(NEW YORK) — For just the third time in history, the top pick in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft goes unsigned. The Houston Astros failed to reach a deal with left-handed pitcher Brady Aiken before Friday’s deadline.
The high school southpaw was originally offered a $6.5 million signing bonus, but sources say that offer was lowered when concerns about Aiken’s elbow ligament rose. Aiken was the third high school pitcher ever to be taken number one overall and was the first high school lefty to go in the top five since 2002.
The MLB players association has said the union is working with Aiken to explore all possible options, as well as looking into the way Houston handled negotiations with fifth-round pick Jacob Nix.
“Today, two young men should be one step closer to realizing their dreams of becoming Major League ballplayers,” Tony Clark, head of the MLBPA said in a statement. “Because of the actions of the Houston Astros, they are not. The MLBPA, the players and their advisers are exploring all legal options.”
The Astros have maintained that no wrongdoing occurred in the negotiations and that Aiken’s deal was “extremely fair considering all the factors involved in this case.”
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Emanuella Grinberg, CNN
Billy Hallowell, Deseret News