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#21 nicksaviking

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 07:43 AM

Houston's plan seems to be quite flawed. They clearly look to be trying to save money, money that is earmarked for this singular purpose. The thought is that they team is trying to leverage the players to get Aiken to sign for less, but that's rubbish as they'll lose both if they can't get Aiken to take less. If this were the Twins, and they were simply trying to save $2.5 million that was allocated solely for this draft, this board would be rioting, and rightly so.

Aiken should head to Japan for a year, he'd probably get paid close to his original agreed upon deal as snagging the #1 overall pick would be huge news there, plus I believe they often have 6 man rotations and only pitch once a week. That should naturally limit some innings, plus give him a taste of really good competition.

#22 mike wants wins

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 07:58 AM

I would also wager that the minor league coaches are better coaches. But, Brock brings up a key point, by waiting three years to sign, he pushes back the REALLY big money by three years.......three more years he could get hurt.

What I just typed is probably an opinion, not a fact. I mean, I'm usually right, so you should maybe assume it is or will be a fact soon, but that's up to you. :) Also, I am NOT trying to convince anyone I am correct, I'm just talking here, not arguing.


#23 drjim

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 08:06 AM

Houston's plan seems to be quite flawed. They clearly look to be trying to save money, money that is earmarked for this singular purpose. The thought is that they team is trying to leverage the players to get Aiken to sign for less, but that's rubbish as they'll lose both if they can't get Aiken to take less. If this were the Twins, and they were simply trying to save $2.5 million that was allocated solely for this draft, this board would be rioting, and rightly so.

Aiken should head to Japan for a year, he'd probably get paid close to his original agreed upon deal as snagging the #1 overall pick would be huge news there, plus I believe they often have 6 man rotations and only pitch once a week. That should naturally limit some innings, plus give him a taste of really good competition.


Aren't they trying to save money to spend on other pitchers? There is the fifth rounder mentioned, but also people that were taken after the 10th round that will sign for above slot. I actually think this is the reason for this, they want to squeeze Aiken so they can spread his money to other players.

The second part wouldn't happen. There is an agreement between US and Japan professional leagues to not poach players like this outside of the formal system (posting process).
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#24 drjim

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 08:09 AM

I would also wager that the minor league coaches are better coaches. But, Brock brings up a key point, by waiting three years to sign, he pushes back the REALLY big money by three years.......three more years he could get hurt.


The key difference in my mind is that professional teams are solely interested in using development time to get a pitcher ready for the majors at the expense of wins and losses of the minor league team, so they can be much more cautious. College programs of course are focused primarily on wins. But I think the conclusion that they heavily abuse their pitchers is overstated - I recommend reading some Baseball America content for a good counter to Keith Law's hysterics on this.

Three years difference is probably not true. College pitchers make the majors quicker than prep arms, so it is more like a year, maybe two.
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#25 mike wants wins

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 08:26 AM

Good point on the timing.

#26 Dman

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 08:32 AM

If that is their offer then Houston can't be serious about signing him. Jeff Hoffman who is having TJ surgery is getting 3 million for goodness sake and Rodon got more than the second round pick and likely the first pick as well. Something doesn't smell right in Houston. I would not sign with a team that would low ball me like that. Either you think the player is worth the first pick or you don't. I would either sit out the year or go to an Indy league and try again next year.

#27 TheDean

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 08:37 AM

I guess I'm not clear on how the college option works for draftees deciding not to sign; could someone clarify?

If someone signs with a four-year school, is there a minimum number of years they have to stay in school? Likewise for a JuCo school? Someone alluded to some kind of "gentleman's agreement" between MLB and other pro leagues, so college of some kind is the only alternative for these kids?

#28 drjim

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 08:48 AM

I guess I'm not clear on how the college option works for draftees deciding not to sign; could someone clarify?

If someone signs with a four-year school, is there a minimum number of years they have to stay in school? Likewise for a JuCo school? Someone alluded to some kind of "gentleman's agreement" between MLB and other pro leagues, so college of some kind is the only alternative for these kids?


If a kid enrolls in a 4 year college, he needs to spend three years there before he is eligible to be drafted (there are some draft eligible sophs who are older when they start school).

JC players are eligible to be drafted every year.

Correct, signing out of high school or going to college is the only option as a path to pro ball for an American/Canada/Puerto Rican born player.
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#29 markos

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 08:53 AM

Correct, signing out of high school or going to college is the only option as a path to pro ball for an American/Canada/Puerto Rican born player.


Is independent ball still an option? I recall players (specifically Matt Harrington) who didn't sign going to play for independent teams back in the early 2000s. They played one year and then were back in the draft.

#30 righty8383

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 08:56 AM

The second part wouldn't happen. There is an agreement between US and Japan professional leagues to not poach players like this outside of the formal system (posting process).

I'm honestly not sure this applies here. If Aiken doesn't sign by the deadline, he is no longer tied to a ML team in any way.
Even if Japan isn't an option, I would advise him to just hook up with an independent team. That way he can get his work in and still be available for next year's draft. I'm sure the Saints could make room for him.

#31 Celebrity Weddings!

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 09:22 AM

It seems to me that they are getting pretty creative (not saying that it is in a good way) with the way they are playing hardball.

We now have this issue. Earlier we had the whole question of agreeing to promote to MLB only if they were able to buy out the players pre-arb and arb years (yes, I remember that there were pros and cons from the players side).

It just seems to me that they've got somebody really trying to leverage the club's power.


You're right. I think the issue is that they're not doing something particularly clever, just that they appear to have the will to go further than front offices have been willing to go so far. There's an inter-personal reason that's the case - that you just don't treat people that way. But there may also be a business reason - that you don't want to acquire a reputation for pulling stuff like this. Keith Law tweeted a reaction from an anonymous agent that the Astros could feel the bite on this worse than the Phillies would/did from the Wetzler situation.

#32 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 09:23 AM

Aren't they trying to save money to spend on other pitchers? There is the fifth rounder mentioned, but also people that were taken after the 10th round that will sign for above slot. I actually think this is the reason for this, they want to squeeze Aiken so they can spread his money to other players.

The second part wouldn't happen. There is an agreement between US and Japan professional leagues to not poach players like this outside of the formal system (posting process).


Yes, but the negotiate these types of things in advance of the draft. They had an agreed upon amount prior to drafting Aiken. The Stros came in and are using a very dubious reason to try to lower his value and squeeze him for more. To me at least, that's pretty unethical. I have a feeling the MLBPA isn't going to be too kind on this one.

#33 twinsfan34

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 10:05 AM

Not to mention that it sets back his development 1-2 years. Out of high school, he might be a FA at age 28-29. Out of college, it's more like 30-31.

1-2 years of free agency are worth a lot more than $3m.

Still, what an awful situation to be put in. Houston, just give the kid his money.


Well, unless he's Clayton Kershaw or Jose Fernandez he's still likely to take about the same time to reach the majors and thus his service time. HS Pitchers typically start in the Appy Lg maybe make it to A ball their first year. Soph, if they do well they finish strong at A+. Junior, if continuing to go well, AA. So yea...maybe a year?

And then the caveat of the new contracts that star young players (Longoria, Trout, Polanco, Springer, etc trend) are getting. Would he really lose that money?

Could he just go to Juco then and get ahead...be eligible FA altogether or would he just be eligible for the June MLB Rule IV draft again?

#34 Dman

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 10:22 AM

Any judgment of the Aiken/Astros situation needs to wait until after the deadline.

Right now it is both sides using the press to negotiate with the MLPBA also trying to leverage the situation.

By July 18, Aiken may be an Astro and all of this noise a mere distraction.


I don't know. Once you low ball a player\agent you are pretty much giving them the middle finger. It is pretty hard to come back from that. They had agreed to 6.5 then were supposedly offered 5 and now 3. That is a trend that leads one to believe that both sides are prepared for mutual self destruction. I don't see this ending well unless Houston does a 180 and gets back close to that 6.5 number. With there latest offer that seems unlikely to me.

#35 nicksaviking

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 11:00 AM

Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't remember the MLBPA getting so front and center about issues with draft picks until recently. Until you got to the MLB players were basically left alone to be canabalized by the clubs.

Tony Clark seems to be making a point to be inclusive for future members of the unioin.

#36 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 11:17 AM

The MLBPA would be wise to get involved for no other reason than the fact that they are being sued for essentially not negotiating on behalf of minor leaguers. This is a CBA related issue, and I'd have to imagine it's going to go to an arbitrator. I'd have thought after the service time mess that Selig would have called the front office and told them to put a stop to this. It's bad publicity for baseball all around. Add this to it, and I really think someone in the FO needs to go. The best way for that to happen is for an arbitrator to rule that Aiken gets slot and that the 2 pick gets what was offered to him... at that point, heads roll, Houston loses a pick, and it will never happen again.

I'd also add that for Houston's sake, they should hope that they were able to remove all the back doors put in place by whomever hacked them, or the Bud Norris thing could turn out to be child's play...

This is a poorly run franchize.

#37 mike wants wins

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 11:43 AM

Fangraphs has a great article on this, pointing out that Houston knows this is going to potentially hurt them, and they likely would not be doing it for a bad reason......it is an interesting article that goes beyond the knee jerk.

What I just typed is probably an opinion, not a fact. I mean, I'm usually right, so you should maybe assume it is or will be a fact soon, but that's up to you. :) Also, I am NOT trying to convince anyone I am correct, I'm just talking here, not arguing.


#38 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 12:18 PM

Well, unless he's Clayton Kershaw or Jose Fernandez he's still likely to take about the same time to reach the majors and thus his service time.


He was the first overall pick in the draft. It's unlikely that he sits in the minors until he's 23-24 unless something goes terribly wrong. Coming out of college, he'd be in his age 21 season before he played an inning of pro ball. He'd only get a partial season in his draft year and suddenly he's looking at his age 23 season with only 1 1/3 MiLB seasons under his belt.

It's likely that he'd push back his overall service time at least one season, maybe two, by going back to college. Given that the average MLB free agent makes around $6-7m a season, one year of FA is worth a lot more than the $3m in question today.

#39 ashburyjohn

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 12:22 PM

I'm honestly not sure this applies here. If Aiken doesn't sign by the deadline, he is no longer tied to a ML team in any way.


High schoolers get drafted all the time, and if they elect not to sign they go to junior college or whatever and are drafted in some future year. Is Aiken's situation different?

#40 righty8383

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 12:44 PM

High schoolers get drafted all the time, and if they elect not to sign they go to junior college or whatever and are drafted in some future year. Is Aiken's situation different?

I honestly don't know. But I think that most high school draftees that don't sign, wouldn't get much interest from, say, a Japanese team. Aiken most certainly would however.