SI’s Jon Heyman first reported just after midnight that the Pirates had signed both Gerrit Cole and Josh Bell.
Cole, who was the 1st overall pick in the draft out of UCLA will receive an $8 million signing bonus, which is the highest bonus in draft history. He also signed a Minor League deal so he won’t even have to be added to the 40-man roster.
Josh Bell has signed for $5 million, which is the largest ever bonus given out to someone not drafted in the first round, breaking the previous record set by the Pirates and Stetson Allie last season. Bell was ranked as the 15th best player in the draft but fell after writing a letter to every team telling them not to draft him. It looks like Bell’s letter worked as he reaped huge rewards with his bonus.
The Pirates will have spent around $17 million this draft when all the dust settles, making it the largest draft expenditure in team and league history.