On Monday, Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow echoed what Mike Elias, the team’s amateur scouting director has said on the contract negotiations between the Astros and first-round pick Forrest Whitley.
“We’re making progress,” Luhnow said before Monday’s game about the 6-foot-7 righthander from Alamo Heights in San Antonio. “There’s been some communication back and forth, and I think - like Mike said before - no one’s in any rush because he pitched a lot this year. So we’re not going to send him right away anyway.
“But I think we’re making progress and cautiously optimistic that we’ll get something done.”
Luhnow didn’t get into specifics on a timeline for making an offer. The deadline for draft picks to sign is July 15. The slotted value for the 17th overall pick is $2.504 million.
“We want to get it done as soon as possible,” Luhnow said. “We don’t want to go up against a deadline - there’s no reason to really. We know what we can offer him. We’re going to make him an offer and I hope he likes what he hears from the Astros and wants to start his professional career.
“He’s got obviously a nice option to go to Florida State and pitch in Division I baseball for three years, but three years from now, he could be in the big leagues.”
Whitley missed time early in his season due to a fractured thumb on his non-throwing hand before the year, but made his final appearance June 9 - the same night he was drafted. He threw 74 2/3 innings for Alamo Heights, which reached the Class 5A state championship game earlier this month.
Whitley threw 123 pitches in 6 2/3 innings in his final start.
“We’ve established communication and we’re optimistic that we’ll at least be able to present our case and get him to seriously consider this as a good option,” Luhnow said.
Source : http://www.chron.com/about/article/Update-on-Astros-1st-round-pick-Forrest-Whitley-8314081.php