Gerrit Cole - UCLA

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.

Video: Holliday’s home run a fitting goodbye for Cardinals

ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 30: Matt Holliday #7 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits a solo home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the seventh inning at Busch Stadium on September 30, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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If tonight was his last night in a Cardinals uniform, Matt Holliday made the most of it.

After sitting out most of the second half with a fractured thumb, the 36-year-old was activated from the disabled list on Friday and slotted in as a pinch-hitter during the seventh inning of the Cardinals’ 7-0 shutout. What happened next could hardly have elicited more sentiment had it been scripted:

The solo shot was Holliday’s first home run as a pinch-hitter, and his first home run of any kind since August 9. The triumphant moment might have been the last of its kind in St. Louis, as it was reported earlier today that the Cardinals do not plan to exercise Holliday’s option in 2017.

Prior to the game, the left fielder released a statement in which he expressed his gratitude for the past eight seasons with the Cardinals’ organization:

I would like to thank Mr. Dewitt, Mo and the entire ownership group for the opportunity to play for the St. Louis Cardinals.

I am proud of what we have accomplished on and off the field during the past seven years. I have also been humbled by the incredible support and participation in our Homers for Health program.

It has been an honor to play in front of such great fans and for such a historic organization. I can honestly say it has been a dream come true.

While I’m disappointed this could be it here in St. Louis, I understand that it might be time to move on.

I’d like to express my love and admiration for Tony, Mike and all of the coaches and staff that I have had the pleasure to do life with these past seven-plus years.

The most emotional part of this is my teammates and the relationships I’ve built with some of these guys over the years. Particularly, Adam and Yadi, to be considered part of the core with two of the finest human beings I’ve ever known.

Finally, I’m eternally thankful for the Lord bringing me to the city of St. Louis in August of 2008. Lots of cool stuff has happened since then. On behalf of my wife Leslee and our children Jackson, Ethan, Gracyn and Reed: Thank you!

Angel Pagan body-slammed a fan on the field

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 13: Angel Pagan #16 of the San Francisco Giants argues with umpire Jerry Meals #41 after a called third strike during the first inning against the San Diego Padres at AT&T Park on September 13, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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Don’t interrupt Angel Pagan in the middle of a wild card race. Better yet, don’t interrupt him at all.

A fan learned that the hard way during Friday’s Giants-Dodgers game. In the fourth inning, a group of fans ran onto the field with white flowers in their hands, presumably to hand to Giants players. According to eyewitness accounts, one player was reprimanded by San Francisco starter Madison Bumgarner, while Buster Posey fended off another.

Angel Pagan, however, took more extreme and inventive measures.

On-field security started closing in on the fan as he approached Pagan, but didn’t appear to pick up the pace until the outfielder dropped him on the field.

Vin Scully, who was wrapping up the third-to-last game of his career, provided play-by-play of the incident.

A couple of kids, trying to steal a moment, slow down the game, running on the field and just taking a big moment on the big stage. They’ve got one of them in right field, and the other one is nailed down by Pagan in left field. And the crowd loved that! They went up to do something with Angel Pagan, but [Pagan] grabbed him and slammed him to the ground, and they’re taking him off the field. […] Doesn’t that bring you back to the ’60s, and the flower children? Oh what, you don’t remember the ’60s? Okay.

The next time you want to send a message to a player, maybe try a tweet (throw in a flower emoji or two if you feel so inclined). Just don’t make a showy display of affection in the middle of a game. It’s bound to go badly, at least where Angel Pagan is concerned.