You had to know this was coming. According to Jon Heyman, top overall pick Gerrit Cole wants something close to Stephen Strasburg’s record setting $15.067 M contract. The contract for Strasburg was a major league deal, with a $7.5 M bonus, and the rest paid between 2009 and 2012.
This isn’t unusual. Scott Boras is the adviser for Cole, and Boras usually picks out the biggest contract in history as a starting point for his negotiations. As an example, for years, college hitters represented by Boras have been said to want Mark Teixeira money ($9.5 M major league deal). Inevitably, the price comes down. Pedro Alvarez got the Mark Teixeira reference, and ended up signing for $6.335 M, after all of the fuss about the post-deadline signing calmed down.
My guess on Cole in the past has been that he will receive David Price money. Price was the first overall pick in the 2007 draft, and received an $8.5 M deal, with a $5.6 M signing bonus. I don’t think Cole’s deal will be six years long, but will instead be shorter, meaning more money in the long term (as he wouldn’t risk any of his arbitration years being replaced with money from his draft signing). We’ve already seen one player accept a major league deal, and that was Cole’s teammate Trevor Bauer, who accepted a $7.4 M major league deal with a $3.5 M bonus. That deal could mean that Cole will receive around $10 M overall, rather than the $8.5 M that Price received in 2007.