Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Astros fail to sign no. 1 overall pick Brady Aiken along with two other top selections

The Houston Astros made history on Friday afternoon. Unfortunately for them, they made history in a bad way and with a failure that might set the franchise back even more in their long rebuilding process.

The deadline to sign draft selections from the 2014 amateur draft came and went on Friday. The Astros failed to sign no. 1 overall pick Brady Aiken. That means that Aiken has to wait until next year’s draft, with the option to attend UCLA the most likely course. As for the Astros, they will now have the no. 2 overall selection in the 2015 draft.

The gap between the two sides on a potential deal was a developing story over the last few weeks after a reported deal for $6.5 million fell through the cracks. The Astros claimed to have concerning information about the health of Aiken’s pitching elbow; as such they made him an offer below the value for his slot in the draft.

At the same time that they did not sign Aiken, the Astros failed to sign two other top selections as well in Jacob Nix (5th round) and Mac Marshall (21st round). Jim Callis reported the news:

This is the first time since 1983 that the no. 1 overall pick was not signed.

From the Astros’ perspective, this is a second setback in their plan to lose now in favor of future success. They selected Mark Appel no. 1 overall in 2013, a selection that is far from impacting the franchise and might be a bust (too soon to tell, though). Now this with Aiken.

There are two sides to this story, of course, but regardless of how the details played out, this is a major setback for the Houston Astros. They have already rubbed many people around the league the wrong way with their approach to rebuilding. Adding top talent like Appel and Aiken was supposed to be the payoff of that controversial plan. The Astros’ resolve in sticking to that plan will now be tested, both by the setback in the plan itself and the negative backlash that ensues.

Let’s just say they better be sure that there was cause for concern with Aiken’s elbow.

Tags: Brady Aiken Houston Astros

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