In a stunning turn of events, the Houston Astros have failed to sign number one overall pick Brady Aiken prior to Friday’s 5 p.m. ET deadline.
Aiken, a left-handed pitcher who attended Cathedral Catholic High School in San Diego, becomes only the third ever first-overall pick to not sign, joining Danny Goodwin (White Sox) in 1971 and Tim Belcher (Minnesota Twins) in 1983. Aiken has a commitment to UCLA. He would not be draft eligible again, however, until 2017 if he goes this route. He could attend a junior college and be draft eligible again next season.
Speculation arose that Aiken could go unsigned when a physical revealed an issue with the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his left elbow. A report by Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle that Aiken’s UCL is a lot smaller than normal. The two sides had reportedly agreed to a $6.5 million bonus, but the MRI convinced the team to lower the offer from 40 percent of his slot value ($3,168,840), which is the lowest amount they would have to offer in order to receive the number two pick in the 2015 draft, to $5 million. Aiken’s camp reportedly declined a $5 million deal just minutes prior to the deadline. The Astros will receive the second pick in next year’s draft in compensation for failing to sign Aiken.