Mark Appel Rumors: Moving on From Appel?

UPDATE 4:04 PM: With less than a hour to go, all signs point to the Pirates moving on from Mark Appel. I’ve confirmed through sources that 16th round pick Max Moroff has signed for $300,000. That takes $200,000 away from Appel’s potential bonus. I’ve heard from several camps that players in the middle rounds are waiting to see what happens with Appel.

The Pirates now have $550,740 to spend on over-slot bonuses without losing a pick. That number is if Appel doesn’t sign. If he does sign, they’d get an extra $145 K. Either way, Appel could sign at the deadline. The $2.9 M will be there, along with that extra $145 K if he signs. But it’s looking like that money is disappearing fast.

UPDATE 2:22 PM: Keith Law has been one of the people saying next year’s draft is weak. He repeats that on Twitter, and says Appel has a chance of going top two. Even if that’s the case, it wouldn’t be much of a change from this year. Appel entered the year as the top draft prospect, and was considered a candidate to go first overall right up until the Astros took Carlos Correa. If he fell this year, he could fall next year. He also has less leverage next year as a college senior.

UPDATE 2:16 PM: Jim Callis weighs in with a few thoughts on Twitter. He says that everyone is saying Appel won’t sign, and that he’s leaning that way, although he wouldn’t rule out Appel signing. Of the unsigned first rounders, he gives Kevin Gausman the best chance to sign, Lucas Giolito the second best chance, and Appel third. That’s pretty surprising to see Giolito ahead of Appel. Giolito has a lot more leverage, as he can go to school and re-enter the draft in three years. Also, the most Washington can give him is $3.03 M, while the Pirates can give Appel over $3.8 M.

11:40 AM: Keeping track of all of the Mark Appel rumors with less than six hours remaining for him to sign.

**Jon Heyman writes that Appel is unlikely to sign by the deadline today. He says that the Pirates would have to raise their offer for Appel, and in doing so, they would have to forfeit their 2013 first round pick. He mentioned the Pirates won’t go that route. Heyman also mentioned that the only slim chance of Appel signing is an intervention by MLB, pointing out a flaw in the rules. I would point out that another possibility would be Appel deciding to sign by the deadline. Heyman notes that there’s no feeling that the Pirates have done anything wrong with the negotiations.

**The Pirates signed 18th round pick John Kuchno for $25,000 over-slot. As I mentioned last night, they’ve also been offering over-slot deals to other mid-round picks. That’s significant, as it reduces the available money they have to sign Appel.

More to come throughout the day.

Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

Support Pirates Prospects

Related articles

join the discussion

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Lee Young

“Jim Callis ‏@jimcallisBA

Pirates did not sign 1st-rder Mark Appel. mlbdraft”

Chris O'Rorke

the biggest thing in Appel’s negotiating power is his age. 20 years old today. you know when kids are usually the beneficiary of July, August birthday yeah well he’s the other way like May birthday that plays with the older kids. i had to read this stupid book The Theory of Success and they talked about most kids in Canada that made it to NHL were right after the cutoff birthday bc they got the advantage of maturing faster, etc. for my paper i looked at the Pens and most of our BEST players were not around that cutoff date for hockey which was like January or February. that leads me to this point, the best talent rises to the TOP, no matter the birthday and that is what i wrote about in my paper. i could argue playing against older and bigger kids his whole life has made him a better player. he’ll come back this time next year at the ripe age of 21 going on 22 and he should start in AA ball. he will be a top 3 pick after dazzling again and hopefully improving on his numbers. next year we’ll be lucky to get a David Dahl type talent at #9 overall, which is the route we would have taken. i got nothing but love for Mark Appel and wish him the best, but you are all bitter Pittsburghers and that’s the way we roll

Bryan Graham

Curious to find out what this supposed mlb intervention might be about and this so called flaw in the rules.


The old trickster, Boras, pulled the only ace he had up his sleeve to let Heyman tell the world that MLB may intervene because of a flaw in the rules. Get a napkin for the egg on your face Stevie for causing a guy to miss out on millions!

Ian Rothermund

Why should anyone take news of the negotiations seriously? The news isn’t coming from the Pirates, so it’s coming from Boras then, right? Let’s just wait and see.

Lee Young

“That’s significant, as it reduces the available money they have to sign Appel.”

Yeah…that also means that Appel is getting less and less by the hour. I’d love it if he ended up getting offered BELOW slot! I bet that would tick Bora$$$ off.

Jim Civis

If that were the case, it would mean that the Pirates busted their allotted pool, which is nonsense. You might as well sign Appel for what he wants in this scenario.

Lee Young

We just signed Max Moroff for $300k…even LESS money for Appel. Love it.

Lee Young

How so? As of this morn, they had about 800k to spend for overslotting (including Appel). They gave $25k away to Hurst. I would imagine they gave Ross more than $138k slot to sign. That takes away from our $800k that we can give Appel above $2.9mil.

How does that make us give Appel what he wants? Makes no sense.

Lee Young

Gee….you mean that Heyman, the Bora$$ shill? THAT Jon Heyman??

Here’s news for Hey Man….tell Appel to go back to Stanford and pray he doesn’t blow out his arm or stink it up.


I get so tired of the Boras/Appel negotiations that I almost hope he doesn’t sign and the Pirates can sign a number of other players. If Appel doesn’t sign, I sure hope he gets less next year.


I don’t understand the fatigue when dealing with Boras. Its pretty simple, you wait until 5 minutes before the deadline and they generally sign. There really is no negotiation taking place and you know that going in. You can ignore all the media crap because its just speculation.
We got Cole, Alvarez, and Bell done with Boras, he isn’t the problem, the stupid MLB rules are.

Lee Young

John….we got those guys done under the OLD rules. Bora$$ may be trying to pull some kind of fast one. Plus, I’d like us to sign Ross, Buehler, Thomas, etc. We’d need some of the Appel +2.9m money to do it.


That money is gone unless Appel signs. If he doesn’t sign our pool drops to just over $3 million, it doesn’t change the 600k we have to work with for Thomas and Buehler (who I really doubt we can get).

Lee Young

John….that is what I meant by the “+2.9 mil”….the money over the slot that we’d give him that we saved on other slot picks. I knew the $2.9 is ‘history’

Ie, the 600+k that we have, plus the 5% up to penalty.

sorry I wasn’t clearer….after I posted I wondered if I was vague.

Overall a moot point since we appear to have signed Ross (yay!).


Absolutely true, John. When the Pirates drafted Appel, everybody realized that this was going to come down to the last minute. Yet now, some people seem to be freaking out. I do believe that he will sign, but if he doesn’t, so what? The team will take the ninth pick in the draft next year and everything will be fine and dandy.


You’re probably right. If the Pirates were only negotiating for Appel, I would be less concerned but a lot of other potential negotiations rest upon the Appel decision.

I agree regarding the rules. Anything that has Bud’s backing is almost guaranteed to be stupid.


That might be what Boras is trying to do – show how this new
system costs teams talent because they are stuck trying to sign their high
draft picks at the expense of lower, over the slot draft picks. If the entire
draft for a team can be held up by the first round “slot” number he can make his
case the system actually hurts competitiveness. Talk about using cannon to kill
a mosquito…

Pirates Prospects Daily



Latest articles

Latest comments