It’s one week before the MLB Draft, do you know who your Cubs are taking?
No? Well, join the rest of us.
Last year it was down to 3 players — and really just two because by this time last year, the Cubs seemed to favor Mark Appel between the two pitchers and then Cubs Den contributor Kevin Gallo had sold us on Kris Bryant. Turns out Kevin had this one nailed down. Bryant probably should have gone #1 overall.
The mystery this year is in no small part because the league’s professional #1 draft pickers, the Astros, haven’t made their decision yet and may not until draft time. Their pick, in turn, directly affects the Marlins, and so on…
The reason is they are looking to sign someone early and well below slot, as they did 2 years ago with Carlos Correa. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports floats out a rumor today that the Astros are considering Nick Gordon on an underslot deal.
Maybe. I’m not sure he isn’t getting used here to see if they can force Brady Aiken to take an underslot deal. Carlos Rodon is another possibility but it is difficult to imagine Scott Boras going far enough under slot to make the Astros happy.
According to Keith Law, the Astros may have more leverage with Aiken in that he believes the Marlins will be pressured by ownership to take Carlos Rodon (a bit of an older rumor that the Marlins front office denied a while back) and also believes that the Sox are leaning heavily toward Tyler Kolek — even over Rodon and Aiken if they drop. The reasoning here is that if the Astros don’t take Aiken, he will slide to #4 (Yay!) and will lose a significant amount of money if he does, so he will buckle and take the Astros deal (Boo!). It seems to me that Gordon may just be a pawn in this game but that is my speculation only.
I don’t have to tell you the implications if Keith Law and/or Jon Heyman are right, but it makes me giddy and I will tell you anyway: It means the Cubs still have a chance to get Aiken or Rodon.
For diehard optimists out there, here is how it could play out…
- If Heyman is right and the Astros pick Gordon. And if Law is right, the Marlins will take Rodon and the Sox will take Tyler Kolek. Aiken to the Cubs if they don’t pull a hamstring rushing to the podium.
- In the same scenario but with the Marlins taking Jackson, the Cubs could actually have their choice of Rodon and Aiken and, at the very least, they are guaranteed one of them will fall to them.
- If the Astros take Rodon, it seems the Marlins are locked in on Jackson in this scenario. Kolek to the Sox, Aiken to the Cubs.
- If the Astros take Aiken, the Marlins take Jackson, the Sox take Kolek, then Rodon falls to the Cubs.
Would I bet a bottle of good scotch on any of these scenarios over the pitchers going 1-2-3? Not a chance. But the possibility, no matter how remote, does exist.
Personally I think the #4 scenario is the most likely after the top 3 pitchers going 1-2-3, so I see Rodon as the greater possibility than Aiken. And while I am an optimist by nature, I am also realistic at my core. Hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst.
In this case, the worst really isn’t so bad. Chris Crawford quotes an AL East crosschecker who makes a good point in his latest piece,
“If Aiken, Rodon and [Tyler] Kolek are off the board, I don’t think you can take a pitcher,” an AL East crosschecker said. “Two months ago you had [Jeff] Hoffman and [Tyler] Beede as options, but I think those are off the table. If they’re fortunate enough to have [Aiken, Rodon or Kolek] fall to them, they’re golden, but if not, they’re going to have to get creative. They certainly have the right guys in the front office to do that, though.” (emphasis mine)
In Theo (and Jed, Jason, Jaron, and Tim), we trust.
But wouldn’t it be nice to get a gift from the baseball gods for a second straight year?
Filed under: 2014 MLB Draft