Monday, July 7, 2014

Brady Aiken reportedly has an elbow issue

Today in news that we were hoping never to hear, Jon Heyman says that 2014 1-1 Brady Aiken has "an issue with his elbow ligament." The Astros had reportedly been close to finalizing a $6.5 million deal when Aiken arrived in Houston for physicals two weeks ago, but Heyman says that the Astros have revised that offer down to $5 million now.

In an effort to avert panic, it's worth noting that if a draft pick fails his physical, the drafting team can offer him as little as 40% of slot value - in Aiken's case, 40% of slot would be $3,168,840. So if Heyman's sources are accurate and the Astros are still offering $5 million, that would seem to indicate that the reported elbow issue is not as serious as it could be.

It is also worth noting that prior to the draft, ALL of the draft experts had Aiken at the top of their respective draft boards, which would not have been true if there were any questions about his health. Since the MLB Draft process does not include pre-draft physicals, this issue would have caught any team picking Aiken by surprise; it could have just as easily happened with Stephen Strasburg, David Price, or any other draft pick of your choice. But that doesn't mean the news sucks any less for the Astros.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't want to panic too early, but isn't this signing necessary to offset the Nix overslot bonus? It would really suck to lose Aiken and future picks. Am I mistaken?

Adam Bishea

wwschields said...

If Aiken doesn't sign we would get the #2 pick automatically next year, in addition to probably another top 3 pick (regular pick) with the way things are going. He wasn't any sooner than a 2018 call up anyways. The $1.5M that went to Nix, to my understanding, was already from savings from other picks and under the assumption that Aiken was already locked up for $6.5M. Not sure what this means for Mac Marshall...maybe they make another push to sign him?

Imasalmon said...

I'll wait to hear it from someone other than Heyman.

The General said...

If Aiken signs for 5 Million, can we immediately turn around and offer the 1.5 million we saved to Mac Marshall?

Anonymous said...

The Nix signing was more than one million over slot. The other first round picks (not including Aiken) only saved us about 100,000, and we used that on Tanielu. I think we need the Aiken slot money to not be penalized for Nix.

Adam

Anonymous said...

That would be the best case scenario in a bad situation

Adam

wwschields said...

Sorry, after re-reading I was pretty confusing with earlier comment. I meant that Aiken's previously agreed upon $6.5M was already about $1.5M under slot, allowing for Nix to sign. The new figure of $5M would have no bearing in that regard and could allow the extra $1.5M to hypothetically go after Marshall. Clear as mud?

Anonymous said...

This explains why Aiken was only playing spring ball in high school. Looks a lot like fraud.

wwschields said...

I don't think that's the case with this kid. He's practically been on a pitch count since he was 12. Nothing in pre-draft analysis indicated anything was wrong...and we still don't know for sure someting IS wrong. When you are investing $6.5M in a 17 year old you are no doubt careful. It is very doubtful that there's any kind of fraud or hoodwinking going on here.

Cockroach said...

I am no draft expert, but as I understand it, then yes, saving an extra $1.5 million on Aiken (if he signs for $5 million) would allow that $1.5 million to be offered to Mac Marshall.

If Aiken does not sign at all (unlikely), then Houston gets the #2 overall pick in next year's draft, but they also lose all of Aiken's slot money for this season. Which would mean the extra $1.5 million already offered to Jacob Nix goes away - which is probably why the Jacob Nix signing has not been officially announced yet by the Astros either.

Cockroach said...

Worst case scenario: Aiken refuses to sign, Aiken & Nix both go to UCLA, Marshall goes to LSU.

Best case scenario: Aiken signs for a deep discount, Nix signs too, Astros use extra savings on Aiken to lure Marshall away from LSU.

Most likely scenario: Aiken signs for some amount, Nix signs too, Marshall still goes to LSU.

wwschields said...

And I didn't realize this...According to a buddy that just text this to me: Astros could lose two first round picks if they go 15% above slot money allowed.

Anonymous said...

Yep, Astros have to be 15% over to lose picks next year. But clearly, the 1-1 pick with a 15% buffer built in offers a lot of leeway, but unclear whether this is enough leeway to sign Nix away from UCLA. The Astros must be genuinely concerned - if this is a game of chicken, it is a hazardous one.

Anonymous said...

Great points Cockroach. I didn't know the Nix deal wasn't yet official. That eases my concerns a bit. I don't want this to happen, but it would be interesting to not sign Aiken and have the worst record this year. That would give us picks number 1 and 2 next year.
Adam

@_DJ_DC_ said...

To me this looks a lot like both sides playing chicken over the $1.5 million. The Astros want it to lure Mac Marshall, Aiken wants it for himself.

Clearly the deal is getting done. Aiken is not going to turn down $5 million to go play for UCLA for three years, especially since he has an elbow problem. And the Astros are not going let $1.5 million influence a decision as important as this one.

Aiken would be a moron to not take the deal, so the silver lining here is that it looks like Marshall could be legitimately back in play. Astros wouldn't fuck around with this otherwise.