The Astros selected high school pitcher Brady Aiken with the first overall pick in this year's amateur draft, and quickly came to a verbal agreement that would pay Aiken a $6.5 million bonus, a notch down from the $7.9 million slot value that was assigned the No. 1 pick. But now the Astros are trying to wriggle out of the deal after a physical revealed an alleged "abnormality" in Aiken's elbow—we'll here note that pretty much every pitcher has abnormalities in their arm if you want to go looking for them—and his agent, Casey Close, is pissed.
Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal got in touch with Close, who believes that the Astros are using this apparent physical issue as an excuse to game the entire draft system. The team is trying to pressure Aiken into accepting a deal for $3.1 million, and Close believes that they are using another one of his clients, fifth-round pick Jacob Nix, as leverage. The Astros had already agreed to a $1.5 million deal with Nix, but now they are threatening to rescind the deal if Aiken doesn't sign at a reduced rate.