The Pittsburgh Pirates will not only have their hands full negotiating with Scott Boras to sign #1 overall pick Gerrit Cole, the club will also aim to come to terms with Texas high school outfielder Josh Bell, who was selected by the Pirates with the #61 overall pick of the 2011 MLB Draft. Bell could actually turn out to be a tougher sign than Cole; he has been telling teams for quite some time that he planned on going to the University of Texas. Call it an extra-hard commitment.
Not everyone bought what Bell/Boras was selling. Cameron Smith of Yahoo! Sports believes that it was a negotiating ploy developed by Boras to drive up the price for Bell’s services. While Bell did fall out of the first round, he was still selected rather early, and is likely to command first round money (if he ends up signing with the Pirates). But maybe Boras’ master plan did not work so well after all. If he was trying to dissuade small budget teams from taking him, he did not do a great job; I do not think anyone would consider the Pirates to be a team looking to create a robust payroll.
Senior Vice President & General Counsel for the Pirates, Larry Silverman, is going to have a fun couple of months dealing with Mr. Boras.