It’s the Astros’ D-Day. The ramifications are huge, and it may be the biggest day in Jeff Luhnow’s career.
The trades, the free agent signings, the firings, the hirings, the signs in left field, three straight 100-loss seasons all may pale in comparison if the Astros don’t sign #1 draft pick Brady Aiken by 4 p.m. Friday.
Only the move to the American League may loom as a larger debacle than the failure to sign the top pick in the 2014 draft. Even if Aiken caves and signs for significantly less than the $7.9 million slot value, the fiasco could have far-reaching repercussions.
Frankly, the Astros are potentially in a no-win situation. Even if they are proven absolutely right in their speculation about Aiken’s elbow years from now, the damage is likely done. It’s sort of like a front page headline shouting major news and, later, the newspaper running a retraction on page 17B.
If the Astros don’t sign Aiken, the legal battles may only be underway. If the Astros don’t sign Aiken, it could impact next year’s draft in more ways than one. If the Astros don’t sign Aiken, the calls for Luhnow’s head will increase significantly.
To be sure, the Jim Crane era has been filled with potholes, detours and diversions. Would a non-signing be the biggest disaster since Crane purchased the team from Drayton McLane? Here’s a list of 10 of the most egregious mishaps.
Simple question: How would you rank these and where would you rank an possible Aiken non-signing? Feel free to add others that aren’t on this list.
- The move of the team to the American League.
- The hiring of Bo Porter.
- Astros cancel the annual wives gala fundraiser.
- Losing Jim Deshaies as TV analyst.
- The firing of the radio team Brett Dolan and Dave Raymond.
- The George Postolos tenure as President.
- Resignation of Pam Gardner, President of Business Operations.
- Three consecutive 100-loss seasons.
- The TV deal.
- PR blunders involving Larry Dierker, Jose Cruz Sr. and others.
And, some questions to kick off your weekend.
- Should the Astros kick the tires of Alfonso Soriano or A.J. Pierzynski?
- On a scale of 1-10, rate your frustration with the Astros?
- Finish the sentence: The Astros could regain some of my confidence in the second half if . . .
- Should MLB step in and force the Astros to sign Aiken?
- Which owner has been worse in your eyes: John McMullen, McLane or Crane?