The Astros, based on what we know, are far from blameless in this matter. Neither is Casey Close. But the biggest culprit in this entire scenario, in my estimation, is the MLBPA. Let's take a look back at the negotiations over the the CBA, and in particular, the players' unions motivation in instituting a cap on draft bonuses. From a January, 2010 post by Buster Olney comes this tidbit
And there is a strong belief on the side of management that a slotting system can be completed, because the union will embrace the idea -- so long as the Players Association is guaranteed, in some fashion, that more money will be spent on major league players. How this happens remains to be seen, but there are agents convinced that the interests of the draft-eligible will be swapped out for the interests of the union veterans.In other words, very early in the process, the owners believed they could get want they wanted in relation to amateur players, because the players would gladly negotiate away those interests in favor of their own. And that is exactly what happened. Under the Players' agreement with the Owners, what Jacob Nix could receive was directly tied to what Brady Aiken got. And if Brady Aiken didn't sign, the Astros lost the ability to sign Nix. Not due to anything about Jacob Nix, and not due to an internal decision made by the Astros, but because the Owners made it a priority (as they always do) to save a little money somewhere, and the Players decided what better place to give it to them than the draft eligible players. It was a win/win, for everyone but the kids who were going to be drafted under the system, who just had millions of dollars in potential earnings signed away, while most of them were in junior high or high school.
The amateurs were not at the table, there was literally no one protecting their interests. So now, after their system cost Jacob Nix 1.5 million dollars, the MLBPA want to fight to protect his rights. Well, you are too late. It was your complete and total failure to fight for his rights that put everyone in this position in the first place.