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Astros fail to sign #1 overall pick


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Two days after the draft, Aiken agreed to terms with the Astros on a $6.5 million bonus, then flew to Houston on June 23 for a physical and to finalize the deal. But the exam's results left the Astros concerned about the ligament in Aiken's left elbow.



Actually responsible for the Astros.  I mean, that's what physicals are for right?

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the players should be subject to a physical and full medical exam prior to entering the draft.  It should be a stipulation. 


If major league baseball doesn't allow it, then they are as much to blame as the Astros.  How can you blame the team for not wanting to pay full price for damaged goods.  There should be a regional medical facility assigned to a player entering the draft.  Yes, there would be issues with the player still playing after the draft. 


The current process puts the player and the team at huge risk. 

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The issue is that he can still pitch now and there isn't much evidence that this condition makes one any more likely to be injured. And really we have no idea if he even has it. Second even if he did need Tommy John surgery the recovery rate from that is pretty tremendous. So you lose him for a year, he would still be worth more than Aroldis Chapman was coming from Cuba and he signed a deal worth twice what Aiken was eligible to receive.

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The Astros originally tried to cut his bonus to 40% (the minimum required so that they would still get a comp pick if he didn't sign). They then signed Nix, their 5th round pick, to a 1.5 million deal - but it was contingent on Aiken signing for well below slot (without signing Aiken the max they could give him was 1.2). They had another late/tough sign pick, Marshall, who they were probably trying to sign with money saved on cutting Aiken's bonus down so far as well. 


They failed to sign all 3. Add in taking Appel over Bryant last year and they might have really screwed up two years in a row.


Lots of contention on what the physical showed. Aiken's folks say he just has a naturally small UCL and if they were really all that worried about it jumping up to 5 million at the last minute certainly makes it look like they were trying to play hardball and stretch their bonus pool money out. At a minimum the Nix kid probably got the rawest deal.

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