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Pirates sign top pick Gerrit Cole for $8M

Updated: August 16, 2011, 3:11 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

NEW YORK -- UCLA pitcher Gerrit Cole was among 22 of 23 first-round draft picks beating the deadline to sign, with the top selection in June's amateur draft agreeing late Monday night to a minor league contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates that includes an $8 million signing bonus.

"It's essentially the largest signing bonus ever given an amateur player," Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said. "Sometimes, it's more advantageous for a player to take a minor league contract with a bonus ...

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