According to various tweets, mostly from Sports Illustrated’s Jon Heyman, the Pirates have signed top overall pick Gerrit Cole for $8 million and second-round pick Josh Bell for $5 million. Add in $1.2 million for ninth-round pick Clay Holmes and substantial six-figure bonuses given to several other picks, and the Pirates’ draft will probably amount to something like $17 million, which would probably make it the most expensive draft in baseball history.
In Cole, the Pirates are getting a golden-armed pitcher with the chance to be an ace at the major-league level. He has some mechanical issues to work through, but he and Jameson Taillon should be the Pirates’ top prospects. Cole’s pro career will likely begin next year, probably at Bradenton.
Bell, an outfielder, was one of the top bats in the draft, but fell to the Pirates in the second round after he made it clear that he preferred college ball at the University of Texas to turning pro. Apparently, $5 million was enough to lure him away.
This is a great day for the Pirates – this kind of expenditure on the draft is truly wild.
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