Sports Illustrated’s Jon Heyman writes that Gerrit Cole, the No. 1 overall selection by the Pirates in the 2011 MLB Draft, is looking for a big, big bonus.
There is no sign of any deal yet for the top two draft choices, Gerrit Cole or Danny Hultzen, and both negotiations are expected to go right to the Aug. 15 deadline. Cole, a UCLA rigthander who has hit 102 mph on the gun, is looking to come close to but not match the record $15.067 million bonus Stephen Strasburg received two years ago from the Nationals …
There’s a lot of posturing that goes on this time of year, and this is probably simply posturing from Cole’s agent, Scott Boras. It’s hard to believe Cole will turn down, say, $9 million, if that’s all the Pirates are willing to offer. And there’s also the fact that, well, he isn’t Strasburg. Strasburg was probably the best draft pick prospect of all time, or at least the best pitcher. He threw harder than Cole does, and with no obvious mechanical or statistical flaws, whereas Cole has clear flaws.
That said, it will be a big problem for the Pirates if they can’t get Cole under contract. If they didn’t, they would get the second pick in the 2012 draft as compensation, but it’s unclear whether they could find a Cole-level talent in that class.