Lefty reliever Neal Cotts signed a one-year, $3 million contract with the Brewers yesterday. What many don’t know about Cotts is that he almost hung up his spikes before signing a minor league deal with the Rangers going into the 2012 season, per Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
As Haudricourt explains, Cotts had four procedures done on his hip and he also underwent Tommy John surgery in 2009. He was never sure he’d ever return to the mound, and even if he did, if he’d be effective. In 31 2/3 innings with Triple-A Round Rock in 2012, Cotts posted a 4.55 ERA.
The Rangers brought him back on another minor league deal in 2013, and he flourished, finishing the season with a 1.11 ERA in 57 innings in the big leagues. He was able to use his success to earn $2.2 million in arbitration heading into 2014. Cotts struggled this past season, putting up a 4.23 ERA in 66 2/3 innings.
Cotts turns 35 at the end of March. He’ll be an important piece of the Brewers’ righty-heavy bullpen going into the 2015 season. As a pitcher who has overcome so many injuries, he will be an easy guy to root for.