The Pirates didn't just spend a lot of money to sign first-round pick Gerrit Cole to a minor league deal, they spent record-breaking money. MLB.com's Jennifer Langosch reports Cole's $8 million minor league signing bonus is the biggest in draft history.
That number could get even bigger, too.
In a separate tweet, Langosch reports Cole's deal could be worth over $9 million if he reaches the Major Leagues by 2013. For that reason, it's probably safe to assume the Bucs would like to put Cole on the fast track to Pittsburgh, as Arizona appears to be doing with Cole's teammate at UCLA, Trevor Bauer. Bauer is already at Double-A and reportedly in line to get a call up for the Diamondbacks as they make the stretch run for a National League West pennant in September.
Cole likely won't be with the Pirates quite that soon, but these incentives for him send a pretty loud message from the front office: Gerrit Cole is expected to make an impact, and he's expected to make it soon.