Monday, November 29, 2010

Just how close the Astros were to drafting Jeter

Baseball America has a good read today, giving a little insight into why the Astros didn't draft Jeter with the #1 overall pick in 1992 - going instead with Phil Nevin:

In his book "The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty," Buster Olney details how Hall of Fame pitcher Hal Newhouser, the Astros' area scout responsible for covering Jeter as Kalamazoo (Mich.) Central High, told Houston brass that Jeter was a special player and person. There were rumors Jeter wanted a seven-figure bonus to pass up a Michigan scholarship, however, and Houston was worried about signability as much as ability.

The Astros were in the process of being sold, and they had declined to sign No. 6 overall choice John Burke when he held out for $500,000 the year before. Houston was determined to work out bonus parameters with 1992's top pick before the draft, and did exactly that, negotiating a $700,000 deal with Nevin...

...As for Jeter, he signed for the same $700,000 that the Astros gave Nevin. Disgusted that his team disregarded his judgment, Newhouser quit his job with Houston.

Anyone else see the irony in previous ownership not wanting to spend money on the draft?