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Thread: Houston Astros reduce offer to Brady Aiken.Pull offer to Nix.

  1. #16
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Houston Astros reduce offer to Brady Aiken.Pull offer to Nix.

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    Nah. No way the #1 overall pick takes 40 cents on the dollar. On top of everything else, it makes no sense for a kid to sign with an organization he hates. Aiken's probably got grounds for a lawsuit against MLB. His market value is established and now he can't get it because the one club he's now limited to negotiating with is low-balling him. He put his trust in the system and the system has failed him. Seriously, why shouldn't this kid be declared a free agent? At least that ought to be the pitch to Bud Selig. Declare Aiken a free agent, no strings attached, not subject to any signing pool limits, or we find out if this is a Messersmith case.
    Sounds like the case for every senior in the draft.The market is set by their draft slot value, then they get $0.01 to $0.10 on the dollar. I don't think that's one you can win. Not that I agree with it at all.

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  3. #17
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    Re: Houston Astros reduce offer to Brady Aiken.Pull offer to Nix.

    The Astros have a nerd room with Harvard grads. They know exactly what they are doing and will use this situation to their advantage no doubt. They put a numeric metric on everybody. Players are just numbers to them according to a sports illustrated article I read. They deny it of course but they are calculating with no regard to human context.
    Last edited by powersackers; 07-16-2014 at 10:46 PM.
    Attended 1976 World Series in my Mother's Womb. Attended 1990 World Series Game 2 as a 13 year old. Want to take my son to a a World Series Game in Cincinnati in my lifetime.

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    Re: Houston Astros reduce offer to Brady Aiken.Pull offer to Nix.

    Quote Originally Posted by powersackers View Post
    The Astris have a nerd room with Harvard grads. They know exactly what they are doing and will use this situation to their advantage no doubt.
    Sounds like they know the price of everything, and the value of nothing. Penny wise, pound foolish.

    In un-cliche' terms, they may save some money here, or be able to get out of paying top dollar for a damaged draft pick, but this hurts their negotiating reputation and position going forward for all future draft picks and free agents.

    A big part of being a GM is dealing with people, developing relationships, building bridges. It looks like the Astros front office slept in on the days they taught those classes at Harvard.
    "Man, the pitch looks fast, even in slow motion." Thom Brennaman on Chapman's fastball.

  6. #19
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Houston Astros reduce offer to Brady Aiken.Pull offer to Nix.

    Quote Originally Posted by powersackers View Post
    The Astros have a nerd room with Harvard grads. They know exactly what they are doing and will use this situation to their advantage no doubt. They put a numeric metric on everybody. Players are just numbers to them according to a sports illustrated article I read. They deny it of course but they are calculating with no regard to human context.
    Oh please. One guy said something like that. I don't buy it, at all. Are they calculating it? Sure, but so is every team in baseball and don't kid yourself if you don't believe that. But they aren't just treating these guys like they are a flat number without any human traits at all. Bud Norris can say what he wants, but there is a lot of evidence to the contrary.

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    Re: Houston Astros reduce offer to Brady Aiken.Pull offer to Nix.

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Sounds like the case for every senior in the draft.The market is set by their draft slot value, then they get $0.01 to $0.10 on the dollar. I don't think that's one you can win. Not that I agree with it at all.
    College seniors don't strike me as particularly analogous. The vast majority of them are draft eligible because the market didn't desire them in previous years. They don't have viable options to taking a major league deal. Very few get drafted into seven figure slots. Most of their slot deals are made prior to their pick (e.g. player gets more than he would later in the draft, team gets slot savings).

    In Aiken's case, MLB established his market value and now the Astros won't negotiate for anything close to it. The bad faith here is fairly glaring. Wild guess, if Aiken were declared a free agent, he'd get well above eight figures. In fact, the Yankees might pay him eight figures more than his next best offer. Anyway, if the league doesn't give him some recourse to realize his market value, Aiken could be headed to court. If I were the commissioner, I'd use my god-like powers and let someone else pay the kid for his services.
    Last edited by M2; 07-16-2014 at 11:13 PM.
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    Re: Houston Astros reduce offer to Brady Aiken.Pull offer to Nix.

    I doubt the Astros think players are numbers. But this isn't their first people dealing problem since they hired their new GM.

    They reminds me of the guys on "Silicon Valley." On the show, they are some of the smarter computer engineers in the world, but are completely incompetent when it comes to actually running a business and handling people and social situations. I think the Astros front office is trying their best at handling the people part of their job, they just probably don't a lot of experience at it, and are learning on the job.
    "Man, the pitch looks fast, even in slow motion." Thom Brennaman on Chapman's fastball.

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    Re: Houston Astros reduce offer to Brady Aiken.Pull offer to Nix.

    Maybe I'm being incredibly naive but I find a tough time believing that Houston would pull this stunt if they didn't have genuine concerns about the state of Brady Aiken's elbow.

    By all accounts the Astros organization was high on Aiken and negotiated in good faith before coming up with the $6.5mil signing bonus that was agreed to by both sides. If they wanted to go cheap on their first pick they could have gone with someone like Nick Gordon or Alex Jackson and pocketed more than enough money to sign Nix and make a serious run at Marshall without suffering the long term repercussions of trying to re-negotiate their deal with Aiken. If Aiken tells them to pound sand they'll lose somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.1 in bonus pool money (the approximate difference between the values of the #1 and #2 overall pick), they'll lose Nix (or even worse be forced to honor their deal with Nix and forfeit picks by going over the cap), lose a year of player development time and risk losing all credibility with player representatives / families in all subsequent drafts. If Aiken accepts the offer they get a few million dollars but still blemish their reputation and run the risk of alienating one of their most prized assets.

    I totally get that the Astros front office has rubbed a lot of people the wrong way but would anyone really be stupid enough to go down this route if they didn't have serious misgivings about Aiken's elbow?

    That said I feel awful for Aiken and even more so for for Nix. I would totally understand if both players felt betrayed and wanted nothing to do with the Astros going forward. Still $3.1mil is a lot of money and to simply recoup that much money Aiken would have to go out and re-establish himself as a top 7 to 10 player and convince whatever team drafted him next that the elbow wasn't an issue and to get back into the $6mil range he'd have to be re-drafted in the top 2 or 3. That's no small feat and if he gets injured or simply doesn't develop as expected he may never see that kind of money again.

    In a perfect world MLB would intervene on the behalf of Aiken and get to the bottom of the situation. If the Astros are simply being slimeballs they should be forced to honor the $6.5 agreement or Aiken should be allowed to negotiate a deal with another team without having to go back through the draft process. Given the fact that the MLBPA and MLB have seemingly made it their mission to screw domestic amateurs at every possible opportunity, I don't expect that to happen but it's good to dream!

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  11. #23
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    Re: Houston Astros reduce offer to Brady Aiken.Pull offer to Nix.

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Oh please. One guy said something like that. I don't buy it, at all. Are they calculating it? Sure, but so is every team in baseball and don't kid yourself if you don't believe that. But they aren't just treating these guys like they are a flat number without any human traits at all. Bud Norris can say what he wants, but there is a lot of evidence to the contrary.
    20 players, coaches, agents and others disagree:

    http://www.houstonchronicle.com/spor...st-5501982.php

    And like I said, they deny it.
    Attended 1976 World Series in my Mother's Womb. Attended 1990 World Series Game 2 as a 13 year old. Want to take my son to a a World Series Game in Cincinnati in my lifetime.

  12. #24
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Houston Astros reduce offer to Brady Aiken.Pull offer to Nix.

    Quote Originally Posted by powersackers View Post
    20 players, coaches, agents and others disagree:

    http://www.houstonchronicle.com/spor...st-5501982.php

    And like I said, they deny it.
    I don't subscribe to the Chronicle, so I can't read that.

    But I still have seen plenty of evidence that they don't just treat people as numbers, so I still don't buy it. Maybe they treat some people a little differently than other teams may, but that is a big difference from treating them as if they are a robot.

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    Re: Houston Astros reduce offer to Brady Aiken.Pull offer to Nix.

    It seems unlikely to me that Houston is strapped for cash. Their payroll in 2014 is less than half of what it was in 2009. Rather, it appears to me that it is more about bonus pool money. They wanted to sign Nix and could not do so without paring their offer to Aiken. As noted by others, if health were a real concern, why give him $3M? The risk of injury seems more like an excuse for their course of action. Most likely they figured that Aiken would take the reduced offer anyway.

    My question is this. Does the CBA have a clause that would preclude counting against the bonus pool, a draftee that went unsigned because of physical problems discovered after the draft?

  14. #26
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    Re: Houston Astros reduce offer to Brady Aiken.Pull offer to Nix.

    Quote Originally Posted by RED VAN HOT View Post
    It seems unlikely to me that Houston is strapped for cash. Their payroll in 2014 is less than half of what it was in 2009. Rather, it appears to me that it is more about bonus pool money. They wanted to sign Nix and could not do so without paring their offer to Aiken. As noted by others, if health were a real concern, why give him $3M? The risk of injury seems more like an excuse for their course of action. Most likely they figured that Aiken would take the reduced offer anyway.

    My question is this. Does the CBA have a clause that would preclude counting against the bonus pool, a draftee that went unsigned because of physical problems discovered after the draft?
    You still give him $3M because he may still be the best talent in the draft, albeit in a bit of a longer time frame than originally anticipated. That's why he's not getting the $6.5.

    Mike Petriello has the best take I've read on the entire thing.

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    Re: Houston Astros reduce offer to Brady Aiken.Pull offer to Nix.

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    You still give him $3M because he may still be the best talent in the draft, albeit in a bit of a longer time frame than originally anticipated. That's why he's not getting the $6.5.

    Mike Petriello has the best take I've read on the entire thing.
    Very good article.

    One way to look at the reduced bonus offer is to imagine where Aiken would have been drafted, had this information been known to everyone before the draft. I'm guessing he'd still be a first round pick, getting a slot bonus of around $2-3M. So the Astros reduced after is the closest they can get to that, without losing their compensation pick next year.
    "Man, the pitch looks fast, even in slow motion." Thom Brennaman on Chapman's fastball.

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    Re: Houston Astros reduce offer to Brady Aiken.Pull offer to Nix.

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    You still give him $3M because he may still be the best talent in the draft, albeit in a bit of a longer time frame than originally anticipated. That's why he's not getting the $6.5.

    Mike Petriello has the best take I've read on the entire thing.
    No, you offer him $3.1M to get your #2 overall pick in 2015. If you think he's the best talent in the 2014 draft then you pay him $6.5M and time frame be damned. An extra year (if he requires TJ surgery along the way) isn't going to matter in the grand scheme of things. If time frame was that important to the Astros then they should have drafted Carlos Rodon, the consensus top college arm. Instead they went with a prep arm, which is almost always going to involve more developmental time and raise the potential risk level.

    The problem with that Petriello piece is it assumes the Astros are rational actors, and we're seeing no evidence to support that. Just a guess, Aiken doesn't sign, he gets declared a free agent just like Barret Loux did and he makes bushels of money.
    Last edited by M2; 07-17-2014 at 08:38 PM.
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    Re: Houston Astros reduce offer to Brady Aiken.Pull offer to Nix.

    Serious question: has anyone read definitively if Aiken's "abnormality" is able to be corrected via Tommy John surgery?

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    Re: Houston Astros reduce offer to Brady Aiken.Pull offer to Nix.

    Quote Originally Posted by nmculbreth View Post
    Serious question: has anyone read definitively if Aiken's "abnormality" is able to be corrected via Tommy John surgery?
    Of course it is. They could remove the one he has now and replace it like any other TJ surgery.


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