We knew it would come down to today. It always does when you are dealing with Scott Boras clients. But this afternoon, at 5 PM ET, the Pirates’ 1st round pick Mark Appel will either be starting his professional career or he will be heading back to Stanford for his senior season.
We know one thing. And that is that Appel is not going to be offered any more than $3,837,575. That is the exact amount the Pirates can spend without losing any future draft picks, which is definitely not an option. Slot value for Appel’s pick is $2.9 million, but they did save some money on other draft picks to go over that, thus the previous given figure.
Appel went into the draft rated by many as the #1 pitching prospect in the draft and was projected by just as many to go as the #1 overall pick. He was a 1st Team All-American this season and a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award, given to the NCAA’s top player. In 123 innings for the Cardinal this year, he was 10-2 with a 2.56 ERA and a 130:30 K:BB ratio.
Earlier this week, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman tweeted out that Appel is leaning toward returning to Stanford instead of taking a $3.8 million offer by the Pirates, but that could just be another Boras negotiating tactic as he and Heyman have a very strong relationship.
UPDATE – 11:32 AM:
The Pirates just signed their 18th round pick, John Kuchno to a $125,000 bonus. $25,000 of that counts towards the Pirates’ draft pool, thus reducing the maximum amount Appel can sign for down to $3,812,575. It’s not much, but it is still less than the previous max. You could see a few more signings today that may lower that amount as well.
UPDATE – 11:40 AM:
Jon Heyman writes:
“Mark Appel, the Pirates’ No. 1 pick and the player some believed was the top pitcher in the draft, remains highly unlikely to agree to Pittsburgh’s $3.8-million offer as Friday’s 5 p.m. EDT deadline approaches.”
Just another Boras negotiating ploy? Or is it legit? I guess we’ll know within a few hours.
UPDATE – 2:16 PM:
Baseball America’s Jim Callis is also leaning towards thinking Appel is not signing, but he “wouldn’t rule it out” that he signs.
UPDATE – 4:12 PM:
The Pirates just signed their 16th round pick, Max Moroff, for a signing bonus of $300K, thus taking another $200K out of the available draft pool. That currently leaves a little over $3.6 million left that the Pirates can possibly offer to Appel.
UPDATE – 5:30 PM:
The Pirates failed to sign Mark Appel.