Astros Fail To Sign Aiken, Nix, Marshall

The Astros did not sign first-round pick Brady Aiken or fifth-rounder Jacob Nix, reports MLB.com’s Jim Callis (on Twitter). Aiken becomes just the third No. 1 overall pick ever to not sign, per Callis (Twitter link). Nix had previously been reported to have agreed to terms, which Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle reports (on Twitter) was by way of a verbal agreement.

The two young pitchers are both reportedly advised by Casey Close. Houston also ultimately failed to reach terms with another well-regarded arm, 21st-rounder Mac Marshall, Callis adds. That confirms Marshall’s own announcement that he would instead attend LSU.

The Astros will receive the No. 2 pick in next year’s draft, Callis further notes, meaning that Houston did at least offer Aiken 40 percent of his slot value ($3,168,840), which Aiken did not accept. In fact, Houston ultimately upped its offer to $5MM, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (Twitter link). “We tried to engage Casey Close three times today,” Astros GM Jeff Luhnow tells Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter), but “there was no interest.” Ultimately, the team made three offers today, Heyman tweets, the second of which came with 30 minutes left on the clock. The final, $5MM offer was made with just five minutes to go. Aiken did not counter any of the offers.

Aiken and the Astros had reportedly agreed upon a $6.5MM bonus, with Aiken heading to Houston for his physical and an introduction. But things took a turn when a dispute arose over the interpretation of MRI results regarding Aiken’s elbow.

In many ways, the news represents a disappointing result for both Houston and the two players who had been expected to sign. The club will of course have an opportunity to choose another top-end player next year (along with the team’s regular first-round choice, which should be a good one), but will have to wait to get that player started. And Houston will miss out on a pitcher who Luhnow himself called the “most advanced high school pitcher” he’s even seen. Not only that, but the team has now foregone the opportunity to sign Nix, and could even face some form of grievance proceeding as a result of the handling of Nix’s negotiations.

Meanwhile, Aiken will need to perform at rather a high level to beat the $5MM that he ultimately was offered, and will need to wait some time for a check to cash. It is not yet clear where he will go, though presumably he will either enroll at UCLA (where he was committed) or else choose the junior college route. Of course, the very public nature of the recent negotiations regarding Aiken and Nix might conceivably have some ramifications for those players’ future collegiate eligibility, which would obviously be an unfortunate byproduct of a difficult situation.

Needless to say, the situation has led to quite a bit of chatter around the game. As MLB.com’s Jim Callis explains, speculation arose that Houston was hoping to drive down Aiken’s price in a bid to make a last-minute run at Marshall, who had long before said he was going to college. Of course, it was never certain that such a possibility was realistic, let alone that the club would ultimately pass on the chance to add Aiken (and with him Nix) without some genuine concern.

Indeed, the apparent medical dispute regarding Aiken, and its impact on Nix, have led to indications that fallout may be yet to come. The Astros released a statement, saying that the club’s final offer was “extremely fair considering all the factors involved in this case” and insisting that the team “approached these negotiations in good faith and with the best interests of the Astros organization in mind, both short-term and long-term.”

But the MLB Player’s Association sees things somewhat differently, stating the view that Aiken and Nix were wronged. “Today, two young men should be one step closer to realizing their dreams of becoming Major League ballplayers,” said executive director Tony Clark. Because of the actions of the Houston Astros, they are not. The MLBPA, the players and their advisers are exploring all legal options.”

Jeff Todd contributed to this post.


275 Responses to Astros Fail To Sign Aiken, Nix, Marshall Leave a Reply

  1. Jim Low 12 months ago

    Feel bad for Astro fans here man…

  2. Kennon Riley 12 months ago

    Good. If Aiken has a UCL injury in the next 11 months, or in the future, he will never be selected in the top 5 again.

    • Slow Poke 12 months ago

      he does not have a UCL injury. Astros did not claim thart he did.

    • section 34 12 months ago

      Good? You think that’s good? You are not a nice person.

    • Nathan McCarthy 12 months ago

      Good? You are hoping for a kid to get injured, and loose out on millions for some organization? You don’t deserve to call yourself a sports fan. All he asked for was a fair offer

      • Kennon Riley 4 months ago

        he did get a fair offer. dickey signed for 10% of his original offer. aiken was offered 40% +

    • Nathan McCarthy 12 months ago

      Good? You are hoping for a kid to get injured, and loose out on millions for some organization? You don’t deserve to call yourself a sports fan. All he asked for was a fair offer

    • fdterr 12 months ago

      Do you really think Aiken’s not going to take out an insurance policy?

      • tmengd 12 months ago

        Question is would an insurance policy even cover him now with medical questions

      • tmengd 12 months ago

        Question is would an insurance policy even cover him now with medical questions

    • fdterr 12 months ago

      Do you really think Aiken’s not going to take out an insurance policy?

    • Colin Christopher 12 months ago

      You tell ’em, man. Nobody has ever come back from Tommy John surgery.

  3. DieHardMsFan 12 months ago

    Should have just given him the 6.5 mill and signed either Nix or Marshall. Now they lose three picks this year and a years worth of development for each of the picks to get the number 2 pick next year. I don’t think you get a consolation pick in the 5th round….Really questioning this move. I know his UCL may potentially go out but the key word here is potentially.

    • teddy 12 months ago

      most likely Aiken is hurt, and the astros wanted to sign him at a discount, he said no and they were to far apart to get deal done.

      • Seamaholic 12 months ago

        Umm … that’s been reported actually. No need for “most likely”!

        • teddy 12 months ago

          It could be worse than reported though like imminent TJ etc.

        • DieHardMsFan 12 months ago

          I thought it was just reported that his UCL is abnormally small? Higher chance to get hurt in the future and as a result they wanted the discount?

        • jb226 12 months ago

          That has not been reported. Aiken is NOT hurt.

          What his medicals turned up was a congenitally small UCL — ie, his ligament has been small since birth. It is not an injury, he is healthy and able to pitch exactly the way he was pitching when he got drafted.

          The Astros’ concern is: Does this make it more likely that he gets hurt in the future? And if he DOES get hurt at some point, does it complicate reconstructive surgery and make a healthy return less likely?

          I’m not entering into the medical debate or he debate about whether it was a good-faith negotiation. The simple facts are that the Astros wanted a discount over the concerns, Aiken’s camp refused, and here we are.

          • cyberboo 12 months ago

            Bottom line – Aiken turned down a 5 million offer out of high school, knowing the fate of Nix and Marshall depended on his signing and he showed his selfishness and threw both players to the wolves. He will now be labeled for life as a spoiled brat that had zero interest in the game and everything hinged on dollars and him getting the most he could get through greed and arrogance. Fortunately, he now has four years and 7 million lost dollars to think about before he is even eligible again. If he is drafted, providing his arm isn’t the the risk the top doctors in the world said it is, he will never come close to recovering the lost 7 million within the next ten years. It is totally possible now that Houston will have the top 2 picks in 2015 and Aiken will become a distant memory if both of them make the majors while Aiken is still throwing in college ball, watching them on his television, instead of participating.

          • Ed Weeland 12 months ago

            Most of these kids have been spoiled brats because of the fact they think the world will turn because of skills they offer.Playing basebal.LOL

          • mnrunleft 12 months ago

            If this is the case shouldn’t we label all players who don’t take significantly under slot “brats”? What are we going to call guys who want over slot like Nix and Marshall? $6.5 for Aiken was already well under slot and was the agreed upon deal, Astros are the ones who cost all 3 not Aiken.

          • Kennon Riley 12 months ago

            Marshall was a top-tier talent who fell to the 21st round due to a strong collegiate commitment. The Astros were never going to sign him.

          • mnrunleft 12 months ago

            I agree, just pointed out that cyberboo’s idea that it’s Aiken’s fault Marshall and Nix didn’t sign is a complete joke. Aiken was willing to accept less than slot which was going to allow the Astros to go over slot for Nix. The only one at fault are the Astros for agreeing for an overslot contract with Nix and working on an overslot contract with Marshall when they didn’t have the deal done with Aiken to allow for them going over slot in the first place.

          • Kennon Riley 12 months ago

            Great post.. the problem is that the condition is rare enough that the Astros wanted to try and minimize their financial risk. There is simply not enough evidence to show that Aiken’s UCL will be more likely or less likely to injury in the future.

      • Derpy 12 months ago

        No, Aiken is not hurt. If you trust the opinions of orthopedic specialists, guys like dr. James Andrews, then you would be forced to believe that he is completely healthy. The only doctor here who thought there was a problem with Aiken was the team doctor. All of the other opinions claim he is totally healthy and without issue. The team doctor claims he has a congenital abnormality in his UCL. All the other doctors claim his UCL is within the normal limits.

        • Joshua Davis 12 months ago

          Finally someone who knows what they’re talking about. Too many people are spoon fed by the media without understanding the facts. All the experts commented before the draft that Houston’s draft success was being able to sign players at the bottom end of their slot average which has allowed them to sign more players each draft. I suspect they tried with Aiken as well, using the ‘abnormality’ with his UCL as their last resort.

        • Pike 12 months ago

          There is a difference between being healthy (which is what people are saying) and risk of complication in a procedure that is becoming entirely commonplace for pitchers (what the actual holdup was).

          • Derpy 12 months ago

            Nobody actually thinks his risk of injury is higher.

          • Pike 12 months ago

            can you provide any proof of that? The interviews have asked if he is healthy NOW, not if there is a greater risk of injury or recovery in the future.

          • Derpy 12 months ago

            If anyone thought he had an increased chance of injury, they would have said it. Nobody credible ever did.

          • Pike 12 months ago

            Again, any proof? Only thing i have found is stuff saying he’s healthy NOW.

          • Derpy 12 months ago

            Show me the quote from Dr. James Andrews saying he has increased risk of injury. I can’t prove a negative. You go prove to me that you’re correct.

          • Pike 12 months ago

            burden of proof is on you. You posited that nobody thinks his risk of injury is higher. I can offer similar anecdotal evidence to my position. R.A. Dickey.

          • Derpy 12 months ago

            I say nobody credible ever said he had increased risk of injury. If you disagree, provide the credible person who said he had increased risk of injury.

          • tmengd 12 months ago

            The doctors said he was currently healthy but with his small UCL there were no guarantees in the future if a tommy john could fix a problem

          • jb226 12 months ago

            That’s not true. It’s a violation of federal law to disclose medical information without the patient’s consent. None of the doctors are going to be saying a word unless Aiken and Close send them out to do exactly that. In fact, if you look closely, the Astros have never officially commented on what was wrong with Aiken or their assessment of him. The only tidbits we got was a leak form an anonymous team source and a rebuttal from people associated with Aiken.

            The only legitimate statement we have on the matter was the orthopedist who did not examine him, and who said a small UCL by itself shouldn’t increase injury risk, but that other factors would have to be considered.

          • Ed Weeland 12 months ago

            The Astro’s didn’t want to throw big money at a guy that may never play in the MLB.
            They drafted the kid in good faith and found out he is a risk.
            We don’t have all those lawyer jokes for no reason.

          • tmengd 12 months ago

            Actually that is not true. The Astros can’t legally say what their thoughts are of his condition without a lawsuit. So Close can say whatever he wants and Astros can not counter. They might of said he is in danger of a huge injury risk in the future if they could legally do so.

        • $21621694 12 months ago

          If Dr. Andrews turned him down he must be 100% healthy!!

        • Kennon Riley 12 months ago

          Hey, where was the controversy with Balfour and the Orioles?

    • tmengd 12 months ago

      Not if his future is cloudy and might never see the majors. There has been reports that even TJS might not fix the problem. Really want another Dickey for a 1-1?

    • tmengd 12 months ago

      Not if his future is cloudy and might never see the majors. There has been reports that even TJS might not fix the problem. Really want another Dickey for a 1-1?

      • DieHardMsFan 12 months ago

        I don’t understand how his future is “cloudy” if his UCL is not damaged. The only concern is that it is smaller than usual so they are not sure how it will respond to a potential tear.

        Key word their is potential. If the Astros viewed him as the best talent in the draft a potential injury scare should not deter them from signing him.

        Every individual’s body is different so no one is sure how their body will respond to different things like TJS for example. For all we know he will never tear his UCL and will be completely healthy.

  4. Roy Baker 12 months ago

    As an Astros fan, I’m not at all angry or disappointed. I’m just like…”oh, well, that’s…bad, I guess, but oh well”.

    • Alex 12 months ago

      You must be a diehard fan.

      • Roy Baker 12 months ago

        Extremely die-hard. Not exactly the one that gets angry about it. Simply no less than even-keel when it comes to the teams I root for.

  5. Karkat 12 months ago

    Good job, Astros.

  6. W.G 12 months ago

    They better do their research with the first two picks next year then, because if it goes the way it has been…

    • tmengd 12 months ago

      they just won’t pick a high school senior early. To many unknowns. You can do all the research you want but with no pre draft medicals you just never know

    • Ed Weeland 12 months ago

      It’s crazy that you can’t have a medical done before you draft.
      High school pitchers are a big risk.How many have made it to the big show and done anything.

      • W.G 12 months ago

        Yeah especially as you invest millions of dollars in these players, and a great number of ‘top’ prospects don’t go one to become what they were touted to be.

        To be eligible for the MLB draft, a player must submit a physical available to all 30 teams. Also the doctor/physician conducting the physical should be an independent third-party, to limit bias results. The whole Aiken-Astros controversy wouldn’t have been a problem if they at least at some minor, pre-draft physicals. I just feel bad for the Astros, because they could have gone with Rodon, Kolek ect., instead of wasting a pick.

  7. Bob Jung 12 months ago

    Wow what a waste of a first pick. They should have better scouts and drafted kolek or the guy from cws

    • Kennon Riley 12 months ago

      Scouts cannot see something without symptoms.

      • Bob Jung 12 months ago

        true but they need to do some research

        • Mark 12 months ago

          They aren’t allowed to do medical checks on players b4 the draft.

          • Bob Jung 12 months ago

            They got to start now. Pitchers now are getting tommy johns, tearing ligaments like crazy. I think it would be safer now to draft hitters than pitchers

          • Bob Jung 12 months ago

            They got to start now. Pitchers now are getting tommy johns, tearing ligaments like crazy. I think it would be safer now to draft hitters than pitchers

  8. Seamaholic 12 months ago

    Hmm … wonder when Luhnow loses his “genius because he likes stats” rep. Probably never.

    • King Kyle 12 months ago

      Why would this incident make him lose his rep as “genius because he likes stats?” Did he indicate that he didn’t sign these players because their WAR didn’t project to be high enough, or that their wRC+ wouldn’t be league average?

      • Seamaholic 12 months ago

        No, I meant he should lose his status as a genius because he’s so obsessed with stats he doesn’t see a kid who doesn’t want to get signed by them.

        • tmengd 12 months ago

          That does not make sense at all. He wanted to get signed but had a medical issue. Which no team would of seen since there are no pre draft medicals

      • Seamaholic 12 months ago

        No, I meant he should lose his status as a genius because he’s so obsessed with stats he doesn’t see a kid who doesn’t want to get signed by them.

  9. Joe 12 months ago

    given how poor Mark Appel has been in the minors, the Astros needed this one. Oh well, they’ll have the 1 and 2 picks next year (probably)

    • asovermann 12 months ago

      I wouldn’t say that’s a given, there a lot of teams with the same record as them and Texas has an even worse record.

      • tmengd 12 months ago

        very true. # 2 for sure. You can bet they will draft a position player next year though

  10. agureghian 12 months ago

    Don’t they get a compensation pick next year for losing Aiken? The 2nd pick next year?

    • Bill 12 months ago

      Did you read the post that you’re commenting on?

    • Slow Poke 12 months ago

      yes but it is a sign or lose so whoever they take will be an overdraft

      • tmengd 12 months ago

        Most players picked #2 would sign. That is a lot of money that they might never see again. Close was upset which is understandable, but how many players will have this condition. Boras never seemed to have a problem dealing with them.

      • tmengd 12 months ago

        Most players picked #2 would sign. That is a lot of money that they might never see again. Close was upset which is understandable, but how many players will have this condition. Boras never seemed to have a problem dealing with them.

  11. teddy 12 months ago

    If you are an Astros fan, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, considering now they have the #2 and probably the #1 pick next year, if two guys really come out as superstar potential that weren’t in this draft, its a huge win.

  12. Slow Poke 12 months ago

    biggest issue for the Astros is Nix who will undoubtedly file a grievance. If he were to win the Astros would have to pay him his bonus and forfeit 2 first round picks for going too far over their allotment.

    • DieHardMsFan 12 months ago

      Oh because he agreed in principal to a deal? Has their been any precedent of such a grievance? If so their GM should get fired on the spot.

  13. DieHardMsFan 12 months ago

    Is next years draft considered a better draft than this years? If so than it may be for the best. If not I kind of question this move as they miss out on three highly regarded prospects and a years worth of development for each.

    • Slow Poke 12 months ago

      that ends up being known only in hindsight

    • cyberboo 12 months ago

      I know that Aiken isn’t even eligible to be drafted again for four years, due to him being drafted out of high school, but I’m wondering what the status is for both Nix and Marshall? Were they college draft or high school draft. College and they are available again next year, high school and they wait four years.

      • DieHardMsFan 12 months ago

        That is not the case regarding Aiken. If he goes to UCLA he will be draft eligible in three years. However if he goes to a community college he will be draft eligible next year (although I think the Astros cannot draft him). I am not sure regarding Nix and Marshall. Just look both of them up and check if they were high school draftees or if they were college guys.

        • tmengd 12 months ago

          Astros can not draft him without his consent although I doubt the Astros would ever bother or try. Nix and Marshall were also high school guys. Marshall is already enrolled in college as a freshman and Nix will go to UCLA as freshman.

  14. richardb21 12 months ago

    So the front office tells us how valuable these top picks are and we are obviously tanking to get them AND WE CANT EVEN SIGN THEM?? Ive supported Luhnow and this organization throughout the rebuild, but I’m done with this rebuilding project. What good is it when they can’t even sign the players. All that losing was for nothing. All they want is to make a profit. Appel isn’t even an issue because AT LEAST HE SIGNED. Complete joke of an organization and I cant believe I wasted my time and money on them. The front office showed their true colors today. Never thought I’d want Ed Wade back.

    • $21621694 12 months ago

      Finally Astros fans getting tired of all the mumbo jumbo

    • Tyler Jedrzejak 12 months ago

      how are they a joke? The kid has a tiny UCL. If he looks like he is going to be injury proned then good thing the Astros didnt sign him…They get the Number two pick next year as compensation. Did you think Aiken was Strasburg and filling in next year? It really isnt the end of the world.

  15. don 12 months ago

    That is the way the Astros do business. Not really sure what this does for the bonus pool in next years draft but I doubt it does anything but save them 5 million this year. why draft the kid #1 overall if you REALLY did not do your homework?

    • Tyler Jedrzejak 12 months ago

      what homework did they not do? There are no pre-draft medicals. Is “do you have a tiny UCL?” a typical question to ask and would the player answer that truthfully?

  16. Slow Poke 12 months ago

    supposedly Stros tried to get a predraft agreementfor $5M but Close would not go for it and so there was no agreement. They may pick 2nd next year but it will be an overdraft.

    • Mike1L 12 months ago

      Maybe that’s the key to the whole thing. They wanted to pay $5M, had to bid up, then got the medical results and saw an opportunity to pay minimum slot (and send a message to future picks that the first offer is the best one)

  17. What a disaster

  18. What a disaster

  19. What a disaster

  20. fisk72 12 months ago

    I assume Aiken has committed to a college, not sure where. A big blow to his ego (and no doubt his “advisor”) but might the $3.2MM not look like a pile of money down the road if he indeed runs into arm trouble? Not absolving the Astros of how they handled it but it’s not like he’s a position player with less concerns about injuries & likely to build his value for the 2017 draft.

    • Slow Poke 12 months ago

      committed to UCLA. Could also play JuCo for one year and be drafted next year.

    • Slow Poke 12 months ago

      committed to UCLA. Could also play JuCo for one year and be drafted next year.

  21. Bob Jung 12 months ago

    Any good prospects coming/deciding for next year’s draft? List some

  22. Bob Jung 12 months ago

    Any good prospects coming/deciding for next year’s draft? List some

  23. FancyJanzy 12 months ago

    Blame Aiken, blame Close, blame the Astros, blame whoever, but this is a flaw in the system. MLB needs to let physicals be done before the draft and this problem goes away.

    • Ed Weeland 12 months ago

      That would be the way it should be done you would think given the money we throw at these lottery winners. MLB is a big flaw just look at the all star game this year.

  24. Derrick 12 months ago

    Uhh Relax HS kid probably 5 years away from the show not that big of deal. They get #2 next year oh well

  25. pastlives 12 months ago

    WOW i have to say, this dude could have made what I’ll make in my entire life with just a signature, I get the Astros were kinda cheap here, but to turn down FIVE MILLION dollars, to hopefully get what…7 million dollars in a year? and lose a year of development?

    • Christopher Velez 12 months ago

      On the one hand, the difference between $5MM and $7MM is the equivalent of twenty years worth of income from a two-earner household in most regions of the U.S. It is a titanic sum of money to forgo in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

      On the other, $5MM is enough that Aiken never has to really worry about money for the rest of his days if it is prudently cared for. Aiken’s arm could also fall off tomorrow, thus rendering his aspirations of earning a bigger signing bonus moot. If the Astros really did come up to $5MM, he (and his adviser) were fools for turning it down.

    • Mike1L 12 months ago

      These kids are paid for what they could do, which is infinitely better than I could have ever done and what few others could do. I don;t begrudge them the money.

  26. pastlives 12 months ago

    WOW i have to say, this dude could have made what I’ll make in my entire life with just a signature, I get the Astros were kinda cheap here, but to turn down FIVE MILLION dollars, to hopefully get what…7 million dollars in a year? and lose a year of development?

  27. jajs 12 months ago

    If you don’t sign you shouldn’t be allowed in the league for 5 years

    • jb226 12 months ago

      Because teams don’t already have enough of a power disparity with the draft? These kids have no choice who drafts them, they have only a small influence on how much they sign for with the slotting arrangements, and then teams get to own them for six-plus years including three at whatever salary they decide to pay (>=league minimum). Why are we penalizing draft picks even more by basically forcing them to sign too?

    • Mike1L 12 months ago

      I can’t disagree more. These kids have a right to negotiate their futures without an organization, like the Astros, tell them “take it or never see the inside of a MLB stadium again.”

    • goldenboy02 12 months ago

      Thats how long it looks like it will take Appel to make it haha

    • Bill 12 months ago

      So MLB assigns slot values to these draft positions, a team like the Astros offers roughly half of that value, and the player has to sit 5 years if he doesn’t accept the offer?

      Sure bud. That makes a lot of sense.

  28. Michael 12 months ago

    I’m honestly shocked. I seriously thought the bad publicity was not worth the 3 million dollars saved and that Luhnow would just concede. Obviously there are serious problems with the CBA (no medical combine and the idea of draft pool money in general) but this combined with the leaked documents makes this front office look very suspect. Never seen an organization sacrifice so much in image to potentially save a couple mil. They pay jose veras more than 3 mil for gods sake. Not sure what Aiken is thinking here either. Is 1 million really worth holding out for? what a messed up situation

    • tmengd 12 months ago

      Veras is actually making minimum for the Astros now. The Cubs are paying the other 4 m :)

    • primi_timpano 12 months ago

      I think Aiken decided he did not want to risk his career in the Astros’ organization. Quite frankly, considering the Springer controversy and the FO’s reputation, I wouldn’t want to either. Money is not everything. Development, fairness, support, etc. mean a lot.

  29. Mike1L 12 months ago

    How do we know he was offered $5M, and on what terms? Because of Heyman (who is supporting of a competing agent to Close) says? Personally, if Aiken was offered a clean $5M I think he was probably foolish to turn it down. But being called “the most advanced high school pitcher” he’s ever seen to a last minute “let’s cut you back 60%” probably didn’t help his mood. I still feel more sorry for Nix and Marshall, who are the true collateral damage. Congrats, I suppose, to the Astros, who will get it back next year and had very little real skin in this game.

    • tmengd 12 months ago

      Actually Keith Law, Callis, and a number of other sources said Aiken was offered 5M at the end but Close didn’t want to negotiate any further.

      • Mike1L 12 months ago

        When I posted that comment, the only report was from a tweet from Heyman without the additional detail of the $5M was offered with 5 minutes to go. Now we have more details about what actually happened.

  30. Mike1L 12 months ago

    How do we know he was offered $5M, and on what terms? Because of Heyman (who is supporting of a competing agent to Close) says? Personally, if Aiken was offered a clean $5M I think he was probably foolish to turn it down. But being called “the most advanced high school pitcher” he’s ever seen to a last minute “let’s cut you back 60%” probably didn’t help his mood. I still feel more sorry for Nix and Marshall, who are the true collateral damage. Congrats, I suppose, to the Astros, who will get it back next year and had very little real skin in this game.

  31. nelson_c 12 months ago

    Badly played by Luhnow & Close. Sounds like Close was insulted by Luhnow and advised his guys not to sign.

    Luhnow is supposed to be anti-personal, Close may have taken this overly personally.

  32. nelson_c 12 months ago

    Badly played by Luhnow & Close. Sounds like Close was insulted by Luhnow and advised his guys not to sign.

    Luhnow is supposed to be anti-personal, Close may have taken this overly personally.

  33. section 34 12 months ago

    I wonder if that Astros simply decided they’d rather have next year’s No. 2 pick. This year was considered a thin draft at the top. That’s ruthless but possible.

  34. section 34 12 months ago

    I wonder if that Astros simply decided they’d rather have next year’s No. 2 pick. This year was considered a thin draft at the top. That’s ruthless but possible.

  35. Bob Jung 12 months ago

    Who would you rather have on your team? Jose Altuve and Springer or Joc Pederson and Corey Seager?

    • Derrick 12 months ago

      Is this serious??? The all star and the Guy who has almost 20HRs in the Show

    • DieHardMsFan 12 months ago

      The astros pair simply because they are doing it in the bigs and not the minors

  36. Bob Jung 12 months ago

    Who would you rather have on your team? Jose Altuve and Springer or Joc Pederson and Corey Seager?

  37. i'm me .. 12 months ago

    i hope Aiken has a HUGE insurance policy.

  38. i'm me .. 12 months ago

    i hope Aiken has a HUGE insurance policy.

  39. celsius 232.8 12 months ago

    The Astros have been saved from themselves. High school pitchers are a ridiculously bad bet.

  40. Mike1L 12 months ago

    What strikes me as odd is that the Astros would walk away from three players, simply to save $1.5M (if one can believe they actually came back to $5M, which is merely Jon Heyman saying so) We know they are a frugal organization, and maybe they simply preferred to save all the money and go back next year. But it’s a strange way to do business, and should worry agents in dealing with them in the future.

    • FamousGrouse 12 months ago

      George Springer’s service time might also end up as a grievance case as well.

      • tmengd 12 months ago

        No it won’t. Union was not happy about it, but there is no proof, plus he switched positions, is not playing all that great and no real case to be made.

  41. CaptainObvious 12 months ago

    Yet another reason to not pick high school kids. Should have gone with Rodon.

    • stl_cards16 12 months ago

      Yet another reason to not deal with Lunhow.

    • KEVONTE_MITCHELL_IS_THE_TRUTH 12 months ago

      This has nothing to do with High School or College. This is a unique situation. Aiken side thought he was fine and Astros thought maybe he wasn’t. This very well could happen to a College player too.

  42. FamousGrouse 12 months ago

    This is incredible news. Possibly the story of the year (in MLB). I think the fallout of this will end up changing the MLB draft.

  43. Rob Lucci 12 months ago

    Your 2017 World Champions….

  44. Pike 12 months ago

    This is unfortunate for all parties. The thing that makes this worse is Tony Clark and Close flapping their gums about this and spreading fuel to the fire.

    • Mike1L 12 months ago

      That’s their job, to defend the player. No different than the Astros (and those friendly to management) talking about how damaged Aiken is. It’s window dressing, and we don’t need to pay attention to it.

      • Pike 12 months ago

        It’s all a bunch of white noise since there hasn’t been anything official released from the Astros. I am just curious about what actually happened and it’s a shame that Clark and Close are attempting to poison the well before we even get the other side of the story.

        • Mike1L 12 months ago

          To be fair, the Astros have put a big “damaged goods” sign on this kid, after Luhnow had previously said he was the best high school pitcher he’s ever seen. They’ve seriously hurt Aikens future earnings potential. I’d be unhappy as well.

          • Pike 12 months ago

            The Astros position is that they view a risk of damaged goods. Different teams evaluate risk differently. He could easily go to JC, perform at the same level and still end up in the first few picks of the first round as he did this year with another team more averse to the risk. I’d also say it’s a far stretch to say it hurt his future earnings potential when he’s still an amateur at least 2-3 years away from the MLB and more years on top of that away from being a free agent. Too many variables in between.

          • Mike1L 12 months ago

            It’s their money. They can spend it as they see fit. He’s going to have to go somewhere, prove he can pitch and stay healthy. Before, it was just prove he can pitch, which he did to an extremely elevated level. The Astros can certainly go on without Aiken. Aiken is the one at risk.

          • Pike 12 months ago

            Aiken had to prove he can pitch and stay healthy before being drafted as well, else he would have slotted later in the draft (see sean newcomb). Aiken still has to do the same thing as before. If Aiken is concerned about the risk he can:

            A. Take out an insurance policy on his arm to help cover the risk.
            B. He could have tried to reach a more amicable agreement with the Astros based on what he perceives his worth should be.

        • tmengd 12 months ago

          Astros can not even legally say what was wrong with Aiken so Close can say whatever he wants

          • Mike1L 12 months ago

            The Astro’s can’t say what’s wrong with Aiken? You couldn’t tell that–his health issues have been plastered everywhere, including specific quotes attributed to the doctors, including one employed by the Astros. Seems like the Astros’ “Cone of Silence” is more suitable to Get Smart.

  45. Slow Poke 12 months ago

    will be even worse for the Astros is they end up losing 2 first round draft picks

  46. oleosmirf 12 months ago

    No wonder why the agent is so angry, he just lost two clients and a boat load of current and future money to boot.

  47. EndlessMikeJr 12 months ago

    Astros want all those picks,not pay much and have no risk.There prospects who will have major risks and rewards and the Astros are the problem with small market teams: spend revenue sharing non-competitive things and acting cheap.

  48. oleosmirf 12 months ago

    I can imagine how angry the agent must be, he just lost two clients and a boat load of current and future money in one day.

  49. bigbadjohnny 12 months ago

    Aiken should had Scott Boras….maybe he will in a few days.

    • King Kyle 12 months ago

      *Years.

    • tmengd 12 months ago

      Boras never had a problem dealing with the Astros it does make you wonder if it would of been handled differently

  50. FamousGrouse 12 months ago

    Voldemort. That is all.

  51. Astros could face a scary circumstance on a grievance from Nix on the originally agreed upon deal. would put the Astros over their pool, and they forfeit their next 2 first round picks

    • Career High 12 months ago

      I would absolutely love it to happen this way although I doubt it comes to fruition. My best guess is that Nix files a grievance and is granted free agency. In the end he will get more than than the $1.5 from another club than he was verbally promised by Houston. Nix may actually make out in the end.

  52. DippityDoo 12 months ago

    Have found this whole string of events quite fascinating. Who da thunk it on June 5th? All 3 of these kids have solid plan B options, University. Though I wonder if Aiken might lose his scholarship over this? Would a school do that to a kid with a possible bad arm?

  53. Bob George 12 months ago

    Losing out on Aiken, Nix, Marshall, along with Correa’s broken leg and Appel’s decline this year signaling he is almost certainly injured, those are huge setbacks for the Astros. However, they could have controlled the first three. Aiken is still a hell of a prospect, small UCL or not. No doctor quoted in any source seems to know how a small UCL is going to affect Aiken long term.

  54. stl_cards16 12 months ago

    I love what Lunhow has been doing and really wanted to see him succeed, but this is pretty sad. Too bad for Aiken, Nix, and Astro fans. Lunhow really over played his hand here.

  55. Pads Fans 12 months ago

    Bravo to Luhnow for not signing a kid that the two top specialists in Tommy John surgery, and the only ones allowed by MLB teams to do the surgery, said was a huge risk to be injured. I feel sorry Nix that Close has so poorly “advised” Aiken in this case.

    • jb226 12 months ago

      Show me where they said that. I’ll forward it to federal prosecutors for violating HIPAA.

      What you mean to say is you ASSUME they said this. That is an entirely different kettle of worms.

    • Mike1L 12 months ago

      Could we get more fulsome in our praise? “Bravo?”

    • KEVONTE_MITCHELL_IS_THE_TRUTH 12 months ago

      I thought I read they said he’s at no greater chance it is just a unique and possibly concerning abnormalty. He just had a tiny UCL right? Sort of like RA Dickey, but Dickey had none.

  56. Strugz 12 months ago

    What are Aiken’s options? College/University? Can he sign as a free agent?

    • Pads Fans 12 months ago

      He can go to Jr College and be draft eligible in a year or he can honor his commitment to UCLA and be draft eligible in 3 years.

      • Strugz 12 months ago

        He does not get the free agent option because the astros offered certain %, correct?

    • Pads Fans 12 months ago

      He can go to Jr College and be draft eligible in a year or he can honor his commitment to UCLA and be draft eligible in 3 years.

  57. Dave 12 months ago

    Kind of a crazy world where a guy doesn’t take FIVE MILLION DOLLARS, when he’s been hurt before throwing a single major league pitch, knowing that exactly zero of those five million dollars are at jeopardy once he signs, even if he never sees the major leauges.

    Sure hope he doesn’t go to college, blow his arm out and end up in the part of the draft where you don’t get five million dollars.

    Then again, maybe nobody really wants to end up on the Astros.

    • Pads Fans 12 months ago

      Not good to wish him ill. I hope he decides to take the scholarship at UCLA so he can get a degree.
      Its not likely he will ever be offered $5 million again considering Dr Lintner said that the level of congenital defect in his UCL presents such a huge risk and Dr. Andrews confirmed his diagnosis.
      What is even sadder is that while Aiken may never see that money, Nix and Marshall are also out because of Aiken’s decision.
      All of this could have been prevented if MLBPA allowed teams to have access to a full physical prior to the draft like they do in the NFL.

  58. Bubby 12 months ago

    If you are a pitcher, always take the first round money. Karsten Whitson, the Padres #1 pick in 2010 turned down $2.1 mil. He injured his shoulder and signed this year with the Red Sox for $100K.

    • KEVONTE_MITCHELL_IS_THE_TRUTH 12 months ago

      You can find the opposite results too, but not as big. Off the top of my head Beede slightly raised his stock. I wonder how Phil Bickford will end up. Big gamble, I’d take the money.

      • Sean 12 months ago

        Luke Hochevar and Boras turned down 3 mil (40th pick) in 2005 from the Dodgers. He got a 3.5 mil bonus next year from KC at number 1.

        • NJ Met fan 12 months ago

          thats different he wasn’t the number one pick the year before and that was under a different signing system

          • Sean 12 months ago

            Yes it’s slightly different but still more relevant than most of the 5,000 draft picks from the last 4 years. If I were in Aiken shoes and money was the number one motivation I would have signed the 5 mil offer. I personally can’t fault someone for wanting to live in LA over a place like Houston.

  59. James F 12 months ago

    I read a story recently about a former 1st round pick Karsten Whitson deciding to go to College and losing 2.1 million, eventually leading him to be drafted in the 11th round this year. Although not really related, if Aiken gets hurt and loses a ton of value, I wouldn’t feel sorry for him.

    • evan 12 months ago

      Yeah the Red Sox drafted Karsten Whitson and gave him a $100K signing bonus. At least he got something after losing that $2 million.

    • Pads Fans 12 months ago

      The $3.1 million Aiken was offered is equal to the 8th overall pick in the draft. The $5 million the media is reporting he was offered today is between the 3rd and 4th overall pick in the draft. Whether he gets injured or not in the coming year, with the two top experts on the UCL both saying the extreme nature of his congenital defect in the UCL presenting a severe injury risk, I am sure that he is not going to be a top 3 pick in 2015. If he does get injured then chances are he is in line for that $100k bonus Whitson got from the Red Sox or less. At least Whitson went to school for 4 years.

      • cyberboo 12 months ago

        Aiken isn’t eligible now to be drafted for four years. That is the price you pay out of high school. He has four years to think about his decision and not only the lost 5 million, but also 500,000 in salary for those four years. 7 million turned down because he wanted the whole amount or nothing. He also knew Nix and Marshall depended on his signing and he didn’t care.

        • Federal League 12 months ago

          If Aiken attends a four-year university, he is eligible to be drafted after completing his junior year or if he is at least 21 years old.

          If Aiken attends a two-year college, he is eligible to be drafted after each year. The same applies to Aiken if he chooses to pursue opportunities in independent baseball [he would lose his amateur status with this route].

  60. NRD1138 12 months ago

    Historically I do not believe that it helps a pitcher to hold out and not get signed out of the draft. This tells me this is more Aiken not wanting to be with the Astros more than anything else. Also, wanting a ‘fair’ amount and paying a ‘fair’ amount is subjective at best.
    What is ‘fair’ to one party may be outrageous to another.Though it is the first time I have heard of a genetically small UCL being the cause to stop up negotiations.

    At the end of the day, both sides had reasons for their demands, but I think in the end it only hurts the pitcher, not the organization that tried to sign him. It means a year of possibly blowing out your elbow playing in college, or the independent league I believe, and then hoping someone will take you high again.
    It is not like Aiken was guaranteed to be the savior of the Astros. That is done with many prospects, some of whom wash out some become superstars

    • Pads Fans 12 months ago

      Dr Andrews said in an interview today that it was the first time that he has seen a congenital abnormality that severe. I am sure that had a lot to do with the Astros decision. They had a tremendous amount to lose in this case.

    • stl_cards16 12 months ago

      What is “fair” is determined by the slot value. Aiken had agreed to sign BELOW SLOT as the #1 pick in the draft. Then the Astros changed their mind on what “fair” value was. I’m glad for Aiken and look forward to him being the #1 pick in a few years to a team that doesn’t try to push him around.

      • NRD1138 12 months ago

        When it is your money and you are a GM I’m sure you would see it differently. That is a lot of money to pay a guy who could blow out his elbow and be basically worthless for 1- 2 years. I have seen plenty of pitchers too proud to take what they are offered only to be a reliever for the rest of their days. Which will probably be more likely to happen than him being a #1 somewhere else.

        • Sean 12 months ago

          “That is a lot of money to pay a guy who could blow out his elbow and be basically worthless for 1- 2 years.” This is the risk with every pitcher. The all seem to get TJ surgery nowadays.

          • NRD1138 12 months ago

            True but it is not like GMs are going into discussions saying “Yknow, we see there may be a defect with the elbow, but we will go ahead and open the checkbook for you”. Because if there is even a hint of a greater chance of blowing the elbow and the guy does, you are basically paying those guys to sit around for 1 year, then spend another getting back into pitching shape. All the while they are not helping your club. Never mind that this guy has not even pitched in college or the minors, he could be a ticking time bomb of an arm. GMs are also not in this business to typically pay a guy for 5 years, only to get 3 out of him.

          • Sean 12 months ago

            “GMs are also not in this business to typically pay a guy for 5 years, only to get 3 out of him” Lucas Giolito, Jeff Hoffman, and Erik Fedde show that’s not how smart teams look at the draft and TJS. Christian Binford had TJS at 16, I can remember Nick Adenhart and Nate Eovaldi slipped due to pre majors TJS.

          • NRD1138 12 months ago

            When these guys actually make it in the Bigs and are wildly successful, then you can say ‘I told you so’. Until then I will stand by my statement. Adenhart may be an exception but unfortunately his life was cut short before he could really live life. Eovaldi appears to have a lifetime record of 14-26 with a 3.91 ERA. Hardly what I would call a success.. Bottom line is a GM is already guessing on guys making it. Why compound this guess with a guy that needs TJS. Besides, this is a mute point. Aiken has not had this yet, nor do doctors recommend it, which means he is a potential time bomb, whereas it appears these other guys already had their surgery and I’m sure also lost money (and draft slots) because of it.

  61. Sliders 12 months ago

    Yeah this is just a shame. If this is a ploy by the Astros which it appears to be, these top prospects should get physicals/MRI’s by interested teams or perhaps by the league. Something has to change with that 40 percent offer to retain the first rounder the next year. That’s too low of a number. How about a supplemental draft for draftees
    that don’t get offered 80 percent of slot. Offer the player to other teams in exchange for the corresponding pick (and slot money) the next year. Any player that’s drafted in the supplemental draft must be signed to their recommended slot value from the Original Draft no more/no less.

    • NRD1138 12 months ago

      There is a reason it is called RECOMMENDED slot value and not MANDATORY slot value. I also find it a bit hard to believe this is news to the player or his agent about this anomaly before the draft. If this was common knowledge available before the draft I doubt the Astro’s, or anyone else, would have taken him #1 at all, which many seem to overlook when talking about this guy getting his ‘due’. The Astros, by accounts, offered the guy a good sum of money to basically not even throw a pitch in the minors and he declined it. I guess we will know if he blows out the elbow in the next 1-2 years.

    • NRD1138 12 months ago

      There is a reason it is called RECOMMENDED slot value and not MANDATORY slot value. I also find it a bit hard to believe this is news to the player or his agent about this anomaly before the draft. If this was common knowledge available before the draft I doubt the Astro’s, or anyone else, would have taken him #1 at all, which many seem to overlook when talking about this guy getting his ‘due’. The Astros, by accounts, offered the guy a good sum of money to basically not even throw a pitch in the minors and he declined it. I guess we will know if he blows out the elbow in the next 1-2 years.

  62. Mike1L 12 months ago

    From the way the Astros conducted the negotiations, with their end offer (made 5 minutes before the deadline) exactly what they originally offered before the draft, it’s fairly clear that whatever Aiken’s issues are, the team is more than happy not to have signed Aiken, Nix, and Marshall. The team gets to reload next year, and they keep the bonus money that they would have shelled out-a imperative for a team that puts dollars first and foremost always. I think Aiken made a mistake. He should have taken the money and lessened his risk, since the Astros and their supporters in the media and on line-forums will soon have this kid diagnosed with every rare tropical disease known to man. He didn’t, and he will have to bear the burden of that risk. The only saving grace for him is that he’s not likely to be drafted by the same organization. I hope he has success. As for Nix and Marshall, a tough pill to swallow–their misfortune to have been picked by the team that did.

    • It was an elbow issue. Ironically, that also meant they could not sign Nix either, or they would have forfeited their next 2 first-round picks.

  63. MadmanTX 12 months ago

    This is Crane pulling an Uncle Drayton, pure and simple. Find an excuse not to spend big bucks on players and maintain mediocre standards until he recoups his money for buying the team.

  64. KEVONTE_MITCHELL_IS_THE_TRUTH 12 months ago

    Sounds like Aiken’s agent thinks he can get granted free agency if he didn’t even counter the 5M assuming it was actually offered. Very interesting.

  65. kellen619 12 months ago

    As a Padre fan this situation reminds me of the karsten whitson debacle. Poor kid should’ve taken the deal.What’s 1.5m difference gonna make?Live your dream of being a professional ballplayer.

  66. psabella 12 months ago

    I know many folks put this on the Astros but why give Aiken’s a pass? This is an 18 year old kid who has done nothing in life to pay his dues or prove himself and he turns down 5 million dollars? He turned down what many people, probably most everyone reading this will not make in their entire lifetime. He is taking on a ton of risk if he is or gets injured an cannot recover. People should be angrier at his agent than the Astros.

    • MadmanTX 12 months ago

      Yeah, but the Astros offered him 6.5 mil, then reneged. Why should Aiken then accept a lower offer? That’s humiliating to the player who passed all the med exams for the issue the Astros are using as an excuse.

      • psabella 12 months ago

        Humiliating? The kid is 18 and he turned down 5 million dollars. He could have been set for life before working a day in his life and he is humiliated? He should be now if he gets hurt and cannot play ball.

      • psabella 12 months ago

        Humiliating? The kid is 18 and he turned down 5 million dollars. He could have been set for life before working a day in his life and he is humiliated? He should be now if he gets hurt and cannot play ball.

      • Tanthalas 12 months ago

        The question is, why would they decide to renege without legitimate reasons? Do you really think they just did it for the hell of it, or to try and sign another player? They liked this kid enough to draft him #1 overall and offer him 6.5m. I don’t see how any reasonable person could think they just changed their mind and decided to back out on the deal and risk losing him entirely, for essentially no reason. It just doesn’t fly.

  67. Twisted86 12 months ago

    Looks like Houston should have picked Rodon or Kolek instead.

  68. One has to wonder if the MLBPA might be asked in the future to permit teams to look at players’ medical reports prior to the draft, so that this does not happen again. I cannot fault Jeff Lunhow here…he did the right thing once the medical exam was done and he saw red flags. (Earlier reports on this site already cover the why.)

  69. Career High 12 months ago

    The Astros believed they could play the system and overestimated themselves. Good for Aiken for standing his ground. Takes a lot of guts to do so when he is virtually guaranteed to make less money next year after juco/independent ball or 3yrs down the road after UCLA. Also a low move by the Astros to insinuate they were dealing directly with Close to try and affect Aiken’s NCAA eligibility. Houston just revealed itself as a low class organization. That is if their “Ground Control” leak hadn’t already.

  70. Career High 12 months ago

    The Astros believed they could play the system and overestimated themselves. Good for Aiken for standing his ground. Takes a lot of guts to do so when he is virtually guaranteed to make less money next year after juco/independent ball or 3yrs down the road after UCLA. Also a low move by the Astros to insinuate they were dealing directly with Close to try and affect Aiken’s NCAA eligibility. Houston just revealed itself as a low class organization. That is if their “Ground Control” leak hadn’t already.

  71. Tyler Jedrzejak 12 months ago

    not seeing the big issue here…He is 18, the medicals made you wonder if he could hold up, and they get the number two pick next year. its not like this kid was close to the show.

  72. Realitystrikes96778 12 months ago

    Astros make little sense. If the kid’s physical raised question about his arm, exactly what kind of results lead to a conclusion that he should be offered $5M instead of $6.5M. He’s either damage or he’s not. If they had enough confidence in his arm to offer $5M, going to $6.5 was not much of a stretch.

    • DippityDoo 12 months ago

      They wanted that 1.5 Million for Marshall. Aiken @ 5m Nix 1.5m and Marshall @ 1.5m. Signing Aiken @ 6.5 meant no Marshall, but now we realize that 5m means no Aiken, Nix, Marshall.

    • essmeier 12 months ago

      Even if Aiken was injured, it was in the Astros’ interest to sign him at some price in order to be able to sign the other two. It was up to the team to figure out what price made sense, given that Aiken might be damaged goods. Apparently, they decided that $5 million was the number.

  73. Fanger 12 months ago

    How does a rational human being turn down five million bucks? He must come from money to be able to stand on such ceremony.

    • Eric Berg 12 months ago

      Was it on this site that I read he could get $30 million as a free agent? Also, baseball is business and the Astros shortchanged him $1.5 million and also tried low balling him with an offer at 40% of the slot.

      I would not be surprised of Aiken filed a greivance to become a free agent. Nix as well.

  74. Rabbitov 12 months ago

    Why would there be a grievance proceeding for the handling of Nix negotiations?

    • Vipul Koul 12 months ago

      The astros and nix already had an agreement in place but nix people were told that it would not be offically announced as the team would go over budget and lose its 2 draft picks!! now they failed to sign aiken and nix is now with nowhere to go and also no money!!So he might file an grievance as astros backed out of the agreement!!

      • Tanthalas 12 months ago

        How could they have gone over budget by announcing his signing some time ago, before they had even signed Aiken? They should’ve had millions of dollars left of their pool money at that point.

    • Eric Berg 12 months ago

      I wonder this as well but the argument may be that the Astros acted in bad faith. They had agreements with both Aiken and Nix before backing out. Will be interesting to see.

  75. sdsny 12 months ago

    That’s rough for the ‘Stros. As a fan, I would not be happy with the organization. Everybody knows that despite their brutal record and attendance figures last season, their ownership made a profit. They care more about money than putting a good team on the field. Brady Aiken might have an elbow issue, but he’s one of 3 very high picks that they failed to sign.

    • essmeier 12 months ago

      Is it important to you that they sign players with elbow issues?

      • sdsny 12 months ago

        First off, you missed the part where I state that he is one of 3 draft picks that they failed to sign. 2nd, if he’s only 18, the risk is well worth the reward. If he’s so good that you drafted him #1, then you should be willing to wait 1 extra season (he’s not gonna go straight to the majors) if he needs TJ surgery for what is hopefully a 10+ year career with your organization. The Astros are penny-pinching.

  76. Vipul Koul 12 months ago

    i feel that close was able to persuade aiken to not sign with the astros so that they lose the pool bonus money which makes them a possible victim of their own greediness as nix for sure will file for a grievance which will force astros to sign him and in this way they will lose the top 2 draft picks in the next year draft for excessive spending leaving astros with no 1st round picks!!

    • essmeier 12 months ago

      And Aiken and Close benefit from that scenario, how, exactly?

      • schaddy24 12 months ago

        By going to JUCO and being a top 5 pick again next year.

  77. Ed Weeland 12 months ago

    The Astro’s played the right hand here.Why give this kid 6.5 mil make him rich and never pitch a game in the the majors.That’s the reason the cost of a ticket to an MLB game has become insane.The players union has way too much power.

  78. Ricardo Elorza 12 months ago

    I love how the difference between Aiken signing or not signing is less than what the Astros are paying Jerome Williams this year

    • Skore 12 months ago

      Because of the way spending is limited in the draft, those dollars are a lot more valuable than real ones, making that point extremely important

  79. W.G 12 months ago

    Another thing that makes me mad is that it isn’t like the Astros stopped trying/caring about Aiken. Their final offer was reportedly around/at 5 million, which is a great bonus considering what has happened, and Aiken-Close turned it down.

    What is the likelihood a player performs well enough to be a top 5 or 10 draft pick? What is the likelihood he not only performs the same, but also convinces teams is arm isn’t damaged? Not good, I’ll tell you that. Yes Aiken has enormous potential, but wether his arm is/or isn’t really a problem, that still has been planted into many teams’ heads. Aiken really should have taken the 5 million, because after all of this, a lot of teams might be hesitant to draft him next year, or 4-5 years down the road when he finishes UCLA.

  80. Scott Krouse 12 months ago

    If I’m a potential 1st round pick in 2015, I’m having my “advisor” put out the word there is no way I’m signing with Houston unless it’s double my slot value. That front office is a trainwreck – not necessarily for the Aiken negotiation, but more for how they screwed over Nix.

    • The Aiken situation directly affected Nix. Had only Nix signed, the signing would have put them over the signing limit, costing them 2 first-round picks. Aiken was not signed because of his injury history.

    • The Aiken situation directly affected Nix. Had only Nix signed, the signing would have put them over the signing limit, costing them 2 first-round picks. Aiken was not signed because of his injury history.

      • Luke Sykwalker 12 months ago

        then why did they draft him if he was such a risk… first i’m hearing he had an injury

        • MLB teams do not really have a way of knowing if these injuries are in draft picks. MLB needs to consider the concept of a combine, when teams can have most prospects examined independently.

  81. Slow Poke 12 months ago

    We don’t know whether it was the best thing for the Stros or not. What we do know is that the Astros organizations comes out of this looking very bad.

  82. Karkat 12 months ago

    HMS? Why are the Astros in the British navy?

  83. pastlives 12 months ago

    Ya that’s giving him even less credit than I did originally

  84. pastlives 12 months ago

    Ya that’s giving him even less credit than I did originally

  85. pastlives 12 months ago

    Ya that’s giving him even less credit than I did originally

  86. Mike1L 12 months ago

    He probably won’t win. Astros will say that Close knew that one signing was contingent on the other and that meant Nix was informed that the offer was contingent.

  87. Mike1L 12 months ago

    He probably won’t win. Astros will say that Close knew that one signing was contingent on the other and that meant Nix was informed that the offer was contingent.

  88. timpa 12 months ago

    Selig before the current CBA used his powers as commish to go ‘outside’ the actual rules and broker a settlement between the Diamondbacks and Barret Loux. I could see something similar here.

    Nix(MLBPA) drop their grievance on his behalf. Nix becomes a FA, but Astro’s are required to pay up to $1.5m in signing bonus should he not get it back on the open market(which he would).

    The player gets guaranteed the money he thought he signed (and passed a physical for). The Astros avoid a possible arbitrator ruling against them and losing two future firsts.

    I believe in the future that a team physical will be declared a BINDING agreement to a contract barring a medical opinion declared on that physical within 24/48 hours showing a problem.

  89. tmengd 12 months ago

    Unless it is in writing which is doubtful it is very unlikely any grievance would win.

  90. DippityDoo 12 months ago

    Little unfair to Luhnow, Correa still has a bright future, Buxton has had a few injuries as well. And both Appel and Aiken where consensus #1s with only the Marlins saying they had Kolek over Aiken. And he has done well with other picks in those drafts. Sans this year of course with all this nonsense.

  91. Bill 12 months ago

    You’re blaming Luhnow for Correa? It was a freak injury to a player that is, by all accounts, one of the best prospects in baseball at 19 yrs old.

  92. IZZONE 12 months ago

    What about the 2 prospects they where able to sign because they got Correia instead of Buxton.

  93. KEVONTE_MITCHELL_IS_THE_TRUTH 12 months ago

    Honestly I think Correa will be better in the long run. Buxton is a full year older and Correa is at the same level as him. Will be cool to look back later if the Astros were super smart or not, but for now it’s to early. Same goes for Appel. It’s his first pro season and yes it’s be an absolute nightmare, but he has been on and off injured and not yet use to the tandem starts. Maybe the early struggles will help him mentally later. For now though to early.

  94. KEVONTE_MITCHELL_IS_THE_TRUTH 12 months ago

    Also Aiken was a great pick what happened was just really bad luck. Shows why there should be pre-draft physicals.

  95. tmengd 12 months ago

    To be fair on Correa though, Buxton has been hurt a ton this year as well. They will always be joined together and questioned who is better but both at teenagers and you never know.

  96. stl_cards16 12 months ago

    You think that is ethical? “Hey we’re going to draft you if you will sign for this amount…..oh nevermind on that agreement even though you could have been drafted by a team that would pay you that much”

  97. stl_cards16 12 months ago

    And you’re right, he might not win. But this definitely hurts the Astros in the players “circle”. Along with those ridiculous trade proposals from the leaked documents, I’m not sure the Astros front office has much credibility right now.

  98. jb226 12 months ago

    Like most things in the legal realm, it’s probably going to boil down to who had what in writing.

    If there is written offer, without written contingency? Astros are DOA.

    If there is a written offer with a written contingency? Union is DOA.

    Otherwise you’re dealing with a lot of finger pointing. Oral contracts CAN be enforced in a courtroom, but there’s an excellent chance that a judge would just leave it up to the MLB process. Absent extra facts on one side, if it boils down to “yes I did” versus “no you didn’t,” they’re probably not going to change the status quo.

  99. JP Clark 12 months ago

    You are incorrect with your years. If he goes to a division 1 school like UCLA, he is not eligible for the draft for 2 years. If he goes to a junior college he can renter the draft again next year. He could also go to independent ball for a year and then enter the draft next season.
    Also the MLB draft now has a slotted system, the first pick is slotted at roughly 7.8 million dollars. You are telling me if you were good enough to be the first pick you would let your agent leave almost 3 million dollars on the table to help sign some kids that were drafted in the 5th and 21st rounds because they won’t sign unless they make more than their slots say they should make? But the guys in the 5th and 21st round aren’t the greedy ones for wanting more than MLB says they are worth.

  100. Mike1L 12 months ago

    Unfortunately, there’s a difference between “ethical” and “legal” under the CBA. A team as sharp, and sharp-elbowed as Houston probably never crossed over the “legal” line.

  101. Mike1L 12 months ago

    The bigger question, I think, is who it hurts them with. The draft kids really have very little leverage, as we can see with Aiken. Might hurt with the agents if at some point in the future Houston starts trying to negotiate arms-length contracts.

  102. Mike1L 12 months ago

    I’ve got to think that Houston offered nothing in writing that wasn’t hedged by some sort of contingency. That leaves you with the oral, and I have a feeling that’s not enough to go on.

  103. Sliders 12 months ago

    These rules have changed back and forth a bit over the years. You are correct about the yearly Junior college path. If you attend a 4 year school you are not eligible to be drafted until after your Junior year or you turn 21; Brady Aiken does not turn 18 till August so he’s looking at three years should he sign at a 4 year school such as UCLA.

    link to mlb.mlb.com

  104. cyberboo 12 months ago

    Well, regardless where he goes, I doubt he sees the first round again and he has to hope he isn’t injured at any time during the year. One injury and he drops rounds with each injury. If he needs TJS, he will be lucky to get the minimum, because it proves Houston was right. It has taken a few years for the players to awaken and realize that accepting the qualifying offer by teams is in their best interests and it is time for the drafted players to awaken to the same scenario. He lost five million and like others before him, he could end up with next to nothing. That is on his shoulders and he has no one to blame but Aiken.

  105. Thechairman66 12 months ago

    “You are telling me if you were good enough to be the first pick you would let your agent leave almost 3 million dollars on the table”

    Yes. Because $5M guaranteed is a lot of money. Given the risks of injury or the simple risk that he won’t be highly selected next year, I’d take the $5M easily.

    Think about it this way. If Aiken falls even 3 spots in next years draft the max slot value for the 4th overall pick is $5M. He could easily fall three spots through no fault of his own, particularly since the Astros will probably be picking somewhere in the #1-3 range.

  106. FancyJanzy 12 months ago

    The physicals that they go through before the draft are nothing compared to what teams do. Something as simple as a smaller UCL is very easy to see and one of the major things they look at on an MRI, if that was overlooked then someone should lose their job. What I am saying is that teams should be able to do independent physicals on players they have identified as draft targets. This goes on in every sport other than baseball.

  107. tmengd 12 months ago

    Actually players are not required to go through pre draft physicals even the top 200. MLB tried to do that in the last CBA but the union refused. Most players have non done before the draft. Lots are still playing during the draft as well. Teams only hopes are for people like Hoffman which ended up having surgury to release medicals because of an obvious condition

  108. timpa 12 months ago

    The Astros Bonus Pool was $13,362,200
    Take out the 1st pick(you lose the bonus pool if you didn’t sign that pick)
    Their Bonus pool becomes $5,261,000(counting Nix’s pick if his agreement would be upheld)

    The Astros only have $179,100 left in their bonus pool to add to Nix’s contract.
    Nix’s slot value is $370,500.
    Adding the $179,100 brings it to $549,600. ($5,261,000 their entire bonus pool is then spent)

    If Nix’s agreement is upheld that would put the Astros at $950,400 over their updated bonus pool(when you take out Aiken’s slot value).

    That is 18.06% over their bonus pool. 0-5% over is simply a tax. 5-10% is a tax and loss of a first round and second round pick in the next draft. Over 15% is a tax and loss of first round picks in each of the next TWO drafts.

  109. stl_cards16 12 months ago

    While I said before, Nix will probably lose, there are definitely consequences for Houston in the future. I’m not sure at this point Lunhow’s games are so “sharp”. I really want him to succeed, as he is a huge reason why the Cardinals have a stash of young talent. I’m just losing confidence in him as a GM by the day. Maybe the “War Room” is where he is meant to be.

  110. timpa 12 months ago

    Would it have helped here? Possibly. Perhaps the Astros would have still drafted him and then tried to get him to sign for a discount? The bottom line is that he was going to get 40% of his slot value at minimum and ended up turning down $5m.

    Every other pro sport in the US does not force a team to sign a draft pick to a specific salary. NFL players negotiate from a total rookie pool, NHL players have a standard ‘max rookie contract’, but teams can offer less. NBA players have a rookie scale, but teams can offfer 80% to 120% of that pick’s value.

  111. Sean 12 months ago

    MRI aren’t so cut and dry different experts can look at the same MRI and have varying opinions, often this is the reality of MRI’s for pro athletes and non-athletes.

  112. FancyJanzy 12 months ago

    MLB doesn`t force them to sign them to a specific salary either. You could argue they have the most lenient structure out of all of them, theoretically a team can sign the players for as much as they want, as long as they are willing to incur the signing penalties. Back to Aiken, if the Astros knew about the arm problem there is a .01% chance they draft him and risk him having arm problems and losing their spending pool like they did here. The Astros have one of the leading arm specialists as their team doctor, if he was able to examine Aiken prior to the draft this would have been avoided. I am not blaming either the Astros or Aiken, because we don`t know everything that resulted in this, I am just saying that it could be avoided.

  113. tmengd 12 months ago

    this is the only sport with no pre draft medicals right? Puts teams at a huge disadvantage it seems

  114. Sliders 12 months ago

    His UCL is actually healthy, It’s just small, which complicates whether it will stay healthy (perhaps) and also whether Tommy John would be an option for him. Perhaps the smaller UCL could be a positive in the long run. Maybe it has better elasticity than a “normal ligament,” rubs less awkwardly and is extra dense. Who knows. As far as him being a top 6 or 7 pick again and recouping the bonus……doubtful. But who knows. I’d go the Junior College route so he can try the draft each of the next 2 years. If he does not like draft slot he can do JUCO for 2 years and UCLA for two years and theoretically enter the draft every years if his elbow holds up well.

  115. Thechairman66 12 months ago

    Not to mention the obvious: the sooner you start your professional career the better.

  116. smurfmonkey 12 months ago

    If a team offers 6.5mil then drops the number to 3mil (which Houston did) only then to increase the offer 2-3 more times until it gets to 5mil, (which Houston did), yeah I would probably walk on the deal as well.

  117. Thechairman66 12 months ago

    I can see your logic. In all honesty if I were AIken’s agents I probably would’ve countered with $6-$6.5M and said “Give me #2-#3 slot money and we’ll call it good.” If we’re to believe the Astros, I think the real sin Aiken’s agent made was not making a counter offer.

    That said, in a situation like this comparing your potential earnings to other players is a mistake. You should be comparing your potential earnings by signing now vs next year. In other words

    Your 2014 slot value vs Others 2014 slot value = wrong
    Your 2014 slot value vs Your probable 2015 slot value = right.

    I do think relative slot value is important, but this is a unique situation. Plus your potential 2015 slot value kind of accounts for relative (to other player) earnings

  118. Ed Weeland 12 months ago

    Crazy isn’t it when the money and stakes are so high.

  119. Sean 12 months ago

    I’m not buying it, the Astros wanted Aiken they just overplayed their hand. Why blow up Casey Close’s phone with unrequited offers like a jilted lover? What’s 1.5 mil in the grand scheme of things? I would be furious if my favorite team passed on two elite CA HS pitchers, both can throw up to 96 MPH and are 6’3 or taller? I want both of those arms in my system even if the odds are stacked against them giving 8 mil of value to MLB club. The Pirates gave Jameson Taillon 6.5 million straight out of HS 4 years ago, Brady was a steal at 6.5 as far as I’m concerned.

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