Houston, We Have a Problem: Astros Fail to Sign Top Pick

Houston, We Have a Problem: Astros Fail to Sign Top Pick

If it weren’t for bad luck, the Houston Astros wouldn’t have any.

The club watched its secret trade talks go online for all to see last month. This month, as they suffer through yet another abysmal season, Houston lost its opportunity to sign the #1 pick in last month’s draft. The signing deadline passed at 5 p.m. Eastern on Friday.

After initially reaching a verbal agreement on a $6.5 million bonus, the Astros and pitcher Brady Aiken split after the club reduced its offer to $5 million after allegedly finding a matter of concern in a physical. The 17-year-old San Diego native balked at the new offer. Aiken joins Danny Goodwin (1971) and Tim Belcher (1983) as top picks who refused to reach an agreement with the team courting them. Aiken may enroll at UCLA or perhaps re-enter next year’s draft. Should he find himself again picked at the top of the draft, Aiken will join Goodwin as the only players picked first twice. Goodwin hit 13 home runs and batted .236 over seven uneventful seasons in the majors. 

“We’ve been following Brady Aiken for a while now and we feel that he is a young, dynamic, high-upside, left-handed pitcher,” Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said last month in an official statement. “I couldn’t be more excited for the Houston Astros and their future by adding this player to what already is a very strong system.”

That was then.