One year after pitcher Brady Aiken was unable to come to terms on a contract with the Houston Astros, who made him the No. 1 overall selection in the 2014 MLB draft, the 18-year-old lefty agreed to a deal Friday with the Cleveland Indians.  

According to’s Jordan Bastian, the Tribe signed Aiken to an undisclosed contract after selecting him with the No. 17 overall pick in the 2015 draft.

Aiken’s fall in the draft is due to his recovery from Tommy John surgery, which means he won’t be back until 2016 at the earliest. He is still an elite talent, though, which is why Cleveland was willing to spend such an early pick on him.

Per Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle, Indians scouting director Brad Grant didn’t hesitate to roll the dice on a player of Aiken’s caliber:

Our scouts did a really good job and spent a lot of time evaluating Brady over the past two years. We’re very excited to have the opportunity to select a player as talented as Brady with the character of Brady as well. With Brady, we have a big 6’4″ left-handed starter, a player who’s up to 95 with his fastball, very good life to it, plus curveball, a feel for a slider, a changeup and a very, very good strike thrower. He has a lot of the delivery elements that we look for and we like and we look forward to partnering with Brady in the future.

As happy as Grant and the Indians are to have a potentially dominant pitcher in the fold, Aiken seems equally excited:

The San Diego native has a long road to recovery ahead of him, but many pitchers have been able to work their way back from Tommy John surgery and return to elite form in recent years.

When Aiken is healthy, he has big-time velocity and dominant stuff from the left side, which is why he was so coveted in the 2014 draft.

Cleveland is gambling to some degree by investing so heavily in an injured player, but his skill set is worth taking a chance on.


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