Pirates Notes: Cole, Draft, Trade Deadline

The Pirates set an attendance record Saturday night, drawing 39,441 fans, a PNC Park high. Those in attendance saw the hometown Bucs beat the team atop the National League standings for a second straight game. With a win today, Pittsburgh would sweep the Phillies and reach .500. Let's check out the latest Pirates-related links….

  • ESPN.com's Buster Olney (Insider link) says "the betting is very heavy" the Pirates will take Gerrit Cole with the first overall pick in tomorrow's draft, as Dejan Kovacevic reported yesterday. If they decide to go another direction though, there are plenty of viable options, writes Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  • Pirates president Frank Coonelly tells Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that the team is once again prepared to spend big on the draft, as they have in recent years. Coonelly points out that with potential changes to baseball's collective bargaining agreement looming, draftees may be more inclined to sign this year rather than take their chances under a new system next year.
  • Within the same piece, Coonelly says it's too early to know whether the Pirates will be buyers or sellers at this July's trade deadline: "If we're in the hunt and the club has needs, we have the financial flexibility to look for pieces to help the club win this year."

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