It shocked many when the Astros decided to go with shortstop Carlos Correa over Stanford right-hander Mark Appel with the first pick in the MLB draft. As many speculated, Appel’s bonus demands may well have made the choice for them.
A source told Tom Krasovic that Appel, who is being advised by Scott Boras, turned down a $6 million offer from the Astros before the draft.
The Astros had a total draft budget of approximately $11.2 million, so they could have gone higher to sign Appel, but they clearly were hoping to save some money for other picks. Drafting Correa instead will likely allow them to do so.
As for Appel, he’s going to have problems now. The Pirates’ total draft budget is just under $6.6 million, so unless they’re willing to risk losing future draft picks, they’re not going to be able to give him even the $6 million the Astros were proposing.
The Reds picked up outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera on minor league deals, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. Both Williams and Herrera will receive invites to spring training and could compete for backup outfield roles behind Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton and Scott Schebler.
Williams, 26, completed a three-year track with the Yankees in 2017. He has yet to see a full season of playing time, however, and went 4-for-17 with two stolen bases during a five-game span with the club in 2017. While not a power hitter, his speed and steady contact rate produced a .263/.309/.318 batting line over 437 plate appearances in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, including two home runs, three triples and 19 stolen bases.
Herrera, 25, has yet to make his big league debut. After seven years in the Rockies’ system, he finally reached Triple-A Albuquerque in 2017 and slashed .278/.351/.394 with three home runs and 20 stolen bases in 363 PA. He looks most comfortable in the left field corner, but has some experience at shortstop and third base and should give the Reds a nice utility option come spring.