A Bad Draft Season for the Astros
The Astros burned themselves big-time on the draft this year. Their low-balling of and regressive bargaining with the No. 1 overall draft pick and not-actually-injured Brady Aiken, has cost them not only Aiken, but also their fifth round pick Jacob Nix, a high schooler whom the ‘Stros thought was worth $1.5 million until they found out about Aiken’s thin elbow ligament.
The Astros have let it be known that they brought their final offer to Aiken back up to $5 million, but didn’t get a call-back from Aiken’s “advisor” (agent) Casey Close. However, after dropping their initial $6.5 million offer down to $5 million and then down again to less than $3.2 million, Aiken may have simply decided that he didn’t want to be a part of the Astros’ organization.
If it was me, I’d have taken the $5 million, but I can certainly see why Aiken would decide it’s better to start his professional career somewhere else.
In any event, the Astros get the No. 2 overall pick in next year’s draft, but it means that after three consecutive 100+ loss seasons and another season in which the Astros are likely to approach 100 losses again, it will be another year before the Astros can even sign that compensation pick. Also, it isn’t too often that you get a No. 1 overall pick, even if this was the Astros’ third No. 1 in a row.
However, with Mark Appel looking an awful lot like a dud, this is two years in a row the Astros have turned the No. 1 overall pick into bupkis.
Bad teams usually aren’t bad simply due to bad luck or relative poverty. Instead, they tend to make a lot of bad decisions.
In fact, the Astros can’t even really claim to be a “poor” team. While their revenues are currently near the bottom of MLB, that’s mainly due to their terrible play on the field years on end and some terrible decisions they’ve made regarding their cable television rights. Houston is a big and potentially great market for baseball.