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Pirates Sign Clay Holmes

PITTSBURGH - JULY 19:  Pittsburgh Pirates GM Neal Huntington talks to reporters prior to the game against the Cincinnati Reds on July 19, 2011 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH - JULY 19: Pittsburgh Pirates GM Neal Huntington talks to reporters prior to the game against the Cincinnati Reds on July 19, 2011 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
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The Pirates often take players that they aren't expected to sign these days. One of them is touted prep outfielder Josh Bell, for instance. He's still probably not going to sign. But there's hope, as shown by the signing of another one of those supposedly "unsignable" prep players: according to BA's Jim Callis, the Pirates have agreed to sign ninth-round pick Clay Holmes.

The bigger news may be Holmes' signing bonus, though; according to Callis, Holmes was asking for $1.2 million from Pittsburgh, and with this signing, Callis thinks he may have gotten it. If he did, that sets a new record for the largest signing bonus ever handed out to a ninth-round pick. Holmes, a pitcher from Alabama with a commitment to Auburn Univeristy, would give the Pirates another quality young pitching prospect.