Cubs Pick Cotton

The Cubs have acquired the contract of RHP Jharel Cotton from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for cash considerations (probably something in excess of the $50,000 waiver price).

Cotton was Designated for Assignment by the A's last Wednesday. 

Now 27 (he turns 28 in January), Cotton was acquired by the A's from the Dodgers in the Rich Hill/Josh Reddick deal at the trade deadline in 2016 and was ranked the A's #4 prospect and a Top 100 MLB prospect by Baseball America post-2016 (he led the PCL in strikeouts, WHIP, and OppBA in 2016), but he has been sidetracked by injuries in the intervening years. He had a nagging blister issue in 2017, a torn elbow UCL that required TJS in March 2018, and then he underwent surgery to repair a torn hamstring in 2019, so he hasn't pitched in MLB since 2017. 

Cotton is a native of the U. S. Virgin Islands and attended HS in Virginia and then Miami - Dade CC (two years) and East Carolina University (one year) before being selected by the Dodgers in the 20th round of the 2012 draft. 

Back when he was healthy, Cotton featured a swing & miss plus-screwball, a FB that sat 92-94 T 95-96, an upper 80's SL/CT, and a CV, so he has the full array of pitches needed to be a starting pitcher (again... - IF - healthy). 

Cotton does have two minor league options left so the Cubs can stash him at AAA Iowa and (if healthy) he could ride the Iowa - Chicago shuttle in 2020, but because he has accrued more than three seasons of MLB Service Time, he has Article XX-D rights, which means he can elect free-agency if he were to be outrighted to the minors.

And because he has spent so much time on the A's MLB DL/IL over the past couple of seasons (two full seasons worth of MLB DL/IL time) Cotton is eligible for salary arbitration (which is probably why he got DFA'd by the A's), so he is a possible non-tender candidate on 12/2, especially if the Cubs don't want to risk going to arbitration with him if he and the club can't agree on a 2020 contract.

Keep in mind that a contract awarded via arbitration (by rule) cannot include a minor league split salary or performance bonuses, both of which may be a deal-breaker for the Cubs if they suspect Cotton will likely spend at least part of the 2020 season at AAA. It's very possible that given Cotton's recent injury history, the Cubs would prefer to pay him a low MLB base salary (like the MLB minimum) but with easily-achievable performance and/or roster bonuses if Cotton proves to be healthy and able to pitch in MLB in 2020, together with a minor league split salary (probably somewhere around $250K) if he is optioned to AAA and spends at least part of the 2020 season at Iowa.  

So the Cubs have about a week to work out something with Cotton if they are averse to possibly going to arbitration with him and potentially getting stuck with a contract they don't like.

Just as a point of information, I was at Fitch Park on March 9, 2017, the day the A's sent Cotton and Daniel Gossett (another one of their top pitching prospects at the time) to Fitch Park from their MLB camp specifically to showcase the duo for the Cubs in the two minor league Spring Training games (AA and AAA) that were played at Fitch that day (or so said one of the A's minor league pitching coaches), with Cotton starting the AAA game and Gossett starting the AA game. (The A's supposedly were interested in possibly acquiring Ian Happ from the Cubs if a deal could be worked-out). 

So the Cubs have had prior interest in acquiring Cotton.

Maybe the Cubs will go after Daniel Gossett next (he's a TJS rehabber, too). 


Looks like a pitcher to take a chance on regaining some positives.

Recent comments

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  • BobbyD 48 min 46 sec ago (view)

    But he has vicious dogs ready to kill the nig***. Oh wait, thugs. He's a real man. 


  • Cubster 5 hours 7 min ago (view)

    "this idea isn't a proposal at all and may actually be a measure that is forced into action by the league if the two sides can't sort out the financial details for a longer season."

    MLBPA: Over our dead bodies. Followed by Trump sending in the military to force ballplayers and fans to perform like puppets on strings with fans to yell (and cough and sneezing) at the umpires. Ah, baseball before Jackie Robinson. The Trump Republican Party: Bring back the Cheating/Pandemic  1919 White only - White Sox. Say it ain't so, Joe.


  • Hagsag 5 hours 18 min ago (view)

    Trump waiving a bible in front of the church is a total disgrace.


  • crunch 15 hours 7 min ago (view)

    ...but now there's this...

    "According to ESPN's Jeff Passan, Major League Baseball views a season of around 50 games as a "last resort" option should there be no agreement with the MLBPA.


  • crunch 17 hours 52 min ago (view)

    Jeff Passan @JeffPassan
    Major League Baseball intends to propose a shorter season in which they would pay players a full prorated share of their salaries, sources told ESPN. The league believes the late March agreement allows it to set the schedule, and that this would fulfill players’ pro rata desire.


  • JustSayin' 18 hours 52 sec ago (view)

    Minor League Baseball makes the cover of SI!  Two years ago, I would have been elated.  Today, it's depressing (like the article.)


  • BobbyD 21 hours 8 min ago (view)

    Crunch, thanks. I can be a jerk at times, but you bailed me out. Btw I'm the whitest white boy (who grew up next to Wrigley and also worked at my dad's warehouse next to Cabrini Green). I'm truly ashamed of this president. I don't believe anyone sane wants more of him. Go Cubs!! I miss Bobby Dernier's first home run against the Padres. 


  • Cubster 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    MLBTR has an update on the latest owner's revision proposal. 


  • Cubster 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    'we have a donald trump problem, but he may be a highly advanced and dangerous symptom rather than the actual disease.'

    Surely true, dear Crunch. Trump has emboldened the ugly fact that America's cruel underbelly is still racism and police brutality that forwards that original sin. 

    America NEEDS its HEROES.


  • Cubster 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    if he does die by "suicide", I would blame Bill Barr and look into a real conspiracy.


  • Cubster 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    welcome to an unwelcome June 1st.


  • Hagsag 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    November 3, vote!


  • George Altman 1 day 12 hours ago (view)

    Yes, many players are millionaires too. However, a good percentage of MLB Owners are billionaires. If there's no MLB in 2020 that's on 30 owners, not the players no matter how the Press spins things. 


  • George Altman 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    Well said, Crunch. #Resistance 


  • crunch 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    i'm not a fan of this administration.  i'm not a fan of someone holding office who's rise to political prominence involved insisiting, with proof he clamed, that the current elected president at the time was not a citizen of the United States.

    we watched as state after state was slowly "won over" by promises of keeping out muslims and hispanics as the most important issue that could help elevate the state of our country.


  • BobbyD 1 day 14 hours ago (view)

    Crunch, I'm looking at you. You dominate this site, you never don't comment. Say something meaningful now this country is effed if our current pussy is reelected. Personally I would love tomorrow's headline to be he died an agonizing death. It's time we bring this motherfucket down.