Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Brady Aiken fiasco

The current regime of the Houston Astros has a tendency to come off as convinced that they're the smartest guys in the room -- and more than that, they frequently seem compelled to make sure everybody else knows it.

Today, with the first overall pick in the draft lost to them -- and their fifth round pick too, and, although this is perhaps a bit more of a stretch, their 21st round pick -- they look considerably dumber than that.

The Astros on Friday lost two prime prospects, maybe a third, in a dispute over a medical evaluation and, depending on which offer we're talking about, $3 million to $1.5 million. Now, $3 million is a life-changing sum for most of us, but teams toss that much money overboard routinely these days. The Red Sox dumped A.J. Pierzynski last week; they will pay him more than $3 million not to play for them.

The Astros, if we take their reported concerns about Brady Aiken's elbow at face value (and Aiken and his camp emphatically do not), were willing to risk more than $3 million on Aiken, even $5 million,  but not the agreed-upon $6.5 million. This flabbergasts me. 

Five million is the same amount the Twins are wasting on Mike Pelfrey this year -- and will spend again on him next year. The Astros couldn't bring themselves to wager less money on Aiken's future than the Twins did on Pelfrey.

Dumb, dumb, dumb. 

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