With the 2015 MLB Draft quickly approaching, some rather interesting news has surfaced about the Astros and two of their former draft picks that they failed to sign last year.
Jeff Luhnow says he believes Brady Aiken did not give Astros permission to redraft him, just as Nix didn't— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) June 4, 2015
Wait, that's a rule?
Apparently, yes. Evan Drellich, the Astros beat reporter for the Houston Chronicle, wrote a piece back in December highlighting this rule and how it affects both Aiken and Jacob Nix.
What’s known in baseball as the right to re-draft form is tantamount to power for the players. Any drafted player who does not sign with a club has to sign a form if he wants to allow that club a chance to re-draft him in a subsequent draft.
No signature, no chance that team can take you.
"A selected player who does not sign may not be selected by the same Major League Club at any subsequent First-Year Player Draft unless the player has notified the Commissioner or the Commissioner’s designee in writing that the player has no objection to such re-selection," reads MLB’s rules.
Has this ever happened before?
Yes, and it actually involves the Astros. While Mark Appel was projected by most as the top pick in the 2012 draft, his desired signing bonus made some teams reluctant to select him, and he fell to the Pirates at number 8 overall. He wound up returning to Stanford for another season, and was taken first overall by Houston in the following year. Appel obviously wasn't on the board by the time Pittsburgh was on the clock, but had he been, they wouldn't have been allowed to pick him.
What impact does this have on the draft?
The draft, at least the first round, is about the slot and the dollar amount attached to it. When Aiken was drafted number one, his slot was worth $7.9 million, but the two parties agreed on $6.5 million before injury concerns blew the whole deal up.
Fast forward to the 2015 draft and Aiken needs all the leverage he can get. For Aiken to receive the kind of money he almost got last year, he needs to go in the top five according to Drellich. There are still serious questions about Aiken's health, and will likely fall in the draft because of it. Baseball America's latest mock projects him to fall to 24th overall to the Dodgers, but there are some rumors that he could go much higher if a team is willing to take on a high-risk high reward player.