Go ahead and read this whole article over at Perfect Game on the 2012 draft and its changes under the new collective bargaining agreement. It's more than worth your time.â†µ
The upshot is that Houston will have the 1st, 41st and 64th picks in the draft next June and may have about $7 million to spend on that top pick.
Which is not an insignificant amount of money. The biggest thing I was afraid of with this new CBA is that the top pick would get hung out to dry and teams would have to take more Matt Bush's rather than Stephen Strasburg's thanks to signability.â†µ
It's still going to be a problem, as the last three No. 1 overall picks got more than $7 million. A bigger problem may be the lack of a major league contract, but it also may be nothing. Two of the last three No. 1 picks received major league contracts, but both were picked by the Washington Nationals.â†µ
This past season's No. 1 pick Gerrit Cole signed for $8 million, but did not sign a major league contract. Neither did Tim Beckham, Justin Upton, David Price or Luke Hochever. Oh, and all of them signed for under $7 million.â†µ
The task will be steep for new Astros GM Jeff Luhnow and scouting director Bobby Heck. But, it won't be impossible.â†µ