Astros whiff on top pick
HOUSTON (TSX) — The Houston Astros struck out with the No. 1 pick in the 2014 MLB draft, failing to sign high school pitcher Brady Aiken before the Friday afternoon deadline.
Aiken, a left-hander from San Diego Cathedral Catholic High School, is just the third No. 1 overall selection in the draft not to sign with the team that picked him. The others were Danny Goodwin with the Chicago White Sox in 1971 and Tim Belcher with the Minnesota Twins in 1983.
The Astros had made Aiken just the third high school pitcher to be taken with the top overall pick. The UCLA recruit throws a fastball clocked at 96-97 mph.
But after drafting Aiken in June and reaching agreement two days later on a $6.5 million signing bonus, the Astros expressed concerns about the ligament in Aiken’s left elbow after he underwent a physical.
Because the Astros failed to sign Aiken, they will receive the No. 2 overall selection in the 2015 draft.
Braves cut Uggla
The Atlanta Braves released struggling second baseman Dan Uggla.
The Braves will be responsible for the approximate $19 million that Uggla is owed through the end of 2015.
“We’ve been very active making calls for the last month,” general manager Frank Wren said. “We got to a point where we realized that this was probably our only avenue.”
Sabathia’s season over
New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia is done for the season, as the left-hander will undergo surgery on his right knee.
The season-ending arthroscopic debridement procedure has been scheduled for Wednesday, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told reporters before Friday’s home game against the Cincinnati Reds.
Six-time All-Star Sabathia has not pitched since May 10. He made eight starts this season before being sidelined, going 3-4 with a 5.28 ERA.
The once dominant veteran holds a 208-119 record with a 3.63 ERA over 14 years in Major League Baseball with stints with the Cleveland Indians and Milwaukee Brewers before joining the Yankees in 2009 and going on to win the World Series.
“Hopefully, next year will be a different story,” Cashma said.