WASHINGTON -- The Brewers closed the book on their 2014 First-Year Player Draft class with no additional signings ahead of a Friday evening deadline.
So the Brewers signed 26 drafted players in all, plus one undrafted player. Each of the team's first 16 selections came to terms.
"Bruce [Seid, Milwaukee's amateur scouting director] had a couple guys, last-minute, he was talking to," general manager Doug Melvin said. "We didn't think we were going to get them signed. They were later Draft picks."
The Brewers' top unsigned pick was Canadian prep left-hander Ben Onyshko, who was drafted in the 16th round.
Also unsigned was the top overall pick in the Draft, left-hander Brady Aiken, whose tentative agreement with the Astros was scuttled by concerns about his pitching elbow, reportedly related to his ulnar collateral ligament. The Draft system is much different today, but the situation conjured some memories for Melvin of 1996, when, as Rangers GM, he drafted right-hander R.A. Dickey 18th overall out of the University of Tennessee.
The sides agreed to an $810,000 bonus before a Rangers physician noticed a photo of Dickey in which his right arm was hanging at an odd angle. Upon physical exam, the team discovered Dickey had been pitching without a UCL.
Melvin and the Rangers subsequently lowered their bonus offer to $75,000.
"That was one of the toughest decisions I ever made," Melvin said. "I felt bad for the kid. I knew he didn't want to go back to school. We didn't want to take advantage of him. He just didn't have a ligament in there. We asked ourselves, 'Why didn't we do this [physical] ahead of time?' But back then, you didn't do it ahead of time."
The Astros will own the second overall pick next year as compensation for not signing Aiken. Melvin believes the recently-revamped system could still use some tweaking related to medical information.
"The problem you have today sometimes, the agents don't want to do physicals," he said. "But I am a little surprised that if you're drafting No. 1, you're not allowed to get physicals on the top 3-4 guys you're thinking about."