Over at UTSanDiego.com, I explored whether the Padres whiffed by not drafting Stanford pitcher Mark Appel in 2012. This month, the Astros selected Appel first overall.
Appel, you'll recall, was a consensus top-five talent who fell past the Padres to No. 8, where the Pirates drafted him. Last summer, creating a big splash throughout MLB, a seasoned league source told me that $6 million wasn't going to land Appel for the Astros, who had the largest draft pool of money. Houston had considered Appel, a Scott Boras player, for the No. 1 pick but took a prep shortstop who signed for $4.8 million. A member of Appel's camp, meantime, told me that "financial parameters" hadn't been discussed with Houston.
The recent U-T story I wrote about Appel came a week before the Astros signed him. According to Baseball America's Jim Callis, the signing bonus was $6.35 million.