The Pirates failed to sign first-round pick Mark Appel when the MLB Draft signing deadline passed Friday afternoon, but all I can do is shrug.
For failing to sign Appel, the Pirates will get the No. 9 pick in next year's draft, along with their usual first-round draft pick. That goes a long way towards offsetting the loss of Appel.
In the meantime, you can't really criticize them for not trying. When their turn came, they took the best overall player on the board, then offered him $3.8 million, the most they could offer without forfeiting their top pick in next year's draft. That would have been a terrible move had they done so.
It would have been nice if the Pirates had signed Appel, but they did what they could, and now they'll have two first-round picks and lots of flexibility next year. Overall, it's no big loss.
In the meantime, it will be a neat trick for Scott Boras to get more than $3.8 million for his client next year. Appel will have to land in the top 10 picks yet again, which isn't easy to do, and he'll have to hope that the team that picks him doesn't lowball him due to his being a college senior. It's possible Appel could get more money, but it's a ridiculous gamble, particularly given the injury problems associated with pitchers in their early 20s. The only reasonable conclusion here is that Boras probably cost him money. Good luck to him.
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