Stanford’s Appel says no thanks to Pirates

NOTEBOOK: Pitcher turns down $3.8M, will return to Cardinal

McClatchy news servicesJuly 14, 2012 

The first signing period under baseball’s new draft restrictions ended Friday with touted pitcher Mark Appel spurning Pittsburgh to remain at Stanford and with 10 teams exceeding their bonus pools but none by enough to forfeit future selections.

Appel was the only unsigned player among 31 first-round picks, turning down an offer of $3.8 million from the Pirates. Appel was projected by some to be the No. 1 selection last month, but several teams shied away from the right-hander because of the expected demands of his adviser, Scott Boras. Appel was selected eighth.

That slot was assigned $2.9 million from the drafting team’s bonus pool in baseball’s new labor contract, which imposes penalties on clubs that exceed their threshold. The first pick was slotted for $7.2 million, and Houston chose shortstop Carlos Correa, who agreed to $4.8 million.

Five first-round picks reached agreements on the final day. Just nine players among the 338 taken in the first 10 rounds failed to sign.

Because Appel failed to sign, Pittsburgh will get an extra pick in the first round next year, the ninth selection overall.

MORE DYKSTRA ISSUES

Former All-Star outfielder Lenny Dykstra pleaded guilty and could face 20 years in prison for hiding and selling sports memorabilia and other items that were supposed to be part of his bankruptcy filing.

Dykstra, 49, entered his plea in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles to one count each of bankruptcy fraud, concealment of assets and money laundering.

It was the latest legal problem for Dykstra, who previously pleaded no contest to grand theft auto and exposing himself to women he met through Craigslist.

SLUR SUSPECT A COP

A police officer is under investigation after allegations that he directed a racial slur at Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford last week.

Leominster, Mass., mayor Dean Mazzarella said the city’s police chief is conducting the investigation, and that the officer is a 5-year force veteran and white, with no prior disciplinary issues.

Crawford, who is black, was on a rehab assignment with the Portland Sea Dogs on July 5 when he says before a game against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in Manchester, N.H., a heckling fan called him a “monday,” which can be a derogatory term for blacks and is often associated with Mondays being one of the least-liked days of the week.

SHORT HOPS

The Dodgers activated Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier from the disabled list, and optioned outfielders Elian Herrera and Scott Van Slyke to Triple-A Albuquerque. … Rockies first baseman Todd Helton was placed on the 15-day DL with right hip inflammation. … Lance Berkman expects to come off the DL today and rejoin the Cardinals ahead of schedule in his comeback from knee surgery. … The Red Sox activated center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury from the DL and inserted him into their starting lineup. ... The Braves placed catcher Brian McCann on paternity leave and recalled catcher J.C. Boscan from Triple-A Gwinnett. … Cubs third baseman Ian Stewart underwent surgery on his left wrist and is expected to miss at least 4-6 weeks. ... Right-hander Jason Hammel left the Orioles’ game against the Tigers with a right-knee injury. He will be examined further today. … The Tigers say international prospect Adelyn Santa asked for his release after being unable to obtain a visa, and the team granted his request. … Former Mariners shortstop Jack Wilson left the Braves’ game against the Mets with a dislocated finger on his right hand.

The Olympian is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service