Mark Appel Rejects Pirates’ Offer, Headed Back to Stanford

Right handed pitcher Mark Appel has officially rejected the Pittsburgh Pirates‘ offer of a $3.8 million signing bonus and will return to Stanford to pitch the 2013 season. Mark Appel

The Pirates used the eighth overall pick in the 2012 MLB Draft to select Appel, who was generally ranked between first and third on top draft prospect lists leading up to the event.

The team offered Appel the absolute maximum amount of money available to them thanks to the MLB’s new draft spending rules and limitations without the team losing next year’s first round selection.

I could sit here and turn this into a post about how horrendous the new draft spending rules are – and, believe me, I’d like to – but it’s not worth the time. The rules are exactly as bad as we thought they were going to be.

Bud Selig trying to explain that the rules were to ensure the best players went to the worst teams is as a big a joke as it was when he said it. Not only did one of the top ranked prospects fall to eighth overall, but the team who did draft him couldn’t sign him because of new budget limitations.

But, hey, it makes sense to Selig.

In past years, the Pirates surely would have thrown more money Appel’s way.

I don’t understand how it makes more sense for the Texas Rangers to be allowed to throw $108 million at 25-year-old international pitcher Yu Darvish, but the Pirates are no longer allowed to spend $10-17 million on an entire crop of draft prospects.

I said I wasn’t going to talk about how bad the rules are, so I’ll stop there.

This hardly hurts the team’s minor league system. The Pirates still have future aces Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon in double- and single-A, respectively, as well as Luis Heredia who is pitching in State College this season.

The Pirates will receive the ninth overall pick in the 2013 draft as compensation for not signing Appel.

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