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2012 MLB Draft: Pirates, Mark Appel Must Reach Agreement -- Or Not -- By Friday Afternoon

Friday afternoon at 5:00 p.m. is the deadline for No. 8 overall 2012 MLB Draft pick Mark Appel to reach agreement -- or not -- with the Pirates.

Appel's advisor is Scott Boras, whose usual tactic is to wait until right before the signing deadline, because he thinks that gives his clients the most leverage. I wouldn't expect Appel to sign before Friday afternoon, probably right before the deadline.

That's assuming he signs at all, although not doing so would be a questionable decision. The Pirates have a limited amount of money -- about $3.8 million -- to spend on Appel, due to the new draft rules. That might not be an amount Appel is happy with, given that he was widely expected to go to the Astros at No. 1 overall. Nonetheless, there isn't much he can do about it. Expecting to be picked in the top 10 again next year is a dicey proposition, and he'll be a college senior then, which gives him very little leverage.

In the end, I expect Appel to sign, despite rumblings that he might not. If he doesn't, though, the Pirates would be compensated with the No. 9 overall pick in next year's draft.

For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.