2011 MLB Draft Signing Deadline Approaches; What About Gerrit Cole?

The deadline to sign 2011 MLB Draft picks is late Monday night, and the Bucs still haven't signed first overall pick Gerrit Cole (or second-round pick Josh Bell).

It should be stressed that it is not unusual for a top draft pick to wait until the last possible moment before signing, especially when the pick is advised by Scott Boras, as both Cole and Bell are. That said, Pirates fans will wait anxiously until Monday night to see what the Pirates end up doing. 

Cole is very likely to sign, since he's never going to get more money than he's going to be offered as the top overall pick. The Pirates will be getting a pitcher with a blazing arm, but with some potential mechanical issues to work out.

I don't think anyone besides Bell and Boras knows for sure about Bell, but I'd lean toward him not signing - the Pirates have surely offered him at least $3 million, and it just seems insane to turn down that kind of money, but most indications have him going to the University of Texas. If he doesn't sign, the Pirates have a bunch of other high-upside draft picks left unsigned, and I would expect them to make late runs at a couple of those players.

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