Draft signings roundup: No. 1 pick Gerrit Cole gets $8 million bonus

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MLB’s attempts at holding down draft pick bonuses again resulted in a wave of signings announced just after the midnight deadline.  This year, all but one first-round pick, the Blue Jays’ Tyler Beede, got a deal done.

Top overall pick Gerrit Cole of the Pirates was one of 23 first-round picks to sign just prior to the deadline, agreeing to a deal with an $8 million bonusVirginia left-hander Danny Hultzen, the No. 2 overall pick by the Mariners, did just about as good, getting a major league deal worth $8.5 million over five years.

The Orioles’ Dylan Bundy received a four-year major league deal worth $6.25 million.  He was the fourth overall pick.  No. 5 pick Bubba Starling, an outfielder who had the option of playing quarterback for Nebraska, received a $7.5 million bonus from the Royals.  No. 6 pick Anthony Rendon got a major league deal worth $7.4 million from the Nationals.

(Trevor Bauer, the third overall selection by the Diamondbacks, was the only top-nine pick to sign prior to Monday’s deadline.  He got a major league deal worth about $7 million on July 25.)

The biggest surprises Monday were that the Pirates managed to sign 61st overall pick Josh Bell and that the Nationals got a deal done with their third-round pick, Matt Purke.  Bell, who told teams not to draft him because he was planning to go to the University of Texas, was viewed as a mid-first-round talent.  He got a top-10-type bonus of $5 million.  Purke, a first-round pick by the Rangers out of high school, entered 2011 as a likely top-five overall pick, only to slip because of arm problems.  He fell in the draft, too, but the Nationals inked him to a major league deal worth $4.4 million.

Besides Beede, the 21st overall selection, only one other top-60 pick failed to sign.  That was supplemental first-rounder Brad Austin, a catcher taken 54th by the Padres.

Jose Reyes is hitless in 20 plate appearances to start the season

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Mets backup infielder Jose Reyes pinch-hit and popped up in the top of the eighth inning of Thursday night’s game in Atlanta against the Braves. That ran his streak up to 20 consecutive hitless plate appearances to start the 2018 season. He has reached base once, however, on a walk, so there’s that.

Reyes, 34, signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Mets near the end of January. At the time, the Mets hadn’t yet signed Todd Frazier, so Reyes was in the mix to contribute as a utilityman but he has operated as a bat off the bench for the most part this season.

One wonders how much longer the Mets are going to let Reyes flounder. According to FanGraphs, he has already been worth a half-win less than a replacement-level player. Only eight other players have been as bad or worse this season.