Baseball America's Jim Callis reports:
The Astros still are finalizing details with No. 1 overall pick Mark Appel, but two sources have told Baseball America that the sides have agreed on his bonus. Appel, a Stanford righthander, will receive $6.35 million and is expected to sign the deal early next week.
Appel’s bonus is more than any player has received under the new draft rules that came into play last year, when No. 2 overall choice Byron Buxton got the top bonus at $6 million from the Twins. Appel also destroyed the record for the largest bonus ever given to a college senior. Matt LaPorta set the previous standard when he got $2 million from the Brewers as the No. 7 overall selection in 2007.
Appel received $2.55 million more than the Pirates offered him when they drafted him eighth overall a year ago.
Although Appel was a quality and even lucky get when the Pirates took him with the 1.8 pick last year, I do not believe it to be a case of sour grapes for those of us who prefer Austin Meadows to Appel. For one thing, Appel's name immediately elicited considerable Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth among Pirates' fans, and the complaints about him did not die off when reports of a pre-draft deal with David Dahl surfaced soon after the Pirates made their pick. Appel had his doubters, despite his talent. More importantly, it is not irrational to prefer position players to pitchers, all things being equal. For another, Appel's post-draft behavior made him undesirable per se, at least undesirable for many Pirates fans. The team and their fans would never be happy with a well-compensated player who has a bad attitude about them both. Finally, Meadows also was considered a possible 1.1 pick for this year's draft. He should not be considered a consolation prize. He, like, Appel has the ceiling of an All Star.
Naturally, Meadows must sign with the Pirates! Sooner rather than later!