Fox 26's Mark Berman reported Monday that Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow has made initial contact with Whitley's camp and is 'cautiously optimistic' that the team can get the deal done.
Whitley, the No. 17 pick overall in the 2016 Draft, at the time of the draft, was 9-1 with a 0.31 ERA with 126 strikeouts in 68 innings of work. He helped lead the Alamo Heights squad to a runner-up finish in the 2016 UIL Class 5A State Championship.
The No. 17 pick is slotted with a value of $2,504,200 out of a total Houston pool of $5,928,300 (for the top 10 picks) and Baseball America projects the Astros can go up to $2,715,400 with overage tax and every other pick signing at slot.
Breaking this part of the draft pool overage taxes, teams can go 0-5 percent over and pay 75 percent tax on the overage. If a team goes 5-10 percent over, the team will pay a 75% tax and lose the team's next first round pick. If a team goes 10-15 percent over, the team will play 100% tax on the overage and lose the team's next first and second pick.
It's safe to say the Astros will stay in the 0-5 percent range. There have been multiple reports of the Astros draft picks either signing at or below slot. It goes along with the Astros profile for this draft with high-end college players that had a down year or skills the Astros value highly over other MLB teams.
The Astros appeared angled to finish the job with Whitely, but it will be interesting to see what happens as he has commitment to Flordia State.