Since the middle of May, most news surrounding the Pittsburgh Pirates has been of the positive variety.
But as the Bucs prepare to kick off the second half of the season Friday night in Milwaukee, they start on a bad note as the Pirates failed to come to terms with their No. 1 pick in the 2012 MLB Draft, Stanford right-hander Mark Appel.
Jim Callis of Baseball America first reported the news (on Twitter).
— Jim Callis (@jimcallisBA) July 13, 2012
Unlike previous years before Neal Huntington and Frank Coonelly took over, this was not a matter of being cheap as the Bucs offered Appel as much as they could have without having to forfeit their first-round pick in next year’s draft.
Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said the following in a statement (via MLBTR):
“Our final offer exceeded the available bonus pool money and was essentially up to the last dollar we could offer prior to falling into the second tier penalty which would have resulted in the loss of a first round draft selection,” Huntington said. “While, as we have shown in past years, we are willing to be aggressive with our financial offer, we simply did not feel it was in the best interest of the organization to forfeit our first round selection in the 2013 amateur draft.”
By failing to sign Appel, the Bucs will receive the No. 9 pick in the 2013 MLB Draft in addition to their regular first round selection.