1/4 Cotts to Pirates; Sheets to Cubs?
The Pirates agreed to terms Monday on a Minor League contract with Neal Cotts, who is coming off Tommy John surgery in July. Cotts appeared in 19 games with the Cubs in 2009, his third season with the team. He never did match his 2005 numbers when he posted a 1.94 ERA in 69 games with the White Sox. The left-hander was the only arbitration eligible player who was non-tendered by the Cubs.
Cotts blew a save May 25 against the Pirates, and was sent down to Triple-A Iowa after that. He appeared in 12 games and had a 2.84 ERA before he was sidelined. Cotts moved his family to Arizona so he could focus on his rehab.
“I enjoy it over here and I’ve enjoyed the organization,” Cotts told me in an interview in October in Mesa, Ariz. “I know in terms of performance and in terms of staying up there, it hasn’t been as planned for by either side. I’d like to be up there to help the team.”
Now, he’ll be trying to make the roster of one of the Cubs’ division rivals.
* Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports predicts the Cubs will sign free agent Ben Sheets, who missed all of last season recovering from elbow surgery. Rosenthal says teams may need to see Sheets throw before deciding whether to make an investment in the right-hander. He was 13-9 in 31 starts in 2008 with the Brewers.
– Carrie Muskat