MLB Team Report - Houston Astros - INSIDE PITCH


CHICAGO -- Friday's 5 p.m. deadline came and went with the Houston Astros not being able to come to terms with No. 1 pick Brady Aiken.

That means Aiken, a left-hander from Cathedral Catholic High School in San Diego, can re-enter the draft at a later date and the Astros automatically receive the No. 2 selection in the 2015 draft.

It's just the third time in the history of the baseball draft that the No. 1 overall pick did not sign. Peoria (Ill.) High catcher Danny Goodwin (White Sox) in 1971 and Mount Vernon Nazarene (Ohio) right-hander Tim Belcher (Twins) in 1983 are the only other No. 1 picks not to sign.

"We are disappointed that we were not able to reach an agreement with Brady Aiken today," Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow said in a statement. "As an organization, we devoted a great deal of time and resources to these negotiations. Despite our best efforts, a deal could not be reached.

"The Astros offer to Brady was extremely fair considering all the factors involved in this case. As always, we approached these negotiations in good faith and with the best interests of the Astros organization in mind, both short-term and long-term. Throughout this entire process, we have absolutely acted within Major League Baseball's rules and guidelines, which MLB has confirmed on numerous occasions.

"Despite not reaching a deal today, we are pleased with the bright young talent we obtained in this year's draft. We wish Brady and his family all the best moving forward."

Two days after the June 5 draft, Aiken and the team appeared to settle on a $6.5 million signing bonus according to several reports, but the Astros pulled that offer when a June 23 medical exam sparked concern about Aiken's ulna collateral ligament because it is unusually small.

The Astros then reportedly lowered their offer to roughly $3.1 million, which is 40 percent of his assigned pick value, assuring that they would receive the No. 2 pick next year if a deal couldn't be reached.

Since that point, there has barely any communication between the two sides -- even as the deadline approached. Luhnow told the Houston Chronicle that he reached out to Casey Close, the agent advising Aiken, on Friday but was rebuffed.

Two reports on Friday said the Astros' final offer to Aiken was $5 million.

The Astros also didn't sign fifth-round pick Jacob Nix. The team originally had come to terms with him on a $1.5 million offer but pulled it later because of complications with the draft bonus rules. Nix also is represented by Close, further harming the relationship between the agent and the team.

"We tried to engage the other side, Casey Close, three times today," Luhnow told the Chronicle, shortly after the deadline by phone from Mexico. "Never received a counter. Really, they just never engaged, for whatever reason, there was no interest. There just didn't appear interest to sign on their side."

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MLB Team Report - Houston Astros - NOTES, QUOTES


RECORD: 40-57

STREAK: Lost two

NEXT: Astros (LHP Dallas Keuchel, 9-5, 3.20 ERA) at White Sox (RHP Hector Noesi, 3-7, 5.26 ERA)

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