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Pittsburgh is mired in a North American major professional sports record 18 consecutive losing seasons and without a Cy Young winner since 1990. This is the fourth draft under the regime of team president Frank Coonelly, Huntington and the Nutting family as the team’s majority owner.

Breaking with its history to that point, Pittsburgh has been a big spender lately in the draft. Cole is represented by Scott Boras. When the Pirates drafted Vanderbilt third baseman Pedro Alvarez second overall in 2008, negotiations got contentious, with Boras and Coonelly exchanging verbal barbs.

“Signability is an issue with every player that comes off the board in the first round,” Huntington said. “We’re going to work hard and we’re going to fight to find a common ground that makes sense for both sides. We believe at the end of the day we’ll get a deal done.”

Last season, the Pirates gave No. 2 overall pick Jameson Taillon a $6.5 million bonus and fellow right-hander Stetson Allie, their second-round pick. They also paid $2.6 million to secure 16-year-old Mexican right-hander Luis Heredia last summer.

“I’m going to let Pittsburgh and their guys do their evaluations,” Cole said. “Obviously, you want the business side of things go as smoothly as possible, but I understand the business side after having gone through it once already, so I feel like I’m prepared.

“We have to take care of business throughout the summer, and it will probably eventually take care of itself.”