Mark Appel Updates: Monday

The Pittsburgh Pirates have until Friday at 5:00 PM to sign first round pick Mark Appel. Here are a few updates on the situation.

**Jon Heyman reports that Appel is leaning against signing with the Pirates for $3.8 M. The slot price for Appel is $2.9 M, but the Pirates could offer up to $3.8 M without losing a draft pick. It’s important to keep in mind that Heyman’s information usually comes from Scott Boras. So take his report with the huge disclaimer that it is probably one of Boras’ games.

**Jim Callis reports that the Pirates won’t give up a first rounder for Appel. So if Appel won’t sign for $3.8 M, they would presumably walk away and take the compensation pick next year. If they went this route, they’d have a little over $600 K to spend on over-slot picks in the later round, including 14th round pick Walker Buehler.

**Keith Law confirms what Callis reports, and also reports that the Pirates won’t give up a shot at a lottery pick. Teams who go over their bonus pools lose the chance to get additional picks. The Pirates could spend up to $3.8 M on Appel without losing a future pick, but they can only spend up to $3.5 M and still remain under their total bonus pool. Law also says that the draft next year looks weaker, although Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus have both said it looks stronger.

**The Chicago Cubs went over-slot on sixth overall pick Albert Almora, giving him $3.9 M. That’s 20% over his slot price of $3.25 M. A similar increase for Appel would be $3.48 M.

Author: Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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