LSU might have to sweat out the draft deadline after all.
The Houston Astros could make a late push for the headliner of LSU’s star-studded 2014 signing class, left-handed pitcher Mac Marshall.
Marshall and LSU coach Paul Mainieri both admitted Tuesday that the pitcher’s situation is tied to that of the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, Brady Aiken, who the Houston Astros have yet to sign. Aiken and the team are at somewhat of an impasse in contract talks. The signing deadline is 4 p.m. Friday.
Slot value rules can get confusing, but the situation isn’t.
According to Mainieri and reports from Baseball America and FoxSports.com, if the Astros sign Aiken for a low amount of $5 million or less – which they’re trying to do – they’ll have more bonus money to woo Marshall away from Baton Rouge.
“They could make a serious offer for Mac,” Mainieri said.
Marshall’s offer is reportedly to be around $1.5-2 million.
If the Astros don’t sign Aiken, they’ll completely lose their first-round slot money, leaving them with nothing to offer Marshall.
Aiken and the Astros originally agreed on a deal worth $6.5 million, but the team uncovered an elbow injury during a physical with Aiken and has since backed away from that number.
Contacted Tuesday, Marshall said he has not spoken with the Astros since the draft in early June and has no plans to speak with them. He’s unsure if the Astros are planning to contact him this week, but he admits that it will depend on Aiken’s situation.
Marshall is enrolled at LSU, working out with the team and has been adamant that he’s committed to play college ball.
“He’s working hard in summer school. Been working with our strength and conditioning staff. It’s just a crazy business,” Mainieri said. “I’ve learned not to count on anything until the deadline has passed.”