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stanford mark appelThe rumors could come fast and furious today – and they could all contradict each other, because why wouldn’t they? – and it’s starting early.

Baseball America’s Jim Callis just released his latest mock draft, which has the Astros going for Jonathan Gray at the top (remember, Callis was saying just yesterday that he was hearing more and more that the Astros might step up and pay for Mark Appel), and the Cubs taking Appel second.

Of greater note here is why Callis has Gray going first and Appel going second. Callis suggests the Astros have yet to receive assurances from Appel’s camp that he’ll sign at a reasonable figure. And, as a senior who can wait to sign until next year right before the draft, Appel could hold the Astros’ bonus pool hostage, as Callis puts it.

Moreover, Callis hears “a lot of buzz” that the Cubs are closing in on a deal with Appel. Obviously they can’t yet literally make a deal with him, but there can be sufficient winking and nodding for the Cubs to have comfort in selecting Appel (who may prefer to wind up with the Cubs over the Astros, anyway, even if he hails from Houston).

That said, you have to regard the rumor suspiciously at this stage in the game. It could have been leaked by Appel’s camp to try and get a little extra money from the Astros (i.e., he tells them “I’ve got a $6 million offer from the Cubs, and I’m going to take it unless you agree that you’ll offer me $6.5 million … and if you draft me without an agreement in place, I’m going to hold your feet to the fire for $8+ million”).

So, yeah. Maybe the Cubs are close to a deal with Appel and he’ll be their pick tonight. Or maybe Appel really wants to go to the Astros, and just wants a little more scratch.

  • Austin

    Still praying we land Bryant.

  • preacherman86

    And maybe Appel and the Astros settled around 6.5. And maybe they went to Gary, who they have reportedly loved for awhile, and say, look man, you messed up and we risking a lot to make u the 1st pick. But we will put our butts on the line if u cut a deal, say 3.25 mil? And gray being between a rock and a hard place jumps for it. That gives them like 5 mil to play with in the ensuing rounds and one of the two ace ceiling pitchers at a huge discount….seems like a perfect storm and a Houston-esque thing to do

    • Scotti

      Gray is not between a rock and a hard place. The guy is a legitimate 1,1 guy who would never fall that far. For 3.25 to be attractive to him he would have to fall all the way PASSED the Red Sox @ 7 (slot $3,246,000). And, seriously, would you rather be with the Strohs or Red Sox? Gray has the leverage of talent.

      And, commenting on Brett’s article, Appel “holding a draft hostage” won’t happen. The team that drafts Appel gets a pick next year if he doesn’t sign with them (one slot down) so the majority of the money bumps over to the next year. If you draft Appel and he holds out then you just sign the guys left in your draft as if Appel signed for slot and then you have a monster draft the next year if he doesn’t. An, if he doesn’t sign, he becomes the collegiate version of Matt Harrington:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matt_Harrington

      So, if the Cubs draft Appel, and he tries to take it to the draft next year, the Cubs could very well decide that they like someone(s) else at #3 in next year’s draft instead of him at #2 this year and that would suck for Appel. No way does he pull that. That would be monumentally stupid.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        On the holding draft hostage thing, that’s not the issue. The issue is the slot money associated with Appel’s pick. If he doesn’t sign, all of that slot money goes away – so the team drafting him won’t know how much money they have to sign overslot types until he signs. And if he waits until after the usual signing deadline (which he can do because he’s a senior), it could really screw a team.

  • preacherman86

    Sorry for the iPhone autocorrect of Gray!

  • Joker

    *squeal*

  • Melrosepad

    I’d love to see whoever we pick 1st sign quickly and get into the system right away, even if it is just a couple of starts or such.

  • http://permalink toby

    i call bulls**t first

  • North Side Irish

    Chris Crawford just posted his latest mock and has Appel going 1.1 and the Cubs taking Gray. Though he does add in his comment that he would “put the odds of Appel ending up a Cub though at 50 percent.”…

  • Kevin

    Do you really think Boras would allow his client to sign below slot?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      If it gets him more money than he would otherwise, yes.

      • Jp3

        I think it’s just posturing for more scratch, unless he already knows the stros are taking someone else.

  • Noah

    Another issue for Appel to push harder on the Astros than the Cubs: the Cubs are going to be looking to compete sooner than the Astros do. I’m putting the Cubs as putting their cards on the table to have a team that they expect to compete for the NL Central title no later than 2015, possibly even next year. I don’t see the Astros doing the same until at least 2016.

    How does this affect Appel? The Astros have an incentive to keep Appel in the minors longer so they’ll have more years of team control when they are going to be competitive.

    I’d anticipate that the Cubs would call up Appel sometime in 2014. I’d anticipate that the Astros would not do so for at least one additional year.

    • mak

      I think this point could be huge. Its hard to say because our management is so shrewd (and probably wouldn’t want to concede the point unless it was very sure Appel would be ready to play and Cubs ready to compete), but I think an agreement with Appel could include an agreement to put him on the 40 man by 2014.

  • Kevin

    Appel plus extra bonus money to spend in the later rounds would be ideal.

  • TheOtherBrett

    I know I read this in one of the posts, but what time does the draft begin?

    • Kyle

      6 p.m. CT

      • TheOtherBrett

        Thanks, Kyle.

  • Featherstone

    Woe be to the team that drafts Appel if he falls lower than 2nd pick.

  • macpete22
    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Just writing about that, actually. And maybe not what you think.

      • macpete22

        Just passing the information along. It was posted last night too so, things could have changed

  • Pingback: Obsessive Draft Obsessing: Appel at $7 Million or Bryant at $4 Million? Could Be Up to the Rockies | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary

  • Rich

    I know that this is all part of the process, but it reminds me of Anibal last season and how is agent possibly played the Tigers on the Cubs. ( albeit the agent did do his job )…
    Brett or anyone, how much talking $ with these potential clients occur prior to them being selected..

    I am sure there are rules, but what is the impression that clubs already know that this person will accept x amount of dollars ?

    Also do you think if Appel decided that he does not want to play for the Astros, that he would simply tell them that PLEASE DONT DRAFT ME ?

  • Eric

    breathe, relax. “the Astros might step up and pay for Mark Appel), and the Cubs taking Appel second.”

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      You may want to read the entire sentence.

  • Ryan

    I still think that I want the Cubs to run far away from Jonathan Grey. The drug test screams out to me. I’m very torn on Bryant/Moran or Appel though.

    • Jay

      It was for Adderall, for crying out loud—the kid’s trying to drop weight. That’s all. Too lazy to go to a doctor for it. This isn’t HGH covering up an injury or steroids for performance enhancement.

      • SenorGato

        So a potential pro athlete needs a drug to drop weight in his low 20’s, AND hes too lazy to get the prescription. You see nothing wrong with this?

      • hansman1982

        It is serious, if he needs it to drop weight and become the ace-ish pitcher he was this year, that means that he isn’t a top of the draft talent and at the 2nd pick, the Cubs should run away from him.

        The worst part, he knew he was going to be drug tested and Adderall is only detectable for a matter of less than a week (in the studies I read, the levels of the substance were at 0 within 5-6 days, if that, there appeared to be a 2-4 day window when it is detectable, but I have no idea if MLB tests are similar to those).

        Now, as we are seeing, MLB is taking drug usage VERY seriously. The last thing I want is for him to have to sit out 50 or 100 games because he had another, similar incident.

  • itzscott

    Wayyyyyy too much drama from the Appel/Boros team for someone who hasn’t thrown one professional pitch which tells me the Cubs should stay away and go with Bryant.

    • mdavis

      Boras reps Bryant also.

  • Spoda17

    I would still go for Bryant

  • 5412

    Hi,

    More the reason for the Cubs to forget Appel.

    Regards,
    5412

  • Greenroom

    I know it has been posted. But what are the potential ceilings and/or minimum expectations for Gray, Appel and Bryant? thanks

    • mdavis

      just from what ive read/heard from everyone around here

      Gray: ace potential, but bust potential

      Appel: Garza (solid #2), but very polished, so little chance of busting

      Bryant: the next Mike Schmidt, or maybe the next Mark Reynolds (big HR, big K’s).

      I’m sure some others around here can give better answers than that though.

      • Greenroom

        Thanks so much.

  • chrisfchi

    Cant wait to get home tonight and tune in. I hope the cubs do good with that #2 pick, but im more interested in the later rounds.

  • Michael

    I can honestly say I don’t care who the cubs take because there are things I love about everyone at the top so I just can’t wait to see who we welcome to the cubs family!!

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