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.

Reds sign outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera to minor league deals

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The Reds picked up outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera on minor league deals, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. Both Williams and Herrera will receive invites to spring training and could compete for backup outfield roles behind Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton and Scott Schebler.

Williams, 26, completed a three-year track with the Yankees in 2017. He has yet to see a full season of playing time, however, and went 4-for-17 with two stolen bases during a five-game span with the club in 2017. While not a power hitter, his speed and steady contact rate produced a .263/.309/.318 batting line over 437 plate appearances in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, including two home runs, three triples and 19 stolen bases.

Herrera, 25, has yet to make his big league debut. After seven years in the Rockies’ system, he finally reached Triple-A Albuquerque in 2017 and slashed .278/.351/.394 with three home runs and 20 stolen bases in 363 PA. He looks most comfortable in the left field corner, but has some experience at shortstop and third base and should give the Reds a nice utility option come spring.