If you thought the Brady Aiken saga was over, think again.
Kiley McDaniel of FanGraphs said on Twitter today that there is a very real chance the Astros could still sign Brady Aiken around the time of Jacob Nix's grievance hearing. From the MLB Trade Rumors article summing up the situation:
As McDaniel puts it, the possibility of Aiken inking a deal beyond the July 18th deadline for signing draft picks is an "MLB's discretion situation." It had been presumed that Houston had forfeited their right to sign Aiken (plus Nix and 21st-rounder Mac Marshall) when they couldn't reach agreements with any of the players by July 18th. In failing to sign Aiken, the Astros received the second overall pick in the 2015 draft as compensation.
Reading between the lines, this agreement could be reached to allow the Astros to sign Nix, save the money in the draft pool and still honor the Nix deal. Thus, no changes to the CBA would be necessary until negotiations resume before 2016. That's huge and likely the reason this deal is going down in the first place.
You can be assured, though, that other teams in baseball will flip out if this happens. Sure, the commissioner's office may have the power to extend that deadline, but after the disastrous week leading up to the actual deadline Houston had, they still get their guy? On a technicality and a wink-and-nudge deal? Yikes.
This also brings together a lot of fence-mending between Jim Crane and Casey Close, who met with each other this week in New York (with Tiger Woods!). Crane explicitly said he wasn't negotiating with anyone in those meetings, but it's clear he steps in when needed to mend fences. That's what happened with Larry Dierker too.
If Houston still ends up with Brady Aiken and Jacob Nix, by some miracle, maybe this season will be a win. I can't yet wrap my head around that situation, though. Give me some time to ponder this.
UPDATE: Of course, Mark Berman's gotta be first with the ice cold bucket of water on my head.
Regarding a report the Astros could still sign top-draft pick Brady Aiken, owner Jim Crane:"There's nothing 2report,nothing going on there"
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) August 21, 2014