With the fourth overall pick in the 2012 amateur player draft the Baltimore Orioles selected right handed pitcher Kevin Gausman out of LSU — Despite the fact that Stanford pitcher Mark Appel was still on the board.
“There were appealing things about both pitchers, although we feel we got the one we really wanted,” Orioles scouting director Gary Rajsich told MASNSports.com’s Steve Melewski. “He was our highest-rated guy,” Rajsich reassured Orioles fans.
Whether that’s true or not, under the new collective bargaining agreement a team that selects an early Scott Boras client — or any player demanding huge money — can quickly become strapped for cash when they are forced to sign their later picks.
The new CBA gives each team a certain amount of money to spend on signing bonuses. The higher the team selecting, the more money to spend from the pool. A pick like Appel would likely burn up most, if not all, of the pool money which would either limit the team from signing other draft picks or have them penalized and forced to forfeit future draft picks.
Appel ended up falling to the Pirates at number eight overall and he apparently wasn’t real pleased with sliding that low. The righty opted not to be interviewed via a conference call with the Pittsburgh organization and issued a puzzling statement later in the night. “I’m currently concentrating on winning a national championship and finishing my academic endeavors at Stanford,” Appel’s statement read. “I will address the possibility of a professional career in due time.”
The possibility, huh? I mean, the least the kid could do would be mention the name of the franchise that will work tirelessly over the next 40 days to sign him.
Baltimore decided, like many other teams, that is wasn’t worth the headache. They liked what they saw from Gausman and think he’s a college arm who’s sinking fastball will be perfect in Camden Yards. He’s also a guy that has a chance to cruise through the farm system quickly.
“We have an opportunity for him to move quickly through our system and pitch in Baltimore very soon.”