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.

Padres, Mariners join list of teams to extend netting

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The Reds announced earlier that they plan to extend the protective netting at Great American Ball Park in time for Opening Day next season. You can add the Padres and Mariners to what will surely be a growing list.

A young fan was struck in the face by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, which gave new life to the netting debate. Some fans and media types think Major League Baseball is not doing enough to protect fans. While Major League Baseball has issued guidelines for protective netting, it is ultimately up to the teams to decide just how much netting to use.

Zach Britton receives stem cell injection, likely done for the season

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Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.

The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.

Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.