Last year, he was the #1 pick overall. He was good enough to be offered a $6.5M signing bonus by the Houston Astros and there was little debate about his caliber of talent. It was either Carlos Rodon, Tyler Kolek, of Brady Aiken and Aiken was the Astros’ guy.
Then everything went south. Aiken’s elbow was looked at with suspicion. The Astros balked at their initial offering and instead shrunk it back to $3M but then tried to offer a last minute signing around $5M. Aiken’s people cried foul. Apparently tied to Aiken’s fate was Jacob Nix, who eventually settled out of court to a tune of a 6 digit sum with the Astros. It was a debacle for the Astros who privately fumed over what played out publicly. Both players are eligible for this year’s draft but neither will be targeted (again) by the Astros.
The question is, where the Astros right? Aiken did go and get Tommy John surgery on his UCL for his elbow in March, but concerns remain about whether or not Aiken will see a full recovery. There are those in the baseball world who still grade Aiken higher than the arms available in this draft despite the fact he has been in rehab for the past few months.
If Aiken was the #1 overall last year, why not try and nab him at the #12 pick? The Marlins would be able to sign him at that slot and would take a chance on a lefty with big upside. Jose Fernandez is currently coming off of TJ surgery and Aiken, who wants to be in a system where he feels supported, could certainly see what the Marlins are doing. It could be a great fit not to mention the Marlins would gain a huge prize potential in their system with Aiken and Kolek – getting both potential #1’s from the 2014 draft in their system – along with Justin Nicolino and an emerging Jose Urena. Give Aiken a few years and you should have another strong asset to either keep or trade. It would be a low risk move for the Fish who need lefty help and in a draft where there isn’t much depth, or high-end talent, Aiken would be a great fit for the Marlins.