Cole was selected by Pittsburgh and is represented by agent Scott Boras, who was negotiating for the top pick for the third straight year after reaching agreements with Washington for pitcher Stephen Strasburg ($15.1 million over four years) and outfielder Bryce Harper ($9.9 million over five years).
Boras also was trying to reach deals for the fifth and sixth picks. High school outfielder Bubba Starling was taken by Kansas City with the No. 5 selection and Rice third baseman Anthony Renden went next to Washington.
Just 10 of the 33 players taken on the first round June 6 had announced agreements with one hour remaining before the deadline, including just one of the first nine picks: No. 3 Trevor Bauer, a teammate of Cole’s on the UCLA pitching staff, agreed July 25 to a $4.45 million, four-year contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Aug. 15 deadline, in its fifth year, applies to players taken in the draft who have remaining college eligibility. Agents have said that in many cases teams won’t start negotiations until shortly before the deadline.
If a team fails to sign a first-round pick, it gets an extra selection after the same slot in next year’s draft.
Only one first-round pick reached an agreement last weekend: The Los Angeles Dodgers and Stanford left-hander Chris Reed agreed at $1,589,000. Reed, the 16th pick, also is represented by Boras.