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.

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  • crunch 9 hours 45 min ago (view)

    both him and his sister (who's since left twitter) have some interesting opinions on what civility and real americans are and are not.

    it may run in the family, but they're grown ass adults responsible for what things they put out in the world for public consumption.


  • Hagsag 9 hours 54 min ago (view)

    Piece of gabage.


  • crunch 13 hours 40 min ago (view)

    arrieta threw a pen today (saturday)


  • crunch 14 hours 17 min ago (view)

    beth and jd in the booth today.  beth had a great debut earlier in the year with very positive fan feedback for her work + homework.


  • crunch 14 hours 26 min ago (view)

    decided to check in on corey black to see if anyone has signed that waste of space.  dont think anyone has yet.

    he might want to remove the photo of the proud boys leader he has on his twitter as aggressively as he's removed some of his weird hot takes from the past.  actually, he should keep it there.  it will give him a reason to feel like a victim and that seems to be very important to him.


  • crunch 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    no hitter!  4 in MLB on the season...2 have been vs CLE

    114 pitches.


  • crunch 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    ...and CIN takes the lead because CLE is up a run on a throwing error followed by balking another runner in.

    miley gonna get his shot for a no-hitter win.


  • crunch 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    w.miley (CIN) has a no-hitter through 8ip...0-0 game...106 pitches (season high)


  • crunch 1 day 10 hours ago (view)

    after this past off-season that is the most logical gut reaction.

    there's a lot of people out there rooting for kimbrel and bryant to have a good season as a backup plan (or main plan) for the 2021 season.


  • Sonicwind75 1 day 10 hours ago (view)

    Is it bad that my gut reaction was that I'm glad they didn't panic and risk injuring a valuable trade chip? Just keep him rested and healthy.   


  • champsummers 1 day 10 hours ago (view)




  • crunch 1 day 10 hours ago (view)

    Jordan Horrobin  @JordanHorrobin
    #Cubs David Ross says Craig Kimbrel was "just down" today and that not having Kimbrel in the ninth was not injury related. 
    He also said he expects Kimbrel to be available tomorrow.


  • champsummers 1 day 10 hours ago (view)

    it certainly was....

    wonder why Kimbrel didnt't come in?


  • crunch 1 day 11 hours ago (view)

    that was -way- too much drama.

    cubs move to .500, though.  woo.


  • Sonicwind75 1 day 11 hours ago (view)

    This top of the 9th is going from better, to bad, to worse.


  • First.Pitch.120 1 day 12 hours ago (view)

    Least painful to lose if they don't want to keep a 40-man spot tied up?