6/17/13: Mark Appel Is Not An Astro Just Yet

Sports Illustrated claimed 2 days ago that Appel has already signed for 6.34 mill (according to Jim Callis) but Jeff Luhnow stated publically about 10 minutes ago that the Astros are not begenning any serious negotiations with Appel and Boras until after this coming Sunday. I guess that Callis either has a source inside the Astros FO or he is guessing based on what 7 of the other top 10 have already signed for.

Last year, I wrote that he was a fool to gamble with 3.4 mill, seeing as how he would be a senior without any leverage this year, but his gamble paid off. He will certainly be getting a lot more than 3+ mill IF he signs with the Astros, and he will, because he has nowhere else to go, and if he were to go to the indys, he would have to just re-enter the draft next year.

He could have been hurt, been ineffective, perhaps other guys, especially HS or prep guys could have outshone him, youneverknow. But he has his college degree and an additional 3 mill too.

It really never stops surprising me how many people really REALLY don’t think athletes should be paid what they are worth, in terms of entertainment – after all, as Barry Lamar once said, quite accurately, athletes are just entertainers. People, for some bizarre reason, like to pretend that athletic feats are “heroic” or somehow “moral” but really, they aren’t. They only example they set, if any (good one, I mean) is that they work long and hard to be the best at what they do, very few coast on only natural talent for very long after the competition intensifies.

So, why all the hate directed toward Appel for  working harder for a better payoff and succeeding? People (not just Scrooge owners) think that ballplayers shouldn’t be paid signing bonuses because they haven’t done anything in the majors. Well, they are not allowed to sell their services to the highest bidder, as any other working person can do. If a person graduates from the police academy, they are not forced to work in the state police dept if they want to work in the Sheriff’s department. They can also apply for a job in any state, county or city they wish.

But ballplayers have no choice. They are grossly underpaid as minor leaguers, starved half to death in the lower minors, paid less than minimum wage to provide entertainment, and then IF they do make it to the majors, are certainly NOT paid what they are worth even then.

Now we all know that if we go into Mc Donalds, we have to pay before we get the food, and if we go into a restaurant, we pay after we eat the food, but we don’t have the choice of going into a new restaurant, eating, then paying only 10% of the value of the meal because the place hasn’t gotten famous yet.

Ballplayers are never paid at the end of year 1, 2 or 3 for the value they provided that year. AND they may never get to the arb year – injuries, sudden suckage, whatever, youneverknow.

Sad thing is that fans LIKE this. Fans prefer to see the huge sums of money going to the owners rather than the entertainers – like rooting for the owner of a coal mine and his mansion on top of the hill where he can watch all the laborors trudge into the gloom every day and emerge sicker and poorer for it.

Teams have also started leaning on the players – getting them to sign very team friendly deals early in their careers which buy out arb years and several FA years for cheap. Guys do that because they are afraid of injury. 10 mill they get is better than the 50 they are worth because it is guaranteed. Guys like Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn, who insist on going to FA, are the exception these days.

Which reminds me – you notice that Jose Altuve has not been offered any sort of long term deal. You notice that Luhnow and gang are openly saying that they are stockpiling prospects and not worrying (substitute any other euphemism for punting) this year and the next 2. You wanna bet that they dump, I mean trade, Altuve for more prospects as soon as he gets expensive? They are shopping Bud Norris (currently pitching 5 innings of shutout ball) as he is going to be a year 2 arb player next year and that IS gonna cost. They are also going to try to move Veras and Harrell and Pena at the deadline for more prospects.

Some people really have no interest in the ML team, just all the prospects in the minors – who, naturally, aren’t getting paid real too much.

Anyway, you know they are going to do something clever like call up Delino Deshields, who will be cheap again.

I also like all the talk about how the Astros plan to call up Appel this year. Or next – you know, the years they don’t plan on being competitive so that as soon as they ARE, Appel will be an expensive arb player. THAT makes sense, right?




9 Responses to “6/17/13: Mark Appel Is Not An Astro Just Yet”

  1. JLAC says:

    Right on sentiment. I can never understand either why people object to ballplayers getting paid either. They entertain millions a year, for very expensive tickets. And they do it without a net, without a curtain, and there is no one there to yell “CUT”.

    And yet almost without exception, they are available to the public, and delight in our company. That is something.

    And as for the state of the Astros, dear Lord I am sorry. Altuve is a wonderful gift and they are taking him for granted.

  2. Eric says:

    Astros actually have been playing pretty decent ball of late thanks to their pitching staff. Take a look at the scores lately…they aren’t giving up more than 4 runs in nearly all of their last 20 or so games.

    Jordan Lyles has been very spectacular.


  3. Lisa Gray says:


    you jinxed poor lyles!!! and losing like that to the c*bs!!!!!

  4. Eric says:

    Well to be fair..it took three days for the jinx to kick in, Lisa. 😛

    But yeah losing to the C#bs is the suck.

  5. Lisa Gray says:

    he’s pitched REALLY well this year, better than i ever expected. Must have altered his delivery enough.

  6. Becky says:

    We can thank Dennis Martinez for the turn around with this rotation of pitchers.
    “El Presidente”……..what a GREAT pitcher he was!!! Becky :) :) :) :)

  7. Lisa Gray says:

    if dennis is responsible, he’ll be the first GOOD pitching coach we’ve had since jim hickey – and maybe brad arnesberg. i think that these days, many coaches work with each pitcher as an individual, and helps them with their strengths, instead of doing the old skool – everyone has to drop n drive – stuff…

  8. Eric says:

    I remember Dennis Martinez from his Expos and Indians days. He was pretty good and helped the Indians reach the World Series (!)

    Orel Hershisher too.

    Anyone remember Bert Blyleven managing to win despite giving up 50 HR in a season ?

  9. Lisa Gray says:

    i remember the last days of orel hershiser and dennis martinez
    bert blylevin was before my birth