In a little less than an hour, Stanford right-hander Mark Appel will officially become Astros right-hander Mark Appel, as the Houston native signs his contract with the team at a press conference scheduled for 3 p.m.
By signing 13 days after the draft, Appel becomes one of the quickest No. 1 picks to sign in recent years. Obviously, Carlos Correa getting a deal done days after being drafted last year set the precedent, but with Scott Boras, fans were probably right to assume things might drag on this year.
Take Stephen Strasburg for instance. The former San Diego State righty was taken with the first overall pick in 2009, but didn't sign his major league contract until August 17 of that year, according to Cot's Baseball Contracts. Who represented Strasburg? Boras.
What about Bryce Harper, the No. 1 pick in 2011? After being drafted in June of that year, it took the College of Southern Nevada star until August 16 to sign his major league contract with Washington. Harper, as you might guess, is also represented by Boras.
Of course, 2013 marked the second year of baseball's new collective bargaining agreement, which puts tighter deadlines on when picks have to be signed. The fact that Boras didn't string this negotation out until the deadline again speaks to the Houston front office's relationship with him and to Appel's desire to get his career going.