MLBPA Files Grievance Against Astros Relating To Unsigned Draft Picks

The MLB Player’s Association has filed a grievance action against the Astros relating to the team’s recent failure to sign top overall draft choice Brady Aiken, reports Murray Chass. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports also reports the filing, via Twitter.

Though details remain vague, it appears that the union’s action alleges that Houston inappropriately manipulated the signing situations of Aiken and fifth-rounder Jacob Nix after a dispute arose over Aiken’s medicals. Ultimately, the Astros reportedly offered Aiken only $5MM after having reportedly agreed to a $6.5MM bonus. The club also did not go forward with signing Nix after having reportedly agreed to sign him for $1.5MM.

Having failed to sign Aiken, inking Nix to that reported over-slot bonus would have put the Astros well above their pool allocation for signed players and subjected them to the penalty of forfeiting each of their next two first-round choices. As MLB.com’s Jim Callis has explained, some have charged that Houston sought to sign Aiken at the lower price tag in order to make a run at 21st-round choice Mac Marshall, who had previously announced that he would go to college. Of course, it remains to be seen what precise allegations have been made by the union.

While the result sought in the grievance proceeding remains unknown, presumably the MLBPA could seek some relief for Aiken and/or Nix if not also some action against the club. As things stand, the pair of hurlers face the decision whether to matriculate at a university (both were UCLA commits) or play junior college ball and re-enter the draft next year.


104 Responses to MLBPA Files Grievance Against Astros Relating To Unsigned Draft Picks Leave a Reply

  1. Travis2014 12 months ago

    Good, what they did can not be acceptable.

  2. bigbadjohnny 12 months ago

    Is there a signed agreement?

  3. Frank Griffin 12 months ago

    What right does the MLBPA have to file a grievance? Neither player was a member of the union, nor even a professional baseball player.

    • Karkat 12 months ago

      The MLBPA has never let logic get in the way of a good complaint.

    • The MLBPA negotiates the draft rules as part of the collective bargaining agreement, giving them purview in this matter.

      • Benjamin Chase 12 months ago

        Their grievance then does not represent any of the players, as it is being reported. Their only legal standing would be the Astros violating draft processes, not anything on any particular player’s behalf.

        • Correct. I haven’t seen any reporting that the MLBPA was acting on behalf of either player.

        • Jeff_Todd_MLBTR 12 months ago

          Neither the reports nor the post say it was filed on behalf of the drafted players. We need to wait to learn more before assessing those issues.

    • sunshipballoons 12 months ago

      The CBA allows this grievance.

  4. Tmoney 12 months ago

    Still have not heard what “rules” the astros broke. Bud Selig himself said the astros followed the rules. Didn’t the MLBPA agree to the draft changes as they are now during the last CBA?

    • disgruntledreader 12 months ago

      Oh, well if Bud Selig himself said it, then there’s certainly no reason to go to an outside, independent arbitrator to decide the matter. The opinion of the guy in charge of one of the parties to the complaint is certainly good enough for me!

      • sunshipballoons 12 months ago

        Right!!! Tmoney says: “The guy whose job it is is to represent the owners said that an owner didn’t break the rules.” Well, that’s news…

      • Tmoney 12 months ago

        Maybe I am wrong, but as far as I know MLB sets the rules and guidelines. The commissioner and executive vice president of MLB both said the astros have kept MLB involved in the negotiations throughout the whole process, and they have not violated any rules.

        Meanwhile, the MLBPA, who I am still not sure who they are representing here, have filed this “grievance” but have not eluded to what the astros legally did wrong.

        So yes as of right now I will listen to the Bud.

        • disgruntledreader 12 months ago

          You are wrong.
          The terms of the draft, including slot allocations, etc, are all collectively bargained. They are not set by the Office of the Commissioner.

          • Tmoney 12 months ago

            They are not agreed to by MLB and the MLBPA?

          • disgruntledreader 12 months ago

            They are collectively bargained by the MLB and the MLBPA. So if the MLBPA and MLB (or one of its clubs) have different interpretations of the situation, it means Bud Selig absolutely does NOT have the final say.

          • disgruntledreader 12 months ago

            Incidentally, going back to your first post, the fact that you “still have not heard what ‘rules’ the astros broke,” simply means that, at least until this point, the two parties have atypically complied with the law on pending arbitration hearings and NOT released all the details which they, by law, are required not to release.

          • Tmoney 12 months ago

            I never said Bud had final say, just that out of all the info we have right now it seems like this is just an attempt by the MLBPA to try and further hurt the astros reputation.

    • disgruntledreader 12 months ago

      Oh, well if Bud Selig himself said it, then there’s certainly no reason to go to an outside, independent arbitrator to decide the matter. The opinion of the guy in charge of one of the parties to the complaint is certainly good enough for me!

  5. W.G 12 months ago

    I still don’t get Aiken-Close’s claim, the Astros did end up offering them 5 Million, which ALL analysts agreed is going to be hard for Aiken to be eligible for again. Of course there are things that we’ll never know, but still.

    • disgruntledreader 12 months ago

      It’s certainly possible that the MLBPA complaint completely ignores Aiken and only focuses on the Nix issue here. From previous reporting, it appears the player and organization might have come to a final agreement on a contract, but the Astros did not submit it to MLB. That would certainly be reason for MLBPA to file a claim with a pretty easy argument that such a move was a breach of the collectively-bargained terms of the draft.

    • Travis2014 12 months ago

      Aiken took the high road. Why accept 5mil when the club is manipulating you out of millions just to sign another player. The Astros only did this to save money for their other picks…NO other reason.

      You aren’t tricking me into thinking he was worth 5mil and 6.5mil was too much. That is a difference of 1.5mil…that is tiny for a club like the Astros that have a big profit margin because of their tiny payroll.

      I’m glad Aiken didn’t take that because it would be hard to get in the future. It would have shown a bad example and just convince other teams to try it too. You could maybe argue they were concerned with his medicals if they only offered him the minumum, but once they jumped it up to 5mil you now it had nothing to do with his elbow.

      • W.G 12 months ago

        .. And if clubs operated by NOT trying to save money on other picks, how successful would they be? And yes 1.5 is a big amount considering they had only 13 million for rounds 1-10, not just first round.

        Consider this:

        $13,362,200 (round 1-10 picks)

        divide that by 11 (the amount of picks Astros had in first 10 rounds)

        You know what you get? $1,214,745. THAT is the amount of money they could spend, on average, for each pick. Signing Aiken for 1.5 million dollars less helps you sign another pick elsewhere.

        Also it was always about the elbow and you know it. Only 3 or 4 times have EVER failed to sign their first overall pick, Astros made a fool of themselves by not being able to. The reason they pumped it to 5 mil. was a panic move to sign Nix and others.

        Look for yourself: link to mlb.mlb.com

  6. bigbadjohnny 12 months ago

    Time to have physicals done before the draft takes place…..I really can’t cry for someone who turned down $5 million……..not with the high unemployment & food stamp figures that many Americans are enduring.

    • Benjamin Chase 12 months ago

      But then you have a whole other mess. Every college underclassmen and high school senior would then be ineligible for further NCAA participation if MLB or anyone but the player himself pays for the medical workup. We’re not talking your yearly physical here. It’s an in-depth comprehensive scan of the body and often times a mental screening as well (in other sports). There would have to be some major changes to the CBA and the draft to put in a combine, but it is absolutely time that it happens.

    • DickieThong 12 months ago

      They offered him $3.1MM (vs. $7.9MM slot value). They only offered the $5MM with five minutes left to go probably so that internet commentors could say “I really can’t cry for someone who turned down $5 million”.

    • Eric 12 months ago

      If the players don’t get the money, that means the owners get it. Someone deserves the money, so why shouldn’t the players get their fair share?

      If you really think the players are overpaid, stop giving them your money.

      • bigbadjohnny 12 months ago

        Eric, where did I say the players were over paid?
        Eric, it is the owners money that pays these kids……money does not come out of this air……MLB owners are Billionaires…..they made their money way before ever getting into baseball.

        • Eric 12 months ago

          The point is that a player should get fair value. Just because times are tough for most and $5 million is a lot of money doesn’t mean a player should accept it.

  7. MB923 12 months ago

    I blame the Yankees for this.

  8. Which players in the Player’s Association were hurt by this? Perhaps some residual damage from all the hot wind?

    I also didn’t get signed by the Astros and I want someone to acknowledge that.

    • Karkat 12 months ago

      That was my thought. Aiken and Nix don’t have any connection to the MLBPA, nor will they until they’re, y’know, players in the MLB.

  9. NomarGarciaparra 12 months ago

    Can someone briefly explain the draft bonus slots and penalties? I know it’s probably complicated, but perhaps just a simplfied general explanation?

    • W.G 12 months ago

      One of the rules was that if Astros fail to sign their draft slot, they lose all the money allotted for that pick, so they lost all 6.5 million (which is huge), which is a big part of why they failed to sign other picks. Penalty for going over the amount allotted is a fine ($) but the biggest is losing future 1st and 2nd round picks.

  10. start_wearing_purple 12 months ago

    I can buy Nix having a grievance, especially if he thought he had a deal in place and no one said to him “assuming we sign Aiken.” But Aiken, if the Astros really offered him $5M and everyone agrees on a medical issue then while the Astros may have shot themselves in the foot it would be nothing grievance worthy. If the Astros doctor was the only one who found the medical issue then they have a problem.

    • Eric Berg 12 months ago

      I think for Aiken the issues are (1) whether he failed the physical and (2) whether the Astros were negotiating in bad faith by using the physical as a pretense to sign Mac Marshall for an amount over his slot value.

      • Brian Allen 12 months ago

        I think the more likely case is that the Astros did not think Brady Aiken and his UCL issue + Nix was worth more than the 1-2 next year. Maybe if they could get those 2 and Marshall, that was worth more than the 1-2. Who knows. Either way, the only conclusive thing we can say is that they valued the 1-2 next year enough to lose signing Brady Aiken and the roughly 8 million dollars with his slot allotment.

        In regards to the physical, the way team physicals work is if Dr. Lintner (the Astros team doctor) said he failed, then he failed. That’s all the discretion that’s needed. They must have found something that they thought could pose a serious threat down the road (maybe a barely existent UCL) and thought the risk/reward scenario was too skewed towards risk. So they dropped their offer. I’m also doubtful that Lintner said he failed to let the Astros change their offer. He’s a highly respected doctor, and doing something like that would take away any respect as a professional he might have, and could potentially have his license revoked on an ethical basis.

        • Eric Berg 12 months ago

          If that is the case why did they increase their offer to $5 million? That doesn’t make much sense.

          Reports are still out there that Aiken is worth well more than the initial 6.5 million bonus originally agreed to. If it really was as simple as Aiken not being worth the money I don’t believe things would have played out the way they did.

          But you do have a point about there being a legitimate concern over his UCL.

          • Brian Allen 12 months ago

            It would seem to me, that they still would have wanted to sign the Number 1 overall draft pick. If they pegged him at 5 million max, then so be it.

            5 million is also such a high bonus, that in order just to have the option to make that much, Aiken would have to be taken in the top 3 picks of next draft (assuming the pick allotments stay the same). And everyone knows if he’s in the draft again next year, he won’t be going 2nd overall. I’d say that’s a pretty strong reason.

          • Eric Berg 12 months ago

            There’s no question that Aiken’s unlikely to see a $5 million bonus when he does sign (unless he becomes a free agent because of this). I suspect that is why this all blew up in their face, because they thought he would sign. When he didn’t they were left holding the bag.

            What other baseball writers have said is that it made absolutely no sense for the Astros to lose Aiken over just $1.5 million. It’s nothing in baseball terms.

            We’ll see how things turn out and especially how Aiken’s career goes. If Aiken still goes high next year or signs a big free agent deal it will make the Astros look bad. If not they will be able to save face.

          • Brian Allen 12 months ago

            That seems to be a common argument, but the Astros clearly thought differently. And they stuck to their guns. I just don’t understand how people just ignore the value of the second overall pick.

        • DickieThong 12 months ago

          If Dr. Lintner commented publicly on Aiken’s medicals then he is in violation of HIPAA privacy rules.

          • Brian Allen 12 months ago

            He never said anything, but Brady Aiken never passed his Astros physical. If the Doctor has the ultimate say in the matter, it’s merely elementary, my dear Watson.

    • DickieThong 12 months ago

      They offered him $5MM with five minutes left to go and negotiations had already broken down, most likely so they could say “hey, we offered him $5MM”.

  11. Brent Tanguay 12 months ago

    I think the grievance is a joke for Aiken. He failed his physical and was offered a very fair deal. He decided to walk away from it. Thats on him. If anything the grievance should be allowed for nix…he had a deal in place a verbal agreement…you could argue that after posted on twitter and by 90% of media network it became written agreement. He passed his physical and still they renegled the deal only to not lose the draft picks.unfortunately nothing will happen to the astros because they depend on being the worst team year after year. You take away two first rounders and they might be forced to fold the francise

  12. cyberboo 12 months ago

    The Astros are going to win the grievance, since both players aren’t in the union, both aren’t signed to a professional contract, and it was Aiken that turned down the 5 million signing bonus, not the Astros. Signing Nix would have cost the team their next two first rounders and that is what is unacceptable, regardless what the union thinks. The Astros were willing to take a 5 million risk that Aiken might pitch for them, but there are no guarantees involved that he doesn’t blow out his arm and never plays again, since both top doctors agreed on his prognosis. Fans can complain all they want, but Houston remained within the rules of the CBA agreement. No crime, no foul and it is just spoiled kids wanting to benefit yet again through their own actions. NO one in the Astros organization forced Aiken to turn down the bonus, even when he knew that his actions would affect Nix and Marshall. If i were those players, Aiken would be the one guy that I would want to knock off the mound now through every at bat against him and fire up their teammates to make him drop to the tenth round in failure for selfishness. He isn’t a team player and his actions proved it.

    • disgruntledreader 12 months ago

      If the Astros and Nix had agreed to a contract, it’s not his concern that their inept handling of the Aiken situation would have cost the organization two future draft picks.

      If there was an agreed contract in place with Nix which didn’t become binding because the Astros held it to submit to league offices, I’d be surprised if an arbitrator took more than a few minutes to rule against them. Regardless of what an internet commenter thinks.

      • tmengd 12 months ago

        except one important fact. Close represents both players so he would of assumed and known the Nix situation. Would of known the Astros would not sign him until Aiken was official and so forth. I am sure that will come up.

        • disgruntledreader 12 months ago

          That set of facts would in no way preclude the MLBPA from having a grievance against the Astros.

    • DickieThong 12 months ago

      They dropped the original offer from $6.5MM to $3.1MM. They only offered the $5MM with five minutes left to go and negotiations had already broken down.

    • sunshipballoons 12 months ago

      I’m not sure if Houston violated the CBA or not, but the CBA definitely allows the union to bring a grievance in this situation.

  13. Karkat 12 months ago

    The MLBPA doesn’t represent any of these people, though…

    • Budyzer 12 months ago

      Yes the mlbpa does represent drafted players

      • Karkat 12 months ago

        No, they do not. It’s right on their own website, even:

        “The MLBPA is the collective bargaining representative for all current Major League Baseball players.”

      • Benjamin Chase 12 months ago

        They don’t even represent minor league ballplayers until they reach the majors, That’s been an oft misunderstood part of this issue. Other sports have drafted players as part of their CBAs, but not MLB.

        • Karkat 12 months ago

          For CBA purposes they apparently additionally represent any player on a 40-man roster (+DL), but that still won’t include draftees.

          • Benjamin Chase 12 months ago

            Well, I guess I place “reach the majors” as being part of the 40-man as they are on a major league roster at that point.

          • Karkat 12 months ago

            Only for CBA stuff apparently. When it comes to representation and player suspension grievances, etc it’s just 25-man. I wasn’t trying to ‘correct” you or anything, I just learned that and thought it was interesting!

    • The draft rules are part of the CBA, negotiated by the MLBPA, which is why they are responsible for doing the grievance.

    • The draft rules are part of the CBA, negotiated by the MLBPA, which is why they are responsible for doing the grievance.

    • tmengd 12 months ago

      The grievance can only be about the process in which the Astros did things, not about the specific players. If they were to win the the players would have a stronger case themselves, if not then who knows.

    • sunshipballoons 12 months ago

      Irrelevant. The CBA allows the union to bring a grievance alleging almost any violation of the rules (with certain exceptions that clearly don’t apply here). There is no requirement that a represented player be harmed.

  14. Budyzer 12 months ago

    Many many pitchers have abnormalities in their arms and specifically on the ucl and it’s widely known in MLB. What the Astros have done may be within the rules but the optics of it are terrible. Nix had nothing to do with Aiken and is being penalized through no fault of his own. The Astros on the other hand were trying to use a small abnormality to chop Aikens bonus so they could pay nix who they had already agreed to a deal with. That’s just a bonehead move they should of signed Aiken first then dealt with Nix. R.A. Dickey doesn’t even have a ucl. And some guys pitch their whole careers with partial tears or a ligament that’s smaller then it should be like Aiken has. It’s just terrible optics and is another black eye for Houston but I don’t know that it was outside the rules or that they will lose a grievance. And yes all future members of the union are represented by the union in disputes like this.

    • Budyzer 12 months ago

      In certain circumstances the union represents players in events like this I should of said

    • Pike 12 months ago

      And what happened with Dickey when he was selected 18th in the first round and the UCL issue was discovered in the medicals? He got a reduced signing bonus. Where was the outrage when the Rangers lowered his?

      • DickieThong 12 months ago

        He didn’t have an issue with his UCL because didn’t have one!

        • Pike 12 months ago

          To clarify for the thong man, Both players had concerns with their medicals (one for smaller UCL, another for no UCL). Both players got reduced bonus offers. HOU is villified for it, TEX was not.

      • Eric Cramer 12 months ago

        His future mother in law almost ripped Nolan Ryan’s head off. Don’t mess with her.

    • tmengd 12 months ago

      well none of us really knows Aikens situation either. there are talks
      that he had such a small one or a severed one that Tommy John might not
      even work. Baseball America even pointed out that It is possible that in some cases there is also loose bone cartridge and if that is the case then a TJ would not hold. This kid is 17 so if it is the worse case scenario with no guarantees if a surgery would even work then the Astros would have taken a huge risk.

      • madskills 12 months ago

        And the reason they couldn’t sign Nix is because they would have been over the cap and lose 2 number 1 draft picks.

  15. Brian Allen 12 months ago

    I guess the MLBPA is also going to ignore the parts where Casey Close seemed to be acting as an agent for Aiken and Nix, and not an adviser. Last I checked, that would cost both players their eligibility in the NCAA.

    • Pike 12 months ago

      not denying it happened, but what is the difference between the two. What consitutes an agent vs an advisor?

      • Mike1L 12 months ago

        When players are signed by teams for what the parties are willing to pay and accept, they are called “advisors.” When a team is unhappy that a player didn’t sign a reduced offer, they are suddenly “agents.”

        • Brian Allen 12 months ago

          What if a team negotiates a contract with someone who is payed for a living to negotiate contracts of major leaguers, on behalf of a minor? Luhnow was quoted a handful of times for saying he was in contact with Casey Close about contract figures. In other words, Close was negotiating Aiken’s deal. For reference, Casey Close represents Clayton Kershaw.

          An adviser would be someone who is not paid as a major sports agent and is not gaining any monetary value upon completion of said contract, An adviser would be more like Aiken’s father.

      • madskills 12 months ago

        Adviser can’t negotiate with the team, only advise the player and parent. An agent can have contact with the team as a representative of the player and be payed as the agent.

        • Pike 12 months ago

          interesting. So all HOU needs to prove it is one email from Close showing something resembling negotiation (which i’m sure happened) and Aiken and Nix could be in trouble from the NCAA. Wow!

    • DickieThong 12 months ago

      What does the NCAA have to do with any of this? It’s an entirely separate issue.

      • Brian Allen 12 months ago

        It’s definitely a linked issue. For the same reason physicals are an issue. And it would appear, that AIken and Nix might only be able to go the JuCo route or sit a year.

        • ian 12 months ago

          That’s not really an answer. “How’s that an issue?” “Because it is”.

          • Brian Allen 12 months ago

            the MLBPA should be investigating whether Aiken and Nix violated any rules as well. In this case, they would have violated NCAA rules, which can greatly impact the eligibility for the draft. They can either go to UCLA for a minimum of 3 years (if Close is ruled as an adviser) or go to JuCo or sit out a year and re-enter the draft (if Close is ruled as an Agent).

            I would think those scenarios can impact the players quite a bit. Nix could easily benefit if he has a good college career and go even earlier than he went in the draft. Aiken can do the same, or more likely, he could fall and make substantially less money. Because, you know, it’s hard to beat going 1-1.

      • Brian Allen 12 months ago

        It’s definitely a linked issue. For the same reason physicals are an issue. And it would appear, that AIken and Nix might only be able to go the JuCo route or sit a year.

  16. Les 12 months ago

    I for one hope that they take the opportunity to bring the NCAA in now. Those kids forfeited their eligibility by having their agent negotiate for them.

    • Jeff_Todd_MLBTR 12 months ago

      You want high school kids to lose the ability to play college baseball and earn a scholarship because they (potentially) had a legal representative negotiate a critical life decision in a highly specialize employment arena? Why?

      • Derpy 12 months ago

        NCAA needs to be taken down. That rule cannot possibly be allowed, it shouldn’t even be legal. Forfeiting legal representation in order to attend college? Really? What next, if you get sick you cannot see a doctor?

      • Les 12 months ago

        Because rules are rules, everyone wants to pile on the Astros because they stuck to their convictions, while continuing to follow the rules, by not signing an injury risk without an insurance policy, fine. Grievance filed, we will see if everything is above board, it is only fair they undergo the same scrutiny. They are not kids, once the “advisor” began negotiating they became professional athletes with an agent. Do not expect me to feel bad for a kid that broke the rules because he got mad. Nix I will admit probably did nothing wrong so he should have nothing to fear, I believe his eligibility will still be in tact. I want what is fair, they are the rules for everyone, not everyone except the number 1 pick.

        • Jeff_Todd_MLBTR 12 months ago

          “Rules are rules” is just not a good argument. The very question is whether the rule are fair (or, perhaps more precisely, just). They are not. This was true last year with Ben Wetzler and remains true with regard to Aiken, Nix, or the 37th round pick of Team X.

          And yes, they are kids. Were you equipped to make those kinds of decisions at age 18? What about the kids who don’t have involved, responsible, or savvy parents?

          Those sacred rules, by the way, are not divinely inspired or even enacted by Congress. They have been put in place by an organization with no accountability to the population at large and no reason (other than PR) to put the “student-athletes'” interest first.

          • tigersfan33 12 months ago

            Aiken isn’t even 18 yet.

          • Les 12 months ago

            I could say the exact same thing about the rules of any amateur or professional sport. It doesn’t make it ok to violate said rules. I think you will agree, that it is hard to live by the rules sometimes. That is why we have consequences, but millions of other student athletes can and did abide by them. They don’t get an award for following the rules. I think UCLA would rather they be beyond reproach before the season as well. Players have been stripped of awards for such things, and schools of national titles, but the kid that broke the rules, still made millions. And these student athletes are treated like gods on their campus. They have separate dorms, nutritionists, meal plans, and free educations, all paid for by the school loosely, and I mean loosely, following the spirit of NCAA regulations to maintain “amateur” eligibility. You don’t like the system, then change it, but until then, yes this should be at the very least investigated for all of the kids that followed the letter of the rules.

          • Mike1L 12 months ago

            The practical implications of your position is that the NCAA and MLB could collude together to forbid any outside advice to the player at the risk of forfeiting his eligibility. That would be enormously valuable to MLB, and I would imagine the NCAA would require substantial annual payments in return for that. The 18 year old would be left to negotiate on his own.

          • baseball1010 12 months ago

            Jeff I think you should add that there are States that have told the NCAA they cannot (in that state) cannot deny representation to the “student athlete.” Court ruling.

        • Jeff_Todd_MLBTR 12 months ago

          My original response appears to have been caught in moderation.

          Bottom line: “rules are rules”? The whole question involves whether the rules — set in place not by some elected body but by an organization with its own interests in mind — are just.

          They are not: they are poorly conceived (no beneficial purpose and designed to serve the PR interests of the NCAA) and universally ignored (making random enforcement all the more absurd). I don’t care if it is Aiken or some guy nobody has ever heard of.

  17. DempseyK 12 months ago

    Although they didnt officially break the rules, it was still a pretty sleazy way of doing business. Ive lost a great deal of respect for this organization.

  18. 4thINFSgt 12 months ago

    The DBacks did this to their top choice a few years ago and they got away with it.

  19. Specifically, what the Astros did to Nix was unacceptable

  20. Mike1L 12 months ago

    I wanted to make a point about the “advisor vs. agent” issue. The only reason this distinction exists is because of the relationship between MLB and the NCAA. The NCAA wants to maintain the veneer of amateur sports, which I think pretty much all of us would agree is window dressing, given the immense economic benefits that are derived from big-time college athletics. This distinction is ignored all of the time, quietly, because both sides understand that when multi-million dollar contracts are being negotiated, pitting a sophisticated business organization against a kid and perhaps his parents is grossly unfair. I think pretty much any parent who has a child 18-22 (I have two) would understand that these are still kids, and though they might be extraordinarily talented, they are in no way competent to represent themselves. The answer has to lie in a re-working of the college eligibility rules.

  21. madskills 12 months ago

    Aren’t these kids still amateurs? So how can a union,represent these kids as they don’t have status? Doesn’t this make them professionals and then they can’t play for UCLA… And wasn’t it their parents who made the decision on these kids or was it the “adviser”, who is not allowed to represent them. And who says this 17 year old kid is worth more then $5 million?

  22. lwayne 12 months ago

    Hopefully there can be a solution where both this poorly run team and the MLBPA can lose big time. No winners involved here.

  23. JonDoble 12 months ago

    I’m still curious why this is an issue at all. The only mistake the Astros made was assuming that Aiken would pass his physical.

    Aiken and Nix share an agent — er, I mean “family advisor.” I also didn’t see him or the MLBPA complaining about savings from signing one draftee being used to sign another draftee when they were going to benefit from it. Players like Nix asking above slot to sign are the real problem here when you’re working with a draft bonus cap. It was also a massive failure on Close’s part to not advise Aiken client to sign. The odds are stacked against Aiken ever seeing a $5 million bonus offer again.

    Every team in baseball operates this way in regards to the draft bonus caps and has since they were agreed to, so the grievance should really be against every team. Except the draft structure and bonus pools were collectively bargained and agreed to. The only sin is that it became obvious when the Astros assumed Aiken would pass his physical.

  24. Guest 11 months ago

    o

  25. sunshipballoons 12 months ago

    If Aiken sits out the next year completely, then plays indy ball if he doesn’t sign, that’ll be like Harrington. Aiken will either go to UCLA and come out in 3 years, or play high-level jr college ball and come out any of the next three years, depending on where he gets drafted next year. (I’d love to see Houston draft him again, that would be hilarious.)

  26. Travis2014 12 months ago

    I heard the Astros aren’t allowed to draft him unless he, the player, approves them beforehand.

  27. sunshipballoons 12 months ago

    Seems quite plausible.

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