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No deal for Mark Appel and the Pirates

Jul 13, 2012, 5:35 PM EDT

Mark Appel AP

Pirates first round draft pick Mark Appel is going back to college. Because he and Pittsburgh failed to reach a deal by today’s deadline.

The eighth overall pick had seemed like a signing longshot for some time. In large part because he was originally expected to be the first overall pick before his hometown Houston Astros passed on him after he declined a $6 million bonus before the draft.  That was not the maximum the Astros could have give him. They could have gone to $7.8 million in this new bonus-capped, hard-slotted world in which we now operate, but the ‘Stros obviously didn’t think he was worth it.

Enter the Pirates, who per the slot rules could have given Appel around $3.8 million or so. Maybe a bit more depending on what they did with later picks, but not much more.  Since negotiations began, this seemed like it was never going to happen. Appel wanted more and the Pirates would be forced to surrender a first round pick in 2013 if they exceeded their draft bonus cap.

As Matthew noted earlier this week, Appel would seem to have a lot to lose by going back to school for his senior season. Unless he raises his draft stock for next year, he won’t stand to make any more and could slide down further. It’s early yet, but next year’s draft looks kind of weak so it’s possible. But of course, there’s always a risk of injury.

Scott Boras is Appel’s agent and he is on record as hating the bonus caps. I suppose he hoped to bust them with Appel, just like he has busted past attempts by the owners to curb bonuses. But it didn’t work this time. Or maybe his client was simply obstinate. Hard to say.  Either way, the Pirates don’t have their first round pick and Appel has to wait another year to start his march to the majors.

  1. iclight79 - Jul 14, 2012 at 5:14 AM

    As a Buccos fan, I’ve got to be honest, as far as yesterday goes, getting beat by freakin’ Ryan Bruan with J-Mac on the mound was shittier news. Especially considering we pushed seven runs across. We fans didn’t really expect Appel to join what could have been the best rotation in baseball, but we had outside hopes. Still, thing is, the Pirates have pitching coming up, so outside of losing a year of development on another player, this isn’t so bad. And as far as Appel goes, something about him doesn’t really sit well with me. I get the feeling that he could either be really great or really bad and there is no between. Now, since he won’t be wearing black and gold, I certainly hope it’s the latter, petty as that may be.

    • iclight79 - Jul 14, 2012 at 5:17 AM

      Braun, that is. Steroid freak that he may be, he at least deserves me typing his name right.

  2. onbucky96 - Jul 14, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    Suck it Boras. Sick of him, his handling of draft picks, and the ever present “mystery team” in free angency. Guy might be a bigger tool than Drew Rosenhaus. Hope Apple wakes up and fires his “advisor” before the2013 draft.

  3. dartwick - Jul 14, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    I think Boras just cost his client a year of playing MLB and 3 million dollars. Seems dumb but well see.

    But I dont blame the Pirates. It was a chance at a good player with minimal down side aas they get a replacment pick next year.

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