Monday, December 15, 2014
The Astros and unsigned pitching draftee Jacob Nix have quietly and confidentially come to a monetary settlement over the team’s decision not to follow through on an agreed-upon $1.5-million deal with Nix that was negotiated but never signed following last June’s first-year player draft.
Nix and the Astros by all accounts had the agreement, but in a very unusual case, the Astros decided they couldn’t sign the deal with Nix after they failed to sign No. 1 overall pick, lefthander Brady Aiken. Since the Astros failed to sign Aiken, they no longer had the slot money to sign Nix—a top righthanded high school pitcher out of the Long Beach, Calif. area. Under MLB’s rules, signing Nix after failing to sign Aiken to Aiken’s under-slot deal would have required the Astros to forfeit future top draft choices, so instead they chose simply to pass on the deal for Nix, a talented fifth-round selection accorded an unusually high bonus designed to get him to pass on a UCLA scholarship.
The financial settlement between the Astros and Nix, the amount of which isn’t known, was agreed to after the players union, on behalf of Nix and agent Casey Close, filed a grievance citing the unfairness of Nix losing his deal over something that allegedly came up in Aiken’s physical. The monetary payout helps the Astros avoid having to forfeit the picks, which was a possibility had an arbitrator ruled against them and ordered them to sogn Nix. It isn’t known whether he preferred to pitch for them, anyway, bu this point.
Posted: December 15, 2014 at 05:07 PM | 15 comment(s)
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
All they really need is a time machine.
Then John Maffei of the San Diego Union-Tribune followed up with his:
The July 18 deadline to sign draft picks has come and gone, with Aiken rejecting the Astros’ last-minute offer. But the team could still sign the No. 1 overall draft pick under a clause at Major League Baseball’s discretion.
The other 29 major league clubs have signed off on that clause, industry sources said. The Aikens, however, would insist on a sign-and-trade deal before agreeing to terms with Houston.
If it’s a sign-and-trade deal, then, well, this is even more unusual.
Anyhow, now, in a brief interview with ABC 10 in San Diego, MLB commissioner Bud Selig has all but confirmed that an Astros’ after-deadline signing of Aiken is still in play. Here’s the key excerpt:
10News asked him, “Can you confirm if (his offer) was able to go past the July 18 deadline?”
Selig replied, “We’re working on that right now. There are a lot of things in movement there so it would be inappropriate for me to comment, but I would say we are working towards a hopeful solution.”
Needless to say, this would be a big coup for the Astros, whose 2014 draft, absent an Aiken signing, looks fairly disastrous.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
When the Toronto Blue Jays opted to utilize their first round pick in the 2013 MLB Draft on Phil Bickford, it was a curious selection that turned out to be a mistake. Seen as a long-shot to sign due to his commitment to Cal State Fullerton, the Blue Jays were unable to sway the right-hander away from school and had to wait an additional year to receive a compensation pick.
If only Phil Bickford could have seen just one year into the future.
According to Kendall Rogers of Perfect Game USA, Bickford has opted not to return to school this fall and is likely to opt for joining an independent league team this spring. From there, he will re-enter the MLB Draft in June.
In his lone season at Cal State Fullerton, the 6’4″ 185 pound righty went 6-3 with a 2.13 ERA and a 8.76 K/9 ratio in 76 innings of work, according to the team’s website. ..
Friday, August 22, 2014
The Cuban guys do almost always have better names. “Rusney” is pretty good, although the “Castillo” is uninspiring. Stuff like “Erisbel Arruebarrena” and “Odrisamer Despaigne” is just incredible.
[Rusney] Castillo got just over nine times the largest bonus ever handed out in the draft, the $8 million Gerrit Cole received from the Pirates. That’s partially because the Red Sox are expecting Castillo to help the 2015 team, which makes this something of an apples/oranges comparison, but he’s getting the money mostly because the Red Sox could give it to him…
Just look at the pennywhistles and moon pies that Rusney Castillo can buy now, even though no one knows exactly how he compares to the 90 best outfielders around the league. The headline for this could just as easily be “Scott Boras makes an excellent point about the draft” or “Scott Boras, unlikely freedom fighter” or “Agreeing with Scott Boras and then taking a long, long shower,” because Boras mentions this same point every June. And Boras was the guy who found loopholes to make Travis Lee and Matt White free agents in 1996, eventually getting them contracts that, if they were draft bonuses, would still be the two largest draft bonuses in history today.
Repeat: Matt White and Travis Lee were paid more as free agents almost 20 years ago than any player in the draft has received as a bonus since.
This isn’t a call to action. This isn’t a post with suggestions on how to attack the CBA. This isn’t an editorial slamming MLB and the MLBPA for conspiring to allow this. It’s just a note directing your attention to the Red Sox, who paid an awful lot of money for a player who might not be good at all, and being positively giddy about their ability to do so. If Castillo is the next [Yasiel] Puig, we’ll spend the next decade saying, “What a bargain! What a bargain!”, even though he was paid exponentially more for his first deal than almost every other unknown-yet-fascinating talent is.
Reaching into your pocket for your wallet is much easier. But don’t forget that it’s a lot more expensive than paying the players who fall into a team’s lap every June. That’s not going to change, even as we have Castillo as proof that it probably should.
Friday, August 15, 2014
The Angels hooked a good one.
he leading 2006 Rays draft managed to produce three productive major leaguers: Evan Longoria (1st Round, 3rd pick, 38.5 career rWAR, 5.81 WAR/Season), Alex Cobb (4th Round, 3rd Pick, 7.1 career rWAR, 1.94 WAR/Season), and Desmond Jennings (10th Round, 3rd Pick, 11.7 rWAR, 3.02 WAR/Season). However, the 2009 Angels drafted Mike Trout, Tyler Skaggs, and Garrett Richards, so they may be on the way to passing the 2006 Rays. In addition, the Angels’s total includes Patrick Corban and Randal Grichuk, whom they traded away. However, since the point of this exercise is identifying the teams who are getting the best value, even if it gets traded away, this is a reasonable inclusion.
On the opposite end, the 1994 Phillies drafted four players who reached the majors, all of whom had negative WAR. The 1997 White Sox failed to sign 2nd Round pick Jeff Weaver (who would go on to have 15.5 career rWAR), had six total 1st Round and Supplement 1st Round Picks, and still wound out on -1.77 WAR/Season….
Accounting for this, we can calculate the WAR/Season above the expectation that a team got in their draft, which can be looked at as a measure of value. Not surprisingly this list has several teams picking near the bottom of the round who find a star (a la Mike Trout), or teams who find a star in the later rounds (Such as Paul Goldschmidt)...
Not surprisingly, the 2009 Angels draft class comes out on top. In fact, in future years this class may look even more impressive if Skaggs, Richards, Grichuk, and Corbin continue to develop.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
The Competitive Balance Lottery for the 2015 MLB Draft took place this afternoon. Twelve competitive balance picks are awarded, with the first six taking place after the first round’s conclusion and the next six taking place following conclusion of the second round. Here are the results, per MLB.com (Twitter links)...
Competitive Balance Round A
Competitive Balance Round B
As MLB.com’s Jim Callis explained earlier in the week, teams that have one of the 10 smallest markets or one of the 10 smallest revenue pools are eligible to receive a compensatory pick between the first and second rounds (Round A) or between the second and third rounds (Round B).
Its about time the Cardinals got some help to become more competitive.
Posted: July 23, 2014 at 03:20 PM | 26 comment(s)
competitive balance lottery
Friday, July 18, 2014
Aiken: “Not On My Way Here”
The signing deadline for players selected in this year’s Rule 4 draft came and went at 5PM Eastern. And the number one overall pick, Brady Aiken, did not sign with the Houston Astros, reports Jim Callis of MLB.com.
If you aren’t up to speed, the Astros selected Aiken with the first overall pick and the parties agreed to a $6.5 million bonus in early June. But following a physical on June 23, the Astros became concerned about something in his left elbow and subsequently offered Aiken $3,168,840. Aiken’s agent, Casey Close, lashed out at the Astros, saying there was nothing wrong with Aiken…
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…
The practical fallout for Aiken: he has to wait a year [if he goes to junior college or the independent leagues] or maybe three [if he goes to college] to cash in and when he does it’s unlikely that he’ll do as well as he was set to do this year. And many, depending on how much stock they put in the Astros’ word on Aiken’s health, may consider him damaged goods.
The practical fallout for the Astros, they will be without a top pick. This, a year after their 2013 top pick, Mark Appel, has struggled mightily. More significantly, may have their reputation among agents and future draft picks substantially damaged. Casey Close is not a bomb-thrower. That he was as angry with the team as he has been suggests some seriously toxic dealings between the parties.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
“We are extremely disappointed that Major League Baseball is allowing the Astros to conduct business in this manner with a complete disregard for the rules governing the draft and the 29 other clubs who have followed those same rules,” said Close, who serves as a family advisor to Aiken.
The standoff could lead the Astros to lose their reported $6.5 million agreement with Aiken and $1.5 million deal with their fifth-round pick, high-school right-hander Jacob Nix, who also is advised by Close.
At issue: Whether the Astros are using a medical concern to pressure Aiken into accepting a lower bonus so that they can sign Nix and their 21st-round pick, high-school left-hander Mac Marshall.
Posted: July 15, 2014 at 12:28 PM | 119 comment(s)
Monday, July 07, 2014
Self-serve beer stations are up and running in Target Field, so Minnesota Twins fans and those who attend the Major League Baseball All-Star festivities next week can decide what they want and even how much they want of it.
. . .
Fans attending Twins games can go to a cash register, show their ID and preload a $10 or $20 card. For the All-Star Game, a $50 card will be available. Fans then scan the card at the machine and can choose between four beers and regulate how much they want to have poured. Bud and Bud Light will cost 38 cents per ounce, while Shock Top Lemon Shandy and Goose Island 312 Urban Pale Ale will cost 40 cents per ounce.
. . .
The machine allows a customer to use the card to pour up to 48 ounces of beer every 15 minutes.
Delaware North will also use the All-Star Game festivities to show off some new food items, including lobster corn dogs and a Hangover Burger, which features two hamburger patties with bacon, American cheese and a fried egg with mayo, ketchup and sriracha.
I for one welcome our new robot overlords.
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