Results tagged ‘ Neal Cotts ’

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

12/11 Arbitration deadline

Saturday is the deadline for teams to tender contracts to arbitration eligible players, and the Cubs are expected to do so for eight of the nine players who qualify. Only Neal Cotts was not expected to be tendered a contract, but the lefty will likely re-sign with the team. Cotts began the 2009 season on the Cubs’ roster but was optioned to Triple-A Iowa after 19 games. He underwent Tommy John surgery on his left elbow July 2, and has been rehabbing in Arizona.

The others who will be tendered include IF Jeff Baker, 2B Mike Fontenot, LHP Tom Gorzelanny, RHP Angel Guzman, RHP Carlos Marmol, LHP Sean Marshall, C Koyie Hill and SS Ryan Theriot.

— Carrie Muskat

10/7 Roster info

MLB Trade Rumors has sorted out the projected Type A and B Free Agents. The Cubs have two in each category:

Type A Free Agent

John Grabow
Kevin Gregg

Type B Free Agent

Rich Harden
Reed Johnson

The Cubs would like to keep Grabow, and already have had talks with his agent. Harden and Johnson could stay, but it depends on their contract demands.

* Also, players with three to six years of big league service are arbitration eligible. The Cubs will have until Dec. 12 to tender the following players contracts:

IF Jeff Baker

LHP Neal Cotts

IF Mike Fontenot

LHP Tom Gorzelanny

RHP Angel Guzman

RHP Aaron Heilman

C Koyie Hill

RHP Carlos Marmol

LHP Sean Marshall

SS Ryan Theriot

Players with between two and three years of big league service time are eligible as “Super Twos” if they both collected at least 86 days the prior year and rank in the top 17 percent in total service time of this group. Fontenot and Gorzelanny qualify as Super Twos.

— Carrie Muskat 

9/8 Free agents & more

After Monday’s game, Derrek Lee was asked what if the Cubs brought back most of the same players, could the results be totally different?

“It could be totally different [in 2010],” Lee said. “There are so many variables in baseball. I don’t think it’s like other sports when you can kind of talk things up. Guys have down years. You see it all the time. This year, it just happened we had a few guys who were either hurt or had down years. But you fully expect those guys to be back and rebound.”

For those of you looking ahead, the free agents to be on the Cubs’ roster include:

Rich Harden

Kevin Gregg

John Grabow

Reed Johnson

I’ll let you discuss who to keep. I’m sure joeydafish has some ideas.

For the roster geeks, the players who are arbitration eligible include: Jeff Baker, Tom Gorzelanny, Aaron Heilman, Neal Cotts, Carlos Marmol, Koyie Hill, Sean Marshall, Mike Fontenot, Angel Guzman and Ryan Theriot.

The Cubs already are committed to about $122 million to players for 2010. That list includes Carlos Zambrano, Alfonso Soriano, Aramis Ramirez, Lee, Ted Lilly, Kosuke Fukudome, Ryan Dempster, Milton Bradley, Aaron Miles and Jeff Samardzija.

— Carrie Muskat

Report: Cubs interested in Ryan

The Cubs are expected to make a run at former Blue Jays closer B.J. Ryan when he clears waivers on Monday, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune. If the Cubs did add Ryan, they could put Sean Marshall back in the rotation. Ryan was placed on waivers with $15 million remaining on his five-year, $47 million deal. Toronto will be paying the bulk of Ryan’s salary. He’d be a good addition if Ryan can regain the velocity that made him a dominant reliever. Marshall is the only left-hander in the bullpen, and the Cubs don’t have an option in the Minor Leagues. Neal Cotts, who was on the Opening Day roster, is out for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

— Carrie Muskat


Cotts has Tommy John surgery

Left-handed pitcher Neal Cotts underwent Tommy John surgery Thursday in Cincinnati. Cotts began the season with the Cubs, and compiled a 7.36 ERA in 19 games. He was demoted to Triple-A Iowa, where he was 1-1 with a 2.84 ERA in 12 games. In his last outing June 24, Cotts gave up three runs on three hits and three walks in two-thirds of an inning. Dr. Tim Kremchek performed the operation in Cincinnati.

— Carrie Muskat

5/27 Roster moves update & lineup

Jake Fox, Jason Waddell and Andres Blanco joined the Cubs on Wednesday, and Bobby Scales and Neal Cotts were sent to Triple-A Iowa, while Aaron Miles was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of his sore shoulder. Miles received a cortisone shot and will not do anything for four or five days, then go to the Cubs’ facility in Mesa, Ariz., to rehab.

Blanco, who can backup at shortstop and second, was in the lineup Wednesday for the series finale against the Pirates. It’ll be LF Soriano, SS Theriot, RF Bradley, 1B Lee, CF Johnson, C Soto, 3B Freel, 2B Blanco and P Zambrano.

Also, Carlos Marmol rejoined the Cubs after his wife gave birth to the couple’s second daughter, Caroline. Everyone is doing well.

— Carrie Muskat

5/27 Roster moves

Expect some roster moves by the Cubs Wednesday. Aaron Miles has been bothered by a sore shoulder since Spring Training, and may be placed on the DL. That would open one spot. The Cubs have been trying to get another bat in the lineup and Jake Fox, who is leading the Pacific Coast League in average, home runs and RBIs, was spotted at Wrigley Field. Also, lefty Jason Waddell was seen at the ballpark as was infielder Andres Blanco. Lou Piniella has not been happy with lefty Neal Cotts, who still has options left, and could be sent to the Minors. Stay tuned.

— Carrie Muskat


Think the Cubs are eager to get going? Neal Cotts, Jeff Samardzija, Chad Gaudin, Angel Guzman, Geovany Soto, Koyie Hill, Kevin Hart, Jason Dubois, Randy Wells, Jake Fox, Rocky Roquet and others were among the early birds working out at Fitch Park on Thursday. Also throwing off a mound was right-handed pitcher Ken Kadokura, a 13-year veteran of the Nippon Professional League who signed a Minor League contract with the Cubs. Even manager Lou Piniella stopped by. Pitchers and catchers officially report Friday, and the first workout will be Saturday.

One bit of news — Guzman will not compete for the Venezuelan team in the World Baseball Classic. The right-hander wants to get ready for the regular season.

It was sunny but cool in Mesa, which was a welcome relief for guys like Cotts and Samardzija, who spent the offseason in the Chicago area. Anyone who endured this past winter knows how tough it was.

— Carrie Muskat