While it might have appeared that any Brady Aiken news would apply to his status for the 2015 draft, following the Astros unsuccessful attempt to sign the No. 1 overall pick, there appears to be a new wrinkle. MLB is in negotiations with the Aiken family regarding a settlement, as a means to head off any potential grievance that Aiken may file. Fellow unsigned draft pick, fifth-rounder Jacob Nix, has already filed a grievance, though no immediate resolution is expected. Both Aiken and Nix were slated to attend UCLA if they did not sign, though doing so would mean they could not re-enter the draft until 2017. Attending a Junior College or playing in an Independent League would allow either player to re-enter the draft as early as next year.
Commissioner Bud Selig was in San Diego to attend the dedication of Selig Hall of Fame Plaza, which provided Jennifer Jensen of ABC News 10 of San Diego the opportunity to confirm or deny whether the settlement negotiations would include the ability for Aiken to sign with the Astros despite being well past the signing deadline of July 18.
"We're working on that right now. There are a lot of things in movement there so it would be inappropriate for me to comment, but I would say we are working towards a hopeful solution."
When pressed further Selig would only repeat that they're "working towards a solution."
While there has not been a grievance filed by Aiken, he has until Sept. 1 to make a decision.
It may seem odd that Aiken could sign with Houston following the July 18 signing deadline, but this would be allowable under a clause that is at MLB's discretion, according to John Maffei of the Union-Tribune San Diego. Maffei adds
The other 29 major league clubs have signed off on that clause, industry sources said. The Aikens, however, would insist on a sign-and-trade deal before agreeing to terms with Houston.
That the other teams have appeared to sign off on any potential signing removes some of the confusion as to how this could happen, as MLB can essentially make their own rules as long as everyone agrees.
They can't unless MLB waives the rules. "@JMD419: will teams be upset if HOU can sign Nix this late in the game and w/o losing picks?"— keithlaw (@keithlaw) August 27, 2014
How any potential signing of Aiken would affect the grievance filed by Nix and his agent Casey Close remains to be seen, and is only complicated by Close representing Aiken as well. There's still a lot of uncertainty involved, as you might imagine given that we're dealing with making up rules as we go, but we should know which way this is headed by Sept. 1.