1. Aiken, Nix, and Marshall all signed
Today MLB.com's Jim Callis announced the final piece of the puzzle for the Astros former draft picks that were unable to reach an agreement. Former first overall pick, Brady Aiken signed for $2,513,280.
That is about half what he would have received if he had taken the Astros final offer, and half million less than the minimum offer the Astros were required to offer. But it's a nice chunk of change for a pitcher coming off of Tommy John surgery.
Arguably, another year in the draft pool helped out both Jacob Nix and Mac Marshall. Both players went higher than they did in 2014. Nix went 86th overall to the Padres in the third round after the Astros drafted him with the 136th pick in the 2014 draft. Nix signed with the Padres for $900,000 -- $212,000 over slot value.
Nix did have an agreement with the Astros for $1.5 million if hinged on being able to sign Aiken below slot. The deal fell through and the Astros were required to pay an undisclosed amount to settle with Nix after a court case.
Marshall, who did sign the waiver allowing the Astros to redraft him before the 2015, was drafted by the Giants with the 126th pick overall in the fifth round. The Astros drafted him last season with the 616th pick in the 21st round. Marshall signed the Giants for $750,000 -- $306,200 over slot.
One more page of this chapter has been written, now we'll see how these three pitchers do in the minors.
2. All-Star Caps
The All-Star Game is just around the corner. One if you haven't already voted for Jose Altuve, please GO DO THAT NOW. He is currently losing to Omar Infante. Do you really want Omar Infante representing the American League in the All-Star game?
Now lets talk about something that has become a new element of the All-Star game - the All-Star game hat. It appears that Major League Baseball and New ERA now to incorporate the host city's historical cap elements into the yearly design. Last year, the caps were inspired by the 1970s era batting helmet of the host Minnesota Twins.
The 86th All-Star Game, which will be held on Tuesday, July 14th at Great American Ball Park, the home of the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds will be the inspiration of this year's cap. The inspiration comes from the Red's Inspired by the host club in the 1880's and 1890's.
Here is a quote from New Era:
Over a century ago, Cincinnati's Baseball Club, known as the Red Stockings, wore a cap which featured wide, horizontal stripes, commonly known as pleats, around the circumference of the caps. This design, which became the basis for the cap that Cincinnati Reds mascot Mr. Redlegs has worn since his inception in 1956, is featured prominently in the 2015 All-Star Game logo. Now, that 19th century design has been combined with a modern look and fabric to create the 2015 All-Star Game Cap.
Now for the Astros design:
What do you think TCBers? Yay or nay?
3. Appel to Triple A
The Houston Chronicle's Evan Drellich reported that Mark Appel may soon be starting in Fresno. Appel appears to have turned his season around, he is 2-0 with a 1.54 ERA in 23 1/3 innings in the month of June. He has 20 strikeouts and 5 walks during that stretch.
Are we looking at first-overall pick turning the corner toward the majors? Or we seeing the high point for Appel?
Either Way the Astros need every arm they can get for the push to the end of the season.