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Gerrit Cole, Josh Bell Signings Make Pirates Big Winners In 2011 MLB Draft

Baseball America lists the winners and losers in the 2011 MLB Draft deadline. "Winners" and "losers" isn't what they call them, but that's basically what they're talking about. The Pirates, thanks to their last-second signings of Gerrit Cole and Josh Bell, top the list of winners, as BA notes that Bell's bonus is the largest ever for a player picked in the second round or later.

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Their list of losers, meanwhile, includes "Teams That Passed On Josh Bell":

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There have to be 28 teams (the Tigers didn't draft early enough to have a shot at him) that were stunned to see Bell sign for $5 million. The Texas prep outfielder's family sent a letter to all 30 clubs indicating his unwillingness to sign—a letter that most scouting departments viewed as heartfelt and sincere—and it was rumored in early August that it could take an eight-figure bonus to land Bell.

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Good for the Pirates for taking the chance. As the deadline approached on Monday, I didn't think Bell would sign - after all, he said he wanted to go to college, and the Pirates had already spent a bunch of money on high-upside but lower-profile picks like Clay Holmes and Tyler Glasnow. But the Bucs were able to get a deal done, and the result is that they added more talent to their system in the 2011 draft than any other team.

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For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.