When the Houston Astros selected high school pitcher Brady Aiken with the no. 1 overall pick in this summer’s MLB Amateur Draft, there were not so much as grumblings that he might have an elbow injury or that there might be a snag in contract negotiations.
As a deal reportedly neared its completion a couple weeks ago, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that Aiken would uneventfully sign on with the Astros. The deal was never finalized, however, and it turns out that an elbow ligament issue now stands between the Astros and Aiken getting a deal done. Jon Heyman of CBS reported the snag in contract negotiations on Monday:
Left-hander Brady Aiken is said to have an issue with his elbow ligament, causing the Astros to lower their offer and delaying the deal between the Astros and the No. 1 pick that seemed about to happen almost two weeks ago, sources told CBSSports.com.
The Astros are offering to do a deal for about $5 million now, according to sources, about $1.5 million less than the originally agreed-upon $6.5 million, sources say.
The team was reportedly preparing to announce their deal with Aiken when a physical exam revealed the issue.
This development could potentially call into question whether a deal will get done at all. General manager John Luhnow acknowledged that it is at least a possibility that a deal does not get done.
Luhnow said he’s hopeful Brady Aiken signs, but “I’m not going to handicap it either way.”
— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) July 7, 2014
The deadline to get a deal done is July 18th, meaning the clock is ticking if the Astros want to get Aiken signed.