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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Heyman: Pirates pick Appel might nix $3.8M offer, return to Stanford for 2013

Big Oil and/or Big Law conspire against a small market team. Deadline is this Friday, July 13, and five other first-round draft picks are yet to sign with MLB clubs.

Mark Appel, the star right-hander picked No. 8 overall in last month’s draft, is said to be leaning against signing with the Pittsburgh Pirates and instead returning to Stanford to graduate and go back into the draft next year.

Appel had been expected to go first in the draft but instead fell seven spots where the Pirates gambled they could sign him despite the limitations of their allotted pool money. The Pirates are said to be offering Appel about $3.8 million, which is the maximum they can offer without losing their No. 1 pick next year.

Appel seems likely now to pass on the Pirates’ offer, and hope to be picked higher next June. His father is a lawyer with Chevron, so he has the luxury to wait if he prefers.

Greg Franklin Posted: July 10, 2012 at 10:49 AM | 57 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: college, draft, pirates

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   1. Tripon Posted: July 10, 2012 at 11:36 AM (#4178341)
HMM. I WONDER WHAT HEYMAN SOURCE IS.
   2. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 10, 2012 at 11:36 AM (#4178343)
It could be anyone!


8. Pittsburgh Pirates - Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford - Advisor: Scott Boras
   3. Randy Jones Posted: July 10, 2012 at 11:43 AM (#4178355)
This is probably a good ploy by Boras. The Pirates are left with the choice of losing the 8th pick from this past draft or losing their number 1 next year, which is almost certainly going to be worse than 8th and they lose a year of development time. They should offer Appel more money.
   4. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: July 10, 2012 at 11:45 AM (#4178362)
Appel picked, but soured.
   5. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: July 10, 2012 at 11:47 AM (#4178364)
This is probably a good ploy by Boras. The Pirates are left with the choice of losing the 8th pick from this past draft or losing their number 1 next year, which is almost certainly going to be worse than 8th and they lose a year of development time. They should offer Appel more money.

They get a comp pick next year if they don't sign him.
   6. TomH Posted: July 10, 2012 at 11:53 AM (#4178382)
so the outcomes are
A. Sign Appel for, say, $4.5M, and lose your #1 next year
B. Don't sign Appel. They have their #1 next year and a comp pick (afer rd 1?).

Is two picks and 4.5M to spend with them worth an Appel?
   7. OCD SS Posted: July 10, 2012 at 11:53 AM (#4178383)
They should offer Appel more money.


Scott, is that you?

If the Pirates don't sign Appel they will have the # 9 pick in next year's draft + their regular first round pick. They only thing they're really losing is the year of development of time. The only way it makes sense to give up a pick is if they don't think they can get a comparable talent at # 9 next year, and given that this year's draft was seen as historically weak I'd lean towards the talent being there (especially with the high-upside guys the Bucs seem to target).

OTOH Appel is looking at going back to school, risking injury, and hoping he moves up enough to get more slot money. And he'll have less leverage as a college senior.
   8. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: July 10, 2012 at 11:53 AM (#4178384)
How likely is it that Appel will get more than $3.8M next year? Even if he's picked like 4th instead of 8th, he'll be a senior, right? Won't his choice at that point either be to sign or sit out a year and then go back into the draft? I guess he could go to Japan or something. I'm not seeing what leverage he really has.
   9. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: July 10, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4178387)
B. Don't sign Appel. They have their #1 next year and a comp pick (afer rd 1?).

The comp pick would be in the same spot. Or maybe 9th instead of 8th.
   10. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: July 10, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4178388)
Appel picked, but soured.


You work for the Post?
   11. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: July 10, 2012 at 11:55 AM (#4178389)
They get a comp pick next year if they don't sign him.


At the end of the round or the number 9 pick?
   12. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: July 10, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4178394)
They get a comp pick next year if they don't sign him.


so its either sign Appel and lose next year's #1 (guessing it'll end up around #15)

or lose Appel, pick #9 and around #15 next year....


I have no idea
   13. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 10, 2012 at 11:57 AM (#4178397)
This is probably a good ploy by Boras. The Pirates are left with the choice of losing the 8th pick from this past draft or losing their number 1 next year, which is almost certainly going to be worse than 8th and they lose a year of development time. They should offer Appel more money.


They can't, unless they want to be subject to the 75% tax. And I believe if they offer more than $4.5 mill, they lose their 2013 first round pick.
   14. Randy Jones Posted: July 10, 2012 at 12:00 PM (#4178404)
They can't, unless they want to be subject to the 75% tax. And I believe if they offer more than $4.5 mill, they lose their 2013 first round pick.


If they can offer more without losing their #1 next year, they certainly should, even with the tax.
   15. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 10, 2012 at 12:00 PM (#4178405)
This draft pick salary cap luxury tax thing is just what the sport needs. It's about time that these juggernaut teams that try to take shortcuts to success by handing out big bucks are forced to play on a level playing field.
   16. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: July 10, 2012 at 12:00 PM (#4178406)
They're offering him essentially the most they can without losing next year's first rounder. I looked at it last night and I think there could be small fluctuations in that number depending on what happens with the two other guys in the first ten rounds that they haven't signed. It's about $3.8m.

Appel takes it or leaves it, basically.

Put me down for 'take', and this is just bluster to see if anything crazy might happen before the deadline.
   17. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: July 10, 2012 at 12:06 PM (#4178419)
The comp pick would be in the same spot. Or maybe 9th instead of 8th.


Then clearly don't sign him. Wow. That's a pretty big incentive to go along with the disincentive of going over slot.
   18. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 10, 2012 at 12:11 PM (#4178429)
I'm going to borrow a quote from Sandy Alderson here: ""This is either a threat to be ignored or an offer to be accepted."

Appel isn't that great a prospect, he isn't worth that kind of money, and the Pirates could probably do better letting him walk, devoting their remaining pool money this year to someone like Buehler, and taking a comp pick in the top 10 of next year's draft.

I hope the report is accurate, and I wish Appel luck with the rest of his career.
   19. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 10, 2012 at 12:15 PM (#4178434)
With these new cap system in place, it really sucks you can't trade picks. The Pirates can't pay Appel what he wants, but maybe some other club could? And maybe the Pirates get a piece that can help this contend this year.

I don't know, maybe unlikely another team could offer more with their budget, but at least give the opportunity.
   20. Craig in MN Posted: July 10, 2012 at 12:17 PM (#4178435)
They're offering him essentially the most they can without losing next year's first rounder. I looked at it last night and I think there could be small fluctuations in that number depending on what happens with the two other guys in the first ten rounds that they haven't signed. It's about $3.8m.

Appel takes it or leaves it, basically.

Put me down for 'take', and this is just bluster to see if anything crazy might happen before the deadline.


The crazy thing would be that the Pirates think they got a #1 pick talent that dropped way down. Usually, a #1 pick in one year is worth more than the next year's number #9 and #15 picks, so it's worth it to break the rule. The Pirates need to know that this isn't a usual year, and they'll be fine.
   21. zonk Posted: July 10, 2012 at 12:19 PM (#4178437)
If they let him go --

Do they get 'appropriate' slot money for both first round picks next year?

I.e., does a team that gets a comp pick essentially get a larger budget in the next draft (i.e., basically the slot money for BOTH slots)?

If so - then it seems to me it's probably for the best to let Appel go.
   22. Hack Wilson Posted: July 10, 2012 at 12:19 PM (#4178440)
I don't get it. His father is a corporate lawyer, so it is in his blood to continue the family tradition and become a pirate.
   23. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 10, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4178449)

Do they get 'appropriate' slot money for both first round picks next year?


I believe so.

Its supposed to be a weaker draft next year, and Appel was pretty close to a consensus #1 this year, so I kinda agree with Craig. OTOH, I don't think Appel has much leverage here.
   24. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 10, 2012 at 12:41 PM (#4178479)
With these new cap system in place, it really sucks you can't trade picks.


If teams could trade picks, no first round pick would ever agree to sign with the Pirates.

The crazy thing would be that the Pirates think they got a #1 pick talent that dropped way down.


It's nice of Appel to try and save them from themselves.

I.e., does a team that gets a comp pick essentially get a larger budget in the next draft (i.e., basically the slot money for BOTH slots)?


Yes.

Its supposed to be a weaker draft next year...


Law said a week ago that it's weaker, but BA said last month that it'd be stronger, so who knows?

Personally, I think Appel's a bust waiting to happen, so even a guy with a lower book value from next year's draft would be a step up, IMO.
   25. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 10, 2012 at 12:43 PM (#4178484)
Appel was pretty close to a consensus #1 this year


Not really, no. BA had him at #4 in their Top 500. He was getting talked about as a probable #1 pick because he's from Houston and there were rumors that the Astros owner wanted them to go for an "immediate help" type, but that's not the same thing as him being the top talent.

If there was a #1 talent consensus around anyone, it was Buxton.
   26. The Keith Law Blog Blah Blah (battlekow) Posted: July 10, 2012 at 12:48 PM (#4178491)
They're offering him essentially the most they can without losing next year's first rounder. I looked at it last night and I think there could be small fluctuations in that number depending on what happens with the two other guys in the first ten rounds that they haven't signed. It's about $3.8m.

They can offer Appel $4,312,475 without losing their first-round pick, if they don't sign their 4th- and 8th-rounders and none of the 11+ guys go over $100K. Their budget is $6,563,500, and they've spent $2,579,200. They can spend 105% of their budget without losing a pick, so 6563500 * 1.05 - 2579200. Now, they would be taxed 75% on all the money over their budget, so it would really cost them $4,886,781.25 to sign Appel in that case.
   27. Tripon Posted: July 10, 2012 at 12:49 PM (#4178494)
Yeah, I remember Buxton being considered #1, due to his athleticism and potential to hit for power. It wasn't until close to the draft that people thought the Astros would pick Appel.
   28. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: July 10, 2012 at 12:58 PM (#4178511)
Appel was pretty close to a consensus #1 this year


looking at various lists and whatnot, I'd say that Appel was likely the plurality pick, either him or Buxton, neither was a clear #1...

The crazy thing would be that the Pirates think they got a #1 pick talent that dropped way down. Usually, a #1 pick in one year is worth more than the next year's number #9 and #15 picks, so it's worth it to break the rule


yes, since 1990, those taken 1st overall have accumulated 379.6 WAR
9th overall: 124.8
15th overall: 110.6

the problem is that while 9th and 15th picks are essentially fungible, 1st overall is NOT

If you do not believe that Appel was #1, or what not be #1 in atypical year- then breaking slot for him is a bad idea- if you think he would be a #1 most years, if you think he's the David Rice/Jered Weaver of this year's draft class- then breaking slot would be wise
   29. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 10, 2012 at 01:09 PM (#4178529)
Maybe not at the time of the draft, but in the months before the draft, I seem to remember reading Appel was #1. He had some mediocre performances near the end of the year that hurt his performance. I do think he would have been one of the weaker #1s though, not in the David Price-class.
   30. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: July 10, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4178541)
They can offer Appel $4,312,475 without losing their first-round pick, if they don't sign their 4th- and 8th-rounders and none of the 11+ guys go over $100K. Their budget is $6,563,500, and they've spent $2,579,200. They can spend 105% of their budget without losing a pick, so 6563500 * 1.05 - 2579200. Now, they would be taxed 75% on all the money over their budget, so it would really cost them $4,886,781.25 to sign Appel in that case.

No, if you don't sign players in your first ten rounds, you lose that slot money. Their pool would drop roughly $500K if they don't sign those players. The $3.8m available remains virtually unchanged. That's why teams drafted college seniors rounds 4-10 or so, that they could sign well below slot and apply the leftovers to other picks.
   31. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 10, 2012 at 01:17 PM (#4178543)
There were reports that Appel had rejected an offer of $6 million prior to the draft so Houston found someone who would agree to their price.

If so, it's hard to imagine Appel is going to see that kind of offer again.

If you're a MLB GM, do you shy away from Appel in 2013 because he already refused to sign once or do you consider him an easier sign than most other high picks because he will be a college senior?
   32. MM1f Posted: July 10, 2012 at 01:17 PM (#4178544)
Almost every "I'm gonna go back to school!" threat is just posturing.

Yeah, I remember Buxton being considered #1, due to his athleticism and potential to hit for power. It wasn't until close to the draft that people thought the Astros would pick Appel.


No. Buxton was long considered by many to be the #1 talent in the draft but the word all along was that the Astros wanted Appel since he was a college pitcher who would make a quicker impact in the big leagues. The Astros being linked to Appel at #1 wasn't a rumor that only developed as the draft approached, it was the word basically the whole year.

I do think he would have been one of the weaker #1s though, not in the David Price-class.


Absolutely. Nice pitcher, good dude with some stuff, but hardly someone you watch and go "Wow!"

Appel reminded me a lot of Luke Hochevar when Hochevar was at Tennessee. Both of them had all the ingredients you looked for in a top pick college pitcher but when you watched 'em pitch they didn't look dominating.
   33. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: July 10, 2012 at 01:18 PM (#4178547)
Appel isn't that great a prospect, he isn't worth that kind of money, and the Pirates could probably do better letting him walk, devoting their remaining pool money this year to someone like Buehler, and taking a comp pick in the top 10 of next year's draft.


I believe the pool is adjusted picks a team doesn't sign so that, for instance, a team cannot not sign a second round pick and give the money to somebody else.

Also, if teams were allowed to trade picks I am almost certain that MLB would set it up so that the pool money would follow the player and there would be no benefit. MLB has taken many steps to prevent gaming the system, though teams have come up with some strategy for it.
   34. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 10, 2012 at 01:23 PM (#4178557)
Maybe not at the time of the draft, but in the months before the draft, I seem to remember reading Appel was #1. He had some mediocre performances near the end of the year that hurt his performance.


Actually, the reverse was true. He started out very slow, and then redeemed himself down the stretch. He didn't get his K/9 over 9 until about two weeks before the draft, IIRC.

He did get blown up in his first postseason start. Maybe that's what you were thinking of?
   35. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 10, 2012 at 01:26 PM (#4178563)

He did get blown up in his first postseason start. Maybe that's what you were thinking of?


I guess it was people nitpicking his performance then. Most of the scouting reports I read were like "he was really really good, but not great like I expected, so he's no longer our #1."
   36. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 10, 2012 at 01:47 PM (#4178597)
FWIW, a K/9 under 9 is a really bad indicator for a top college starter. That's part of what made fellow Stanford man Greg Reynolds such a predictable bust.
   37. depletion Posted: July 10, 2012 at 01:49 PM (#4178602)
The Pirates should FedEx him a Matt Lineart poster and wait for him to respond. If he doesn't call, f* him.
   38. Tripon Posted: July 10, 2012 at 03:16 PM (#4178761)
Luke Horcheaver would be a more applicable poster. It all supposedly 'worked out' for Horcheaver not signing and that guy sucks.
   39. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 10, 2012 at 03:30 PM (#4178789)
The Pirates have played this perfectly. They have signed everyone else they want to sign and left themselves in a spot where they can legitimately say to Appel, "Here is the most money we can possibly offer you. We are offering it to you. There is nothing else to discuss here. Call us back before the 14th if you want to take it; otherwise, good luck at Stanford next year."

Sounds like Appel isn't going to sign, but the Pirates have done well the past few years taking guys thought to be tough signs and signing them. So we'll wait and see.
   40. jacjacatk Posted: July 10, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4178791)
OTOH Appel is looking at going back to school, risking injury, and hoping he moves up enough to get more slot money. And he'll have less leverage as a college senior.


This is what I don't understand. I mean, unless Appel really just doesn't want to be a Pirate and it's worth it to leave money on the table and end up in another organization next year, I don't understand what kind of leverage he thinks he has. Teams have a huge incentive to not substantially exceed slot, and significant incentive to under-draft college seniors and tell them to take it or leave it, and that doesn't appear likely to change soon. Unless Boras is planning on busting the slot system and has convinced Appel (and/or other clients) he can do it, this doesn't make any sense as more than posturing.
   41. Tripon Posted: July 10, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4178808)
Boras had other clients in the draft, Dodgers pick Corey Seager for one. He went over slot but didn't 'break' the bank.
   42. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 10, 2012 at 05:38 PM (#4178911)
Didn't Appel turn down $6 million from the Astros, causing them to pick Correa instead? I remember reading that somewhere, but can't remember if it was a semi-legit source or just Mouth of Boras. If it's true it's a pretty strong indicator Appel has for a while been leaning toward going back to college. Which could explain his slide down the board.
   43. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 10, 2012 at 05:41 PM (#4178914)
The Pirates have played this perfectly.


Well, they screwed up when they took him, rather than one of the better players who wanted less money, but since then I can't complain much.
   44. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 10, 2012 at 05:41 PM (#4178915)
Didn't Appel turn down $6 million from the Astros, causing them to pick Correa instead?


Stated by one semi-legitimate source, and then refuted by the team the next day. Were they telling the truth? Who knows?
   45. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 10, 2012 at 05:42 PM (#4178916)
unless Appel really just doesn't want to be a Pirate


I can sympathize - I certainly don't want him to be a Pirate, either.
   46. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 10, 2012 at 05:48 PM (#4178921)
Stop being coy, Vlad. Tell us how you really feel about Appel.

For what it's worth I've never cared a lot for him as a prospect. Feels like if things break right for him he might have A.J. Burnett's career.
   47. bfan Posted: July 10, 2012 at 05:57 PM (#4178931)
If teams could trade picks, no first round pick would ever agree to sign with the Pirates.


Picking your MLB team based on the organization's prior performance sure worked out well for Todd Van Poppel (and the Braves thank-him very, very much).
   48. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 10, 2012 at 06:02 PM (#4178933)
For what it's worth I've never cared a lot for him as a prospect. Feels like if things break right for him he might have A.J. Burnett's career.

That would be a lot better than Luke Hochevar's career.
   49. Mark S. is bored Posted: July 10, 2012 at 06:26 PM (#4178960)
From BA:

Boras Corp. advisees aren't afraid to roll the dice by not signing. Only 12 first-round or sandwich picks declined to turn pro in the last 10 drafts, and four of them were Boras guys: Luke Hochevar, Gerrit Cole, LeVon Washington and James Paxton. All four got more money than they would have made in their first draft, even though Cole was the only one who performed up to his previous standard. Appel could try to follow that same path, either by returning to Stanford for his senior year or heading to independent ball.
   50. The Keith Law Blog Blah Blah (battlekow) Posted: July 10, 2012 at 06:45 PM (#4178974)
No, if you don't sign players in your first ten rounds, you lose that slot money. Their pool would drop roughly $500K if they don't sign those players. The $3.8m available remains virtually unchanged. That's why teams drafted college seniors rounds 4-10 or so, that they could sign well below slot and apply the leftovers to other picks.

Yeah, that's true, thanks.
   51. Squash Posted: July 10, 2012 at 06:49 PM (#4178976)
Picking your MLB team based on the organization's prior performance sure worked out well for Todd Van Poppel (and the Braves thank-him very, very much).

Ouch. I remember how stoked I was when the A's got Van Poppel.

If Appel really turned down $6 million from the Astros he's nuts. For that reason I find it hard to believe he would do so, but stranger things have happened.
   52. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: July 10, 2012 at 06:56 PM (#4178986)
It all supposedly 'worked out' for Horcheaver not signing


it did, more to the point it did because Hochevar DOES suck-

delaying Arb/FA eligibility by a year to get an extra mil or two in signing bonus money is a bad move if you turn out to be really good, but a good move if you suck, and a great move if you totally bust and that signing bonus ends up being the only big payday you ever see

of course the worst possible move is turning down the money, and then losing your fastball before the next draft
   53. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: July 10, 2012 at 06:58 PM (#4178991)
For what it's worth I've never cared a lot for him as a prospect. Feels like if things break right for him he might have A.J. Burnett's career.


When his current contract ends, Burnett will have made $87 million in his career. I'm sure Appel would take that.
   54. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 10, 2012 at 06:59 PM (#4178992)
If Appel really turned down $6 million from the Astros he's nuts. For that reason I find it hard to believe he would do so, but stranger things have happened.


That or his mind is made up he wants to go back to Stanford next year, and will do so unless he gets an offer that bowls him over like $8 million or whatever. Probably more likely this is standard Boras posturing, but that could be the case.
   55. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: July 10, 2012 at 07:10 PM (#4179002)
When his current contract ends, Burnett will have made $87 million in his career. I'm sure Appel would take that.


yes, but if he's Burnett, delaying his signing by a year, and consequently delaying his MLB career by a year- to get an extra mil or two now, is a bad idea-

if he's Hochevar, delaying his signing by a year, and consequently delaying his MLB career by a year- to get an extra mil or two now, is a good idea-

   56. Walt Davis Posted: July 10, 2012 at 11:58 PM (#4179805)
#49 -- of course those were in the old system. Now the only way he can move up is to be drafted in a higher slot (adjusted for whatever inflation is applied to those slot numbers). Hochevar went from #40 to #1 and Cole from #28 to #1 but Washington went from late 1st to early 2nd and Paxton went from 1st round to 4th (did he really get more money?). If Appel drops, he makes less money. If he maintains he probably makes less money (less leverage). If he moves up a bit, he probably makes the same money. Sure looks like he should sign if it's about money.
   57. MM1f Posted: July 11, 2012 at 01:32 AM (#4179837)

#49 -- of course those were in the old system. Now the only way he can move up is to be drafted in a higher slot (adjusted for whatever inflation is applied to those slot numbers).

If Appel drops, he makes less money.


False. If this was true then how could a Matt Smoral get 2 million dollars in the third round?

MLB hasn't institued hard slots. You can still get drafted later and still get a team to pay you whatever number you want, the team just has to make sure to save money with their other picks to have draft cap room left.


Washington went from late 1st to early 2nd


Washinton was picked #30 overall in 2009. That spot carried a 1.08 million dollar slot recommendation. In 2010 Washington signed for 1.2 million, despite a middling year in JUCO ball.

Paxton went from 1st round to 4th (did he really get more money?).


Yes, Paxton (somehow) really did get more money. He got 954k, which was equal to the slot recommendation (back then) for #32 overall, last pick of the real 1st round. In 2009 he went #37 overall, a supplemental round pick, which had an 873k slot recommendation.

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