We know the situation. We know the Astros and Brady Aiken aren't exactly seeing eye to eye right now. With two day to go before the signing deadline for June draftees, let's do the math on what the Astros offered Aiken, what they offered Jacob Nix and how much money they have to spend.
First off, as the first overall pick, Brady Aiken has a draft bonus pool value of $7,922,100. Unsigned fifth-round pick Jacob Nix has a slot pool value of $370,500. Unsigned 21st round pick Mac Marshall can receive a bonus of up to $100,000 without counting against Houston's bonus pool.
The Astros have $13,362,000 to spend on 11 picks in the top 10 rounds. Houston has already spent $4,890,500 on nine picks. That means they have $8,471,500 to spend on the remaining unsigned draft picks. If the Astros spend from 0-5 percent over that bonus pool amount, they will be charged a 75 percent penalty on the overage by Major League Baseball.
If the Astros spent from 5-10 percent of that pool, they will pay the 75 percent tax and lose a first round pick in next year's draft. If Houston spends more than 10 percent over the bonus pool, it will be charged the tax and will lose a first and a second round pick.
Given those numbers, Houston have to spend less than $14,030,100 to avoid losing a draft pick next year, as long as all of the unsigned picks agree to terms. If Houston spends between $14,030,100 and $14,698,200, it will lose draft pick. If it spends more than $14,698,200, it will forfeit two draft picks.
Due to the injury clause in the CBA, Houston had to offer Brady Aiken 40 percent of his draft slot amount to still receive a draft pick next season. That number is $3,168,840. Conflicting reports have stated that Houston either offered him this or a $5 million figure, which would also qualify Houston to retain the pick.
Aiken reportedly agreed to a deal with Houston for $6.5 million, giving them a draft pool savings of $1,422,100. Jacob Nix reportedly agreed to a deal with Houston for $1.5 million, which is $1,129,500 over his slot pool amount. If both reported deals were completed, Houston would still be under its bonus pool amount by $292,600.
They could then put all of that money toward signing Mac Marshall, adding up to 5 percent over the bonus amount, which would be an extra $668,000. That would bring a projected Marshall deal to $960,600 without Houston suffering any loss of draft picks. If it takes Nix-type money to sign Marshall, Houston would need to agree to terms with Aiken at $5,392,600. That would give them the flexibility to sign Marshall for $1.5 million, Nix for $1.5 million and not exceed the draft pool at all. Adding in the $668,000 of overage, Houston could sign Aiken for up to $6,060,600.
If Houston fails to sign Brady Aiken, it loses all of his pool amount, dropping it down to $5,439,900. That would leave Houston with just $549,400 left in its bonus pool. Houston could spend up to $5,711,895 without losing a draft pick and up to $5,983,890 without losing two draft picks.
If Houston is forced to honor its agreement to sign Nix for $1.5 million and it fails to sign Aiken, it would put the draft pool at $6,390,500 or about 17 percent over the reduced pool amount.
It is still possible for the Astros to sign all three and not suffer any penalties at all. The math might be complicated, but hopefully, this helps clarify things.