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#61 JB_Iowa

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 06:06 PM

For whatever reason, the MLBPA is taking a big interest in this:


  • Buster Olney ‏@Buster_ESPN 1h
    From MLBPA re:Aiken: "Today, two young men should be one step closer to realizing their dreams of becoming Major League ballplayers...
    "Because of the actions of the … Astros, they are not. The MLBPA, the players and their advisers are exploring all legal options.”

Note that the MLBPA is considering legal options as well as the players and their advisers.


Houston may ultimately win the legal battle but they are likely to lose the public relations war.

Again, we're not talking annual salary here. We're talking a one-time bonus.

And we have the Astros actions set against the hardball they've been playing on promotions/extensions/service time.

I'm sure the MLBPA wasn't happy with them before this latest mess.

#62 JB_Iowa

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 06:09 PM

Might suck for the Astros, but they made a $5M dollar to an 18 year old kid with what they thought was arm issues and he did not take it. Told the agent that they will go over slot with Nix if Aiken takes it. That's what seems to have happened. I'd really blame the agent as much as the Astros here.


Not when the $5 million offer wasn't made until after they had agreed on $6 plus; went back to a little over $3 milllon and then didn't get raised to $5 million until a few minutes before the deadline.

That's game playing pure and simple. I doubt whether there are many agents who want to deal with the Astros these days. Oh, they'll do it if the money is right for their clients best interests but when combining this mess; the promotion/service time issues and the whole leaked trade negotiations bit from the Astros, their management is coming off as inept.

#63 Thrylos

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 06:14 PM

Not when the $5 million offer wasn't made until after they had agreed on $6 plus; went back to a little over $3 milllon and then didn't get raised to $5 million until a few minutes before the deadline.

That's game playing pure and simple. I doubt whether there are many agents who want to deal with the Astros these days. Oh, they'll do it if the money is right for their clients best interests but when combining this mess; the promotion/service time issues and the whole leaked trade negotiations bit from the Astros, their management is coming off as inept.


I don't disagree about the Astros' ineptitude and bad PR here. My point is that they did nothing against the rules. Oral commitments do not count as contract offers, unless they are in paper and signed. And if that were the case, they could had not reneged...
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#64 h2oface

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 06:59 PM

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.


I can understand Houston being leery of a reported significant smaller ligament, and would rather offer the about $3.1 million bonus instead. "...... three more years he could get hurt" on somebody else's dollar, rather than theirs. I see this situation as a need for physicals before one is drafted, but even several doctors have different opinions about it. It certainly makes sense to me that a thinner ligament that is somewhat of a pitching epidemic anyway is great cause for concern, and it was not disclosed or not known about pre-draft. The round 5 pick, Nix, is really the casualty of this whole situation, as not he is caught in the bonus limits at this late date. Interesting that the big winner here may be UCLA, as both are committed there. The possibility of Houston getting the 1st and 2nd pick in next years draft seems really unfair, though. If Aiken and his agent, etc, really have the confidence that this ligament abnormality will make no difference, I don't understand why around $3.1 million or $5 million or whatever the final offer was would still be unattractive for a teenager. If Aiken actually will become a star and not a flop, he will make his way more money than a baseball player really should anyway, and then when the ligament goes on the hard throwing pitchers arm, it will cost the team maybe $30 million for the full season he is out, and the part of the next that he is coming back and pitching like a ........ Nolasco or Pelfrey or something.

Edited by h2oface, 19 July 2014 - 02:35 PM.


#65 blairpaul715

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 08:51 PM

After getting burned on Appel, I am guessing they are trying to be more prudent.......honestly I don't blame them, even tho if it was me I probably give it to him........Negotiations are all about leverage, and tho this is not a Boras client, you see Boras try to leverage teams all the time, he did it with Rodon, getting him the best deal, I would have played hardball with Rodon as he didn't have leverage for next yr if he didn't sign this year. Just my opinion :) I do feel bad for the Nix kid, altho apparently he must have put something out that he was going to be hard to sign, so he wasn't drafted till the 5th round, so he had no problem going to college it seems. Aiken hard to turn down 3 to 5 million, unless coming from a well to do family.

#66 gunnarthor

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 08:54 PM

I don't disagree about the Astros' ineptitude and bad PR here. My point is that they did nothing against the rules. Oral commitments do not count as contract offers, unless they are in paper and signed. And if that were the case, they could had not reneged...


Actually, a contract doesn't need to be signed to be enforceable and Nix may very well have a strong case. And under the CBA, the Astros aren't supposed to be able to say an offer is contingent on another person signing. We'll see how this plays out but it's pretty obvious Nix and Aiken are going to file grievances against the Astros.

What is stunning is that the Astros basically did this over 1.5 m dollars. That's insane.

#67 drjim

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 09:03 PM

After getting burned on Appel, I am guessing they are trying to be more prudent.......honestly I don't blame them, even tho if it was me I probably give it to him........Negotiations are all about leverage, and tho this is not a Boras client, you see Boras try to leverage teams all the time, he did it with Rodon, getting him the best deal, I would have played hardball with Rodon as he didn't have leverage for next yr if he didn't sign this year. Just my opinion :) I do feel bad for the Nix kid, altho apparently he must have put something out that he was going to be hard to sign, so he wasn't drafted till the 5th round, so he had no problem going to college it seems. Aiken hard to turn down 3 to 5 million, unless coming from a well to do family.


Not to pick on you specifically, but I always chuckle when people bring up Boras like he is some unique entity among agents doing things no one else thinks of. Casey Close is more established agent with a better roster of players, he just isn't the media whore that Boras is.
Papers...business papers.

#68 markos

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 09:14 PM

What is stunning is that the Astros basically did this over 1.5 m dollars. That's insane.


This is the crazy part to me. $1.5M is practically a rounding error for a major league club, and Houston has been running some of the lowest payrolls in baseball the past few years. Nix and Aiken for $6.5M total was fine, but $8.0M was too much.

Does anyone know if Aiken could insure himself for the next year? I know that some major league pitchers have done that prior to free agency.

#69 Mike Sixel

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 09:15 PM

I don't disagree about the Astros' ineptitude and bad PR here. My point is that they did nothing against the rules. Oral commitments do not count as contract offers, unless they are in paper and signed. And if that were the case, they could had not reneged...


Clearly you are not a lawyer.

I don't know, it is a site to discuss sports, not airline safety.....maybe we should take it less seriously?


#70 gunnarthor

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 09:26 PM

Does anyone know if Aiken could insure himself for the next year? I know that some major league pitchers have done that prior to free agency.


I believe he must have done something like that, his agent (adviser) would make sure of it. My guess is that Aiken will file a grievance and has already gotten a pretty good idea of his chances otherwise he'd have taken the money. If he loses his grievance, he'll go to junior college or the St Paul Saints and be a top 10 pick next year.

#71 jorgenswest

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 09:49 AM

As a baseball decision, they traded Aiken and Nix for the number 2 pick in the draft next year.

If the ligament was a significant concern, it may turn out to be a good deal for them. If that pick is Duke's 's Mike Matuella, they end up with a player of comparable talent with the same or earlier arrival time in the major leagues.

#72 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 11:59 AM

Do they get another 5th rounder for Nix?

#73 maxisagod

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 12:35 PM

Do they get another 5th rounder for Nix?


Nope. That pick is gone. It's becoming clear the Astros rebuild will take a lot longer than the Cubs, with their number 1 picks getting injured, playing poorly, and not signing, it adds years on to the process. The Twins on the other hand need more of their young player to start claiming jobs when they get to the Twins. Pino, Hicks, and Arcia haven't claimed a spot like Gibson and Dozier, keeping the rebuild timeline in flux.

#74 Kwak

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 02:18 PM

It seems to me that Houston was trying to shave money from Aiken so they could sign Nix and the other draft choice. Aiken's agent gambled that he could leverage the deals and satisfy his clients. Aiken likely believes he is entitled to "full slot" and is piqued beyond compromise, expressing his anger with a Hxxx No! to you all.

Aiken can play Juco ball, and be drafted next year. If he doesn't like that he can wait to be drafted later. If his arm "falters", well, then Aiken has made the mistake.

I don't understand the bile towards Houston and hope it isn't sactimony.

#75 JB_Iowa

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 02:38 PM

It seems to me that Houston was trying to shave money from Aiken so they could sign Nix and the other draft choice. Aiken's agent gambled that he could leverage the deals and satisfy his clients. Aiken likely believes he is entitled to "full slot" and is piqued beyond compromise, expressing his anger with a Hxxx No! to you all.

Aiken can play Juco ball, and be drafted next year. If he doesn't like that he can wait to be drafted later. If his arm "falters", well, then Aiken has made the mistake.

I don't understand the bile towards Houston and hope it isn't sactimony.


Aiken was already taking a discount from "full slot" when he agreed to take $6.5 m (full slot was over $7.9). The difference between full slot and the $6.5 was enough to fund the overage to Nix (and maybe Marshall too).

But after Houston saw the medicals, it decided to play hardball and offer Aiken only 40% of slot (about 3.2 million or so) -- thus preserving its right to a replacement pick if Aiken didn't sign.

Finally about 5 minutes before the deadline, Houston offered Aiken the $5 million. If Houston hadn't absolutely insulted Aiken by offering just the 40%, Aiken might well have come down to $5 million based on the medicals -- we'll never know because by that point the well was poisoned.

If you were ANY player, how much would you want to sign with Houston after the revelations this year about the games they are playing on pressuring players to sell out pre-arb and arb years before they will promote them and after the leaks about their trade strategies?

I don't see how any player or his agent could have any trust in Houston's management. My bile isn't sanctimony -- it is watching a course of behavior on the part of management that is FAR LESS than honorable.

#76 Dman

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 02:58 PM

Aiken was already taking a discount from "full slot" when he agreed to take $6.5 m (full slot was over $7.9). The difference between full slot and the $6.5 was enough to fund the overage to Nix (and maybe Marshall too).

But after Houston saw the medicals, it decided to play hardball and offer Aiken only 40% of slot (about 3.2 million or so) -- thus preserving its right to a replacement pick if Aiken didn't sign.

Finally about 5 minutes before the deadline, Houston offered Aiken the $5 million. If Houston hadn't absolutely insulted Aiken by offering just the 40%, Aiken might well have come down to $5 million based on the medicals -- we'll never know because by that point the well was poisoned.

If you were ANY player, how much would you want to sign with Houston after the revelations this year about the games they are playing on pressuring players to sell out pre-arb and arb years before they will promote them and after the leaks about their trade strategies?

I don't see how any player or his agent could have any trust in Houston's management. My bile isn't sanctimony -- it is watching a course of behavior on the part of management that is FAR LESS than honorable.



I agree they poisoned the well. You don't offer the least possible amount you can to the player everyone thought was the best prospect in the draft unless you don't want them. Why would the player want to play for a team that values him so little? The offers Houston made at the end were laughable as they had tons of time to work this out if they wanted to. They wanted to get a bargain or nothing at all and personally I think they got what they deserved.

If I were a player or agent I would do whatever I could to not deal with Houston in the future. I would not recommend my clients go to an organization that appears to be all about hardball negotiations. I would take less money and go to a team that will hopefully treat me better.

#77 Monkeypaws

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 04:59 PM

I remember the joy in the Aiken household the night of the draft - getting drafted by Houston is gonna become a bummer for these kids.

#78 gunnarthor

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 05:28 PM

Aiken was already taking a discount from "full slot" when he agreed to take $6.5 m (full slot was over $7.9). The difference between full slot and the $6.5 was enough to fund the overage to Nix (and maybe Marshall too).

But after Houston saw the medicals, it decided to play hardball and offer Aiken only 40% of slot (about 3.2 million or so) -- thus preserving its right to a replacement pick if Aiken didn't sign.

Finally about 5 minutes before the deadline, Houston offered Aiken the $5 million. If Houston hadn't absolutely insulted Aiken by offering just the 40%, Aiken might well have come down to $5 million based on the medicals -- we'll never know because by that point the well was poisoned.

If you were ANY player, how much would you want to sign with Houston after the revelations this year about the games they are playing on pressuring players to sell out pre-arb and arb years before they will promote them and after the leaks about their trade strategies?

I don't see how any player or his agent could have any trust in Houston's management. My bile isn't sanctimony -- it is watching a course of behavior on the part of management that is FAR LESS than honorable.

I agree. I think the Springer and Aiken fiascos are going to really affect the team although probably not very publicly. But if I'm a top 10 talent in next years draft, why would they trust the Astros not to lowball them again?

#79 Thrylos

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 05:48 PM

But if I'm a top 10 talent in next years draft, why would they trust the Astros not to lowball them again?


Because even top 10 talent has no choice of the team that drafts them... "Trust" is a moot point.
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#80 gunnarthor

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 05:57 PM

Because even top 10 talent has no choice of the team that drafts them... "Trust" is a moot point.


All prospects talk to teams before the draft to get a sense of what they will sign for. A team might say, "if you're there at #4, will you take slot?" or "Will you take X amount below slot if we take you at #2?" I suspect a lot of players/agents next year will be a little more defensive toward the Astros. There isn't anything a player can do to prevent the Astros from lowballing them after the draft but a lot will be wary of agreeing to favorable deals pre-draft like Aiken did.