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It’s unclear how the grievance might impact Marshall, since it does not appear his school eligibility would be in question. As Fitt reported, if the NCAA determines that Aiken and Nix did in fact agree to terms (as many media reports say they have), they would be ineligible even though the Astros backed out of the deals, according to an NCAA official.
The Astros taking Nix was always contingent on Aiken going under slot, which obviously implies that they'd sign Aiken and have his money in their pool. No Aiken, no Nix. Pretty cut and dry and pretty much how the system is designed. This is CBA material, not an actual grievance.
I've been one of the earliest and most consistent critics of the Astros' front office, but Nix's alleged victimhood in this has been massively overblown. He demanded a bonus roughly four to five times that of his R5 slot and had the same agent as Aiken. There's no way in hell all parties didn't understand that there was no contract with Nix unless Aiken signed first. The union — which insisted on this system in the first place — is just blowing smoke.
Whether they followed the rules or not, it feels like they tried to bend the spirit and intent of the rules.
The spirit and intent of the rules seems to be to screw the players being signed, so they pretty much followed them, albeit in a different way than the intended way.
I've always felt that the idea of rules having "spirits" is silly: something is either a rule, or it ain't. Don't want people countermanding your rules by thinking up workarounds? Write better rules.
The reason it leaves a bad taste in everyone's mouth is because Aiken "failed" his physical on something that isn't even an injury. People are uncomfortable with the idea of being judged on things like DNA profiles, and this is only one step removed from that. If they'd found out that his UCL had snapped, no one would be complaining, but he's actually perfectly healthy.
But the Astros negotiated a deal with Nix, and Aiken that would have met those demands, then rewrote the deal with Aiken that got refused and threw the entire thing out of whack.
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