Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle reports that after much speculation, the MLBPA has officially filed a grievance against the Houston Astros over the now infamous non-signing of Brady Aiken. According to the article, the union and Aiken's advisor, Casey Close, have gone silent of late, perhaps given the serious legal nature of this grievance. But the union has publicly complained, according to Drellich, that the Astros
attempted to manipulate the draft system, which affords teams a pool of money to spend on bonuses for picks in the top 10 rounds before incurring stiff penalties. Effectively, picks are made contingent on another: save money on one guy, bring in someone else who is asking for more than his slot value.
A lot rides on winning this grievance for all parties. Aiken and Nix could potentially be ruled free agents. The Astros could potentially lose multiple draft picks and the way teams approach the draft could be fundamentally altered.
Will this charge stick or is the union just taking a very low probability flyer? Common sense would suggest that over- and under-slotting is at the very least an open secret if not fully within both the letter and spirit of MLB rules. Perhaps the union will go after the Astros' controversial interpretation of the physical, arguing that Aiken didn't "fail" the physical as normally defined.
So weigh in, Astros faithful, if you're not already sick to death of this issue. What say you all? Does the union have a shot?