar
3 years 1 month ago

Can’t blame the team. So Appel really believes he’ll go higher than eighth next year? Does he know the rate at which young pitching prospects get hurt? Bet Boras never mentioned that part. While it’s true if he goes #1 his bonus could be as high as $7.2 million (figure an increase to $7.5 next year). But if he gets hurt it could also be nothing. Or if he just has a bad season it could $1 million. This is really a “bird in the hand” situation if you ask me.

Something that probably won’t change is that pitching is losing value relative to position players as run scoring is down across the majors. The fact the first pitcher was drafted at #4 in this year’s draft might be a reflection of the fact that position players that can hit are more valuable than in the past. It’s possible no pitcher will go number 1 next year for this reason alone.

Mike Brannagan
3 years 1 month ago

Even if he goes number one does the team drafting him even have to pay him slot?  What leverage does he have as a college senior?  Play overseas or an independent league, not many options it would appear.

I’m glad the Pirates took a chance but if it was clear at any time that he would not sign then I hope it didn’t affect the Thomas or Buehler signings. 

Edgar4evar
3 years 1 month ago

Really good point. Not that kids haven’t been talked into the independent league route. How’s that working out for Aaron Crow, who wasted a year and signed for less than the Nats offered?

DK8
3 years 1 month ago

 Exactly–the wasted year playing independent ball hurts the development curve, which delays your arrival to the bigs.  That delays your path to arb and FA such that you probably got less money than if you had just signed the lower bonus offer a year earlier.

Amakiir
3 years 1 month ago

Well, next year Appel will have zero leverage and he will be forced to sign for two million, maximum, and be used to save up money for higher leverage picks later in the draft. Also, he is losing a potential year of free agency. If he is a top major league pitcher, he just lost 20-25 million dollars. Good job, kid.

slyfox1908
3 years 1 month ago

Mark Appel, or two first-round picks next year. I think the Pirates made the right choice.

Gyro_Zeppeli
3 years 1 month ago

So next year the Pirates will have 2 first round draft picks right?? 

Then they will have the same limit of 2,9 million to sign the two first rounders and the rest of their draft class??

3 years 1 month ago

 No each pick will have its own slot value attached to it.

Red_Line_9
3 years 1 month ago

So they spend heavy on the first round and draft college heavy…good position for the Pirates.

bucsws2014
3 years 1 month ago

I predict Mark Appel will never see an inning of MLB.

Beersy
3 years 1 month ago

Lets hope so.  And Karsten Whitson while your at it.

I’m a Padre fan.  :)

Karkat
3 years 1 month ago

Good call by the Pirates, and a lovely message to the Scott Borases of the world.

bigpat
3 years 1 month ago

Good luck… not.

The Pirates will be ok without him though, just have to stick with taking safer picks next year. Everyone else went along with the new system just fine, unfortunately there was just one bad Appel. I think he and Boras made a regrettable choice.