Appel situation a sign of system failure

Updated: July 13, 2012, 7:37 PM ET
By Keith Law

The deadline to sign 2012 Rule 4 draft picks came and went at 5 p.m. ET today, and the big news is that the Pittsburgh Pirates failed to come to terms with the No. 8 overall pick, Stanford right-hander Mark Appel. The Pirates offered a $3.8 million bonus, which is the most they could offer without incurring a penalty, and Appel turned it down. He was the only first-rounder who did not sign.