Over at Fangraphs, David Laurila had a great piece where he interviewed Greg Smith, now Pirates Assistant GM/then Scouting Director for the Pirates. The whole interview is fantastic and worth a read, but I wanted to highlight a section that dealt with the signing process with Josh Bell.
There was a lot of skepticism among Pirate fans that Bell was "unsignable", even though his mom sent a letter to all 30 MLB teams telling them to not draft Josh, as he was going to college. Many pointed to the fact that he hired Scott Boras as an agent. Some said no one would ever turn down millions of dollars as an unproven teenager. Here's the quote from the man in charge of scouting and drafting him last year:
Reflecting back on it, our chances of signing Josh were probably less than 50%. [.....] We knew it was a gamble. We knew the risk, but we felt the upside of his ability warranted such a risk. [.....]
The majority of people we talked to during the course of the process said there was no ...