The Rockies and center fielder Dexter Fowler have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year contract, according to an announcement from the team. CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman hears that the deal is worth $11.6 million.
Fowler was arbitration-eligible for the second time this winter after earning $2.35 million last season. Because he originally qualified for arbitration as a Super Two player, he will still be under team control for one more season after the new two-year deal expires.
Fowler, who turns 27 in March, owns a .271/.364/.427 batting line over his first five seasons in the big leagues. 2012 was his best season yet, as the switch-hitter batted .300/.389/.474 with 13 home runs, 53 RBI, 12 stolen bases and an .863 OPS.
Athletics right-hander Jharel Cotton will undergo Tommy John surgery, per an announcement on Saturday. Cotton initially experienced some elbow soreness during a Cactus League start earlier this week and was officially diagnosed with a strained ulnar collateral ligament and strained flexor muscle on Thursday. He’ll be out of commission until 2019 at the earliest.
This isn’t the first time Cotton has dealt with elbow issues. According to MLB.com’s Jane Lee, he had screws inserted in his right elbow after sustaining a stress fracture in 2013 and suffered some minor elbow discomfort again last fall. Prior to his diagnosis, the 24-year-old was poised for his third run with the A’s in 2018. He pitched his first full season with the club in 2017, turning in a 5.58 ERA, 3.7 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 in 24 starts and 129 innings.
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle adds that the team is open to adding pitching depth this spring, though they’ll wait to see if the price goes down on some free agents first. Barring that, right-handed long reliever Andrew Triggs could be tabbed to fill the fifth spot in the rotation.