Tony Clark: Astros' Negotiating Tactics With Draft Picks "Disappointing"
MLBPA Exec Dir Tony Clark today made sharp comments regarding the Astros and their negotiations with draft picks Brady Aiken and Jacob Nix. The Astros have sought to revise their bonus offer to Aiken, the No. 1 selection in last month's draft, following a diagnosis of elbow issues with the pitcher. Casey Close, Aiken’s agent, has sharply criticized the Astros’ conduct and disputed the diagnosis. The issue has complicated negotiations around Nix, also represented by Close. Nix' offer from the Astros is tied to sought-after savings from Aiken. “This is disappointing on any number of levels, particularly with respect to the integrity of the draft,” Clark said. “The manipulation that we think happened in this case is going to lead us to have some conversations (with the league).”
Also today, the MLBPA announced a new scholarship program in labor studies named in honor of Clark’s predecessor, the late Michael Weiner. The program will award five scholarships of $10,000 each annually to chosen graduate or law students studying labor issues.