User ID
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Betting Tools

Union criticizes Astros over draft talks

New customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The head of the players' association thinks the Houston Astros have manipulated baseball's rules in an attempt to save money in their negotiations with top draft picks Brady Aiken and Jacob Nix.

Aiken, a left-handed pitcher from San Diego, was selected by Houston with the top pick in last month's amateur draft. Nix, a right-hander from Los Alamitos, California, was taken by the Astros in the fifth round with the 136th pick. Both have committed to UCLA if they don't sign with Houston.

Aiken originally was offered a deal with a $6.5 million signing bonus by the Astros, a person familiar with the negotiations said, speaking on condition of anonymity because no statements were authorized.

But the Astros expressed a concern over Aiken's elbow ligament and are now offering $3,168,840, the person said, an amount 40 percent of the slot's value of $7,922,100. That is the minimum the club must offer to receive an extra top draft pick next year if it fails to sign him by Friday's 5 p.m. EDT deadline.

Nix was offered a $1.5 million bonus, the person said, but the Astros won't finalize his deal unless they reach an agreement with Aiken. If they don't sign Aiken, the Astros would lose the entire slot value from their signing pool.

Both players are being advised by Casey Close.

''It is disappointing on any number of levels to think that what has happened in that situation, what has happened with respect with integrity of the draft process in general,'' union head Tony Clark told the Baseball Writers' Association of America on Tuesday. ''Our hope here going forward is that what we think has happened didn't happen. But you can rest assured that the manipulation that we think happened in this case is going to lead us to have some conversations that are going to make sure that players receive the support that they deserve.''

Speaking earlier to the BBWAA, Major League Baseball Executive Vice President Dan Halem defended the team and said ''we fully support the Astros.''

''We believe that they have conducted themselves appropriately,'' Halem added. ''Given that there are still a few days until the signing deadline, we're not going to say anything else at this time and, hopefully, all the parties will be able to resolve this without our assistance.''

Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said in a statement ''throughout this process, we have been in touch with MLB to ensure that we are adhering to the rules at every point and we are confident that this has been the case.''

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2015
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

Puig gets swollen eye thanks to bouncer
Jays sign LHP Happ to three-year deal
Former MLB outfielder Otis Nixon arrested
Avila, White Sox reach $2.5M deal
D-backs name Magadan hitting coach
Braun optimistic following surgery
A's acquire Jed Lowrie from Astros
Rockies trade Brothers to Cubs
Carpenter, Lavarnway sign with Braves
Why Buy Picks From
MLB Pro Baseball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
Live Odds
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Jimmy Boyd + 2463
Vince Akins + 1414
Chip Chirimbes + 1286
Underdog Leaders
Handicapper Money
Dave Cokin + 992
John Fisher + 906
Doc's Sports + 704
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
The Gold Sheet + 727
Bill Marzano + 560
Kyle Hunter + 559
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 1664
Chip Chirimbes + 1582
Vince Akins + 1551
Favorite Leaders
Handicapper Money
Jimmy Boyd + 2104
Vince Akins + 1641
Don Anthony + 1557
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Stephen Nover + 633
Jimmy Boyd + 579
Kyle Hunter + 429
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership