Baseball: Appel to return for senior season despite $3.8 million offer from Pirates

July 13, 2012, 3:37 p.m.

Junior righthander Mark Appel, the eighth overall pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates in June’s MLB Draft, will stay at Stanford for his senior season.

The Cardinal ace was unable to agree to terms with the Pirates before the 5 p.m. EDT deadline Friday, the Associated Press reported.

“After much thought, prayer and analysis of both opportunities, I came to the conclusion the best decision is to remain at Stanford continuing my studies, finishing my degree, and doing all I can to assist the Cardinal baseball team in our goal to win a national championship,” Appel said in a statement.

Agent Scott Boras — known to play hardball — had threatened that his client would return to the Farm if Pittsburgh’s final offer — which ended up at $3.8 million — was not high enough. Given Appel’s draft slot, the Pirates would have incurred penalties had they gone above $3.9 million.

Boras advised another Pac-12 ace, UCLA righty Gerritt Cole, a year ago, and the 2011 first overall pick signed with the Pirates for $8 million at the time.

In 2012, Appel compiled a 10-2 record with a 2.56 ERA and 130 strikeouts, all team-bests. He threw five complete games, though his final outing was a disastrous seven-run, four-inning affair at Florida State in the Super Regional. Now, Appel will have a chance to redeem himself from that outing.

—Joseph Beyda

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