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Marlins tell No. 9 pick Andrew Heaney they won’t sign him

Jul 12, 2012, 11:45 AM EDT

mlb draft

Oklahoma State left-hander Andrew Heaney is one of six unsigned first-round picks with less than 30 hours to go until tomorrow’s deadline, and Jim Callis of Baseball America reports that the Marlins have told the No. 9 overall selection they won’t be signing him.

According to Callis the Marlins have yet to offer anywhere close to the recommended $2.8 million bonus for that slot, but he adds that they’re “known for hardline negotiating” and “I can’t really see them walking away from the No. 9 overall pick.”

Of course, if they don’t sign Heaney the Marlins would get the No. 10 overall pick in next year’s draft as compensation, which would make walking away a little easier. They have until 5:00 p.m. eastern time tomorrow to figure it out.

  1. Paul White - Jul 12, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    Let’s say this actually happens and the Marlins never make a real offer, in this kind of situation where some kid’s career is now going to be delayed a year because a club didn’t come close to a good faith offer, shouldn’t the kid be an instant free agent? It’s not like the Marlins didn’t know what the recommended slot was for the #9 pick, so their failure to even approach it means they never really intended to sign anyone in that spot. Why should Heaney be the one to suffer the consequences of the Marlins’ front office strategy?

    • 78mu - Jul 12, 2012 at 12:10 PM

      If he were an engineering graduate he wouldn’t have to wait to be drafted and he could work for any company that he can reach an agreement with. funny how professional sports are different from other businesses.

      Even if there was a rule about him becoming a free agent I’m sure the Marlins and other teams would figure out a way to game the system.

      • js20011041 - Jul 12, 2012 at 12:24 PM

        I agree completely. Yet for some reason, the amount of money involved seems to make people think it’s ok for the billionaire owners to screw the players. In this specific case, I think not offering at least the designated slot should result if severe penalties. Something like forfeiting the money gained in revenue sharing for this year. To draft a guy and not give him a legitimate offer is beyond loathesome.

      • kopy - Jul 12, 2012 at 12:51 PM

        A bit of apples and oranges. An engineering graduate can choose any firm he wants to work for, and a baseball player can choose any league he wants to play in. If an engineering grad and baseball player want to work for the most prestigious firm/league in the industry, they have to play their games.

      • kopy - Jul 12, 2012 at 12:52 PM

        “Games” is figurative in that sense.

      • deadeyedesign23 - Jul 12, 2012 at 1:45 PM

        @Kopy

        What engineering firm in the United States is allowed to operate as a monopoly? If you want t work for the most prestigious firm and they won’t have you, you can go take offers from any other firm. If this kid wants to play professionl baseball next year he has to call up the Newark Bears. If you want to talk about having to play their game then baseball should ahve to play the same game as the rest of the company and allow for competitive leagues. This however will never happen so at least if you’re going to have this incredibly unfair draft system you should be required to offer the minimum and if not you don’t gain a pick next year and the player becomes a free agent with a max signing bonus of what the slot was.

    • kopy - Jul 12, 2012 at 12:13 PM

      I do see a flipside to this. What if there’s a situation where a team knows they can’t spend recommended slot bonus on a high pick, so they reach and take a projected late first rounder? Would it be fair for the team to say, “We know we took you high, but you were projected to go later, and we wanted someone with easier signability.” Is there a situation where a team with a high pick isn’t committed to spending millions on a unproven draft pick?

      • vallewho - Jul 12, 2012 at 12:30 PM

        trade your pick???

      • sportsdrenched.com - Jul 12, 2012 at 12:50 PM

        Can’t trade picks in MLB

      • ptfu - Jul 12, 2012 at 2:24 PM

        The Padres did this, and ended up with Matt F**king Bush. Woohoo, they saved a few million bucks and got a total screwup. They could have had one of Justin Verlander, Jered Weaver, Jeff Niemann, Dustin Pedroia, Stephen Drew, Billy Butler, Hunter Pence, etc., each of whom has provided more than a few million bucks worth of production.

        Spend the money and take the highest remaining player on your board. Reaching means your pick’s signability may be his only ability.

        I do support draft picks being tradeable. If you want to get rid of picks, or stockpile them, you should be able to do so. Let the teams who want the picks have a way to get them (aside from losing lots of games).

      • stex52 - Jul 12, 2012 at 2:54 PM

        You are not supposed to negotiate in advance (right!). But if you read Ball Four, it pretty much says Billy Beane was doing what you suggest.

    • geoknows - Jul 12, 2012 at 1:39 PM

      My understanding is they offered $200,000 below slot. That doesn’t sound too awful to me.

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jul 12, 2012 at 3:07 PM

        Yeah but if you get a top slot in the first round, pay the kid. They’re up that high on your list for a reason. McLoria has the money, for sure.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jul 12, 2012 at 3:04 PM

      oldgator? Where are you man?

  2. uyf1950 - Jul 12, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    Unless I’m mistaken there are only about 29 hours for all of the remaining draft choices to sign that includes 5 or 6 first rounders. The deadline is 5pm ET Friday.

  3. nategearhart - Jul 12, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    How is this any different from the Mark Appel situation? (I think Appel did nothing wrong, and I think the word “greed” enters people’s minds too quick when Boras is involved.) Houston and now Miami are cheapasses.

    • js20011041 - Jul 12, 2012 at 12:33 PM

      The difference with Appel is that he’s being screwed by the CBA while Heaney is being screwed by the Marlins. The Pirates can’t go too far over slot in signing Appel without forfeiting future draft picks. The problem is that based on where the Pirates picked, they have much smaller amount of money to give to Appel than the Astros would have. The Pirates aren’t being cheap. In fact if you look at their draft record, they have been particularly aggressive about going overslot for talen over the last several years. They’re actually a team that’s really going to be hurt by the new CBA. The Marlins however aren’t even offering the slot value for where they picked Heaney.

      • nategearhart - Jul 12, 2012 at 1:22 PM

        I was referring to the Astros and their wanting to pay Appel under slot as opposed to the Pirates. I get the impression PIT is doing what they can with what they’ve got.

      • js20011041 - Jul 12, 2012 at 1:36 PM

        That might make sense if the Marlins had multiple first round picks or had a pick in the sandwich round, but they didn’t. They picked 9th and didn’t pick again until 104. Also, I find it hard to believe that a team would draft a guy with the intention of paying him under slot without having discussions with that player and his agent before hand. This isn’t a part of some larger draft strategy, this is Loria being cheap.

      • paperlions - Jul 12, 2012 at 2:36 PM

        ….plus Florida is currently under budget, they aren’t in any danger of even paying tax if offer a slot deal.

        If they fail to sign him and get a comp pick next year, I’m not sure how that helps the Marlins as they’ll have to sign that guy or get nothing in return (you only get one do over per pick) and they will have lost a year of development time.

        At the moment, the Marlins also haven’t signed their 2nd pick (which wasn’t until the 3rd round)…nothing like not signing a single player in the top 100 to infuse talent into a system.

        There is no situation where not signing your 1st round pick is good for the team.

    • eshine76 - Jul 12, 2012 at 12:35 PM

      The difference is that Appel still has eligibility at Stanford and was asking for money over the slot. As for Heaney, he’s a senior, so his options are either take the Marlins low ball offer or play Independent League ball this year. (I “believe” he’d become a free agent at next year’s draft, since the Marlins will no longer have his rights).

      • nategearhart - Jul 12, 2012 at 1:23 PM

        I never read that he Appel asked for over-slot money from Houston. I read that Houston wouldn’t go over $6 mil, which was way under slot.

      • stlouis1baseball - Jul 12, 2012 at 1:31 PM

        If he plays in the Independent League this year he goes back into the draft next year (ala JD Drew).

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 12, 2012 at 1:31 PM

        I really wish we could get a clearer picture of what happened, because those in the scouting world keep saying things like:
        Houston never offered Appel anything, so that’s one big difference.
        – Keith Law

        And Kevin Goldstein was making similar comments on twitter during the draft.

      • proudlycanadian - Jul 12, 2012 at 1:34 PM

        Appel will be in the same situation next year. If he does not sign now, he will have no leverage next year.

    • stex52 - Jul 12, 2012 at 2:24 PM

      Your read on the Appel situation is not quite right. Not that I am defending the whole draft situation. The Astros never took Appel. Neither did six other teams. None of them made an offer; Pittsburgh did. I know the common reports about the 6 MM$ offer, but that is a little speculative. And besides, it couldn’t have been a real offer because they had no rights to him. If an offer exists, it shouldn’t have been made. But they were actively scouting Appel, Bruxton and Correa for the #1 pick. The only one who got an offer was Correa, and he took it.

  4. hansob - Jul 12, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    It’s a smart move by the Marlins…. #10 next year is better than #9 this year…. but it sucks for the player. I tend to think that there should be a player option at 70% of slot, or something like that.

    • Kevin S. - Jul 12, 2012 at 4:31 PM

      Is it? Everything I’m hearing is that next year’s draft is weaker, they lose a year of development time, and they have less leverage with whoever they draft (since that pick won’t be protected).

  5. pghburgher - Jul 12, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    Appel has reportedly told Houston 6 Million was not enough the Agents convince these kids the money is there for the taking. He wants more than the Pirates can spend so head on back to school hope you don’t get hurt. Andrew Heaney may not have that option but thats not the Marlin’s fault. Tell him to have his agent make an offer apparently Miami thinks 2.8 is too much that’s their right. The clubs figured out That Seniors have less leverage would you rather make 1 or 1.5 Million compared to $400.00 a week in an independant league thats the reality of your choice. The players always want to wait out the Team for Maximum dollars looks like those days are gone grow up and deal with it.

    • js20011041 - Jul 12, 2012 at 2:32 PM

      Good lord, my head hurts just reading that.

      Unless there is some kind of pre-draft agreement between player and team, a player has every right to expect to be paid the maximum money allowed at that slot. That’s not unreasonable. If the Marlins didn’t feel like paying that much money, they should have drafted someone who they knew would accept a lower amount.

      • pghburgher - Jul 12, 2012 at 4:34 PM

        Unreasonable is exactly what it is The Marlins selected him 9th overall he should be thankful not figure he will wait around until the deadline approaches and try to squueze them. They have moved on signed other players who will make a good living playing ball. I am sure this young man will too. He rolled the dice and lost.

  6. Old Gator - Jul 12, 2012 at 1:51 PM

    Yeah, those hardline negotiators on the Feesh really boned John Buck and Heath Bell, didn’t they?

  7. stevem7 - Jul 12, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    I have no problem with the Marlins not signing the kid. I have a very large problem with the Marlins getting anything in the way of draft considerations when they failed to offer the kid what MLB said the pick position was worth. It should be made clear to any franchise if you cannot sign a draft pick you get considerations except if you don’t offer at least what MLB recommends for the slot in which case you get nothing. Put a stop to the BS of these cheap owners who just want to take all the money and run.

    • jrbdmb - Jul 12, 2012 at 11:11 PM

      I’d say (1) no compensation for the team if you don’t offer at least 90% of slot to the player, and (2) that player should be able to sign with the next team in line willing to offer slot money.

      No reason to reward the team and/or punish the player for crap like this.

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