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An awful lot of reporters seem to be assuming that the Astros were in the wrong here
The grievance talk seems overblown. Until pen hits paper, both sides can change their mind. It's like the Phillies and Ben Wetzler last year, but in reverse.
since [the Astros’] offer to Aiken was at least 40% of the his slot value (it was exactly that, actually) they will be given the number two overall pick in next year’s draft as compensation in addition to whatever pick they have…
An awful lot of reporters seem to be assuming that the Astros were in the wrong here.
40% of slot to "keep" the pick in the next year's draft? That's absurdly low.
What, you don't think they ruined their draft this year giving up their most valuable two picks just to dick w/Aiken?
The small-minded industry/media people that slammed HOU purely for doing things differently now have a legitimate disaster to point to.
[Houston] clearly seem like an organization built with rule lawyers and not real human beings trying to min/max everything possible.
The MLBPA, the players and their advisers are exploring all legal options.
It didn't work out very well for them, so they must have done something wrong. Or maybe Crane likes having all the money in his pocket and it went exactly as planned.
Yeah, I don't know what the Astros would have to gain in the alleged conspiracy. If you don't want to pay your pick a big bonus, what you do is draft a less talented guy whom you know will take less.
Can I make the obvious observation and say the NCAA is scum?
Was Aiken picked first in part because he was willing to sign below slot? Houston would certainly be pissed if he agreed to do that before the draft and changed his mind when it came contract time
I will say that if the Astros went up to $5 M then Aiken probably should have taken it -- sucky/unfair/whatever or not. He's obviously never going to be higher than #1 overall and the $1.5 M difference from the original offer is probably not worth the risk of not getting $5 M next year. I'm not entirely sure he shouldn't have taken the $3+ M offer so $5 M seems about as good as he can do.
What is slot for the top 5 spots? Is there a place listing it?
As Walt suggested, it is very unlikely that Aiken will get that kind of offer if he's forced to re-enter the draft pool (either next season or three years from now). The #3 pick is the last slot that a $5M bonus fits into, though the #4 should be close by the time Aiken would be a draft-eligible junior. He'd have to enter the next draft with an equal standing as a prospect and hope that at least one of the top-drafting teams has no concern about whatever the Astros saw on his MRI. Either one of these individually seems unlikely, though not outlandish. Both together would be more of a stretch.
At age 17, there isn't much difference between $6.5 million and $5 million, so there must be substantial acrimony on the part of Aiken against the Astros.
Couldn't both sides have come up with something creative? Say, we'll give you the full $6.5 million if you stay healthy for 6 years. Not necessarily make the majors but just not have your elbow blow up as a result of this weird UCL.
Late to the party, a pitcher with a bum elbow and no leverage turned down $5 million? Well then.
If the Astros went up to $5M, the MRI can't have been that bad.
How soon until a team effectively just delays its top draft pick a year by offering only 40% of slot to a guy that won't take it?
This is definitely true. A competitive market doesn't require that everyone behave logically, just that the "illogic" basically cancels each other out. i.e. there is no systematic bias to their illogical decisions.
They shouldn't draft a high school pitcher with the #1 pick if they aren't willing to bear the risks of drafting a high school pitcher.
All pitchers arms, shoulders, what have you get compromised at some point. The Astros should know this and they should know that an 18 year old pitcher carries a lot of risk with him.
What is the difference between a 18 year old pitcher that needs TJ surgery next week and one that will require it when he is 21?
Presumably the player's party can do their own MRI and would be willing to take the money and run if there actually was something seriously wrong with his arm.
There are different levels of risk, and after looking at Aiken's MRI, the Astros decided that the level of risk he posed (one greater than that of the average high school pitcher) was too high for them at the price he wanted - as is their right
And what their decision be correct from a value/economics perspective, from a fans perspective it just totally sucks and they either don't get that or care.
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