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Athletics designate Jharel Cotton for assignment

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Teams have until 8 PM tonight to set their 40-man rosters ahead of the Rule 5 draft. In that effort, the Athletics designated pitcher Jharel Cotton for assignment to open up a spot on their 40-man roster, which went to pitcher Daulton Jefferies, MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports.

It’s a sad end to Cotton’s tenure with the A’s. Acquired from the Dodgers in August 2016 in the Rich Hill/Josh Reddick deal, Cotton was one of the organization’s more interesting pitching prospects. After impressing in five starts at the end of the 2016 season — he allowed just seven earned runs with 23 strikeouts and four walks over 29 1/3 innings — he struggled in 2017 before having to undergo Tommy John surgery. During his rehab assignment this year, Cotton suffered a hamstring injury which required a debridement procedure. He returned in mid-July, pitching out of the bullpen, but continued to struggle, posting a 7.71 ERA over 18 2/3 innings of work through the end of the season.

Cotton should find another opportunity elsewhere, but he will have to prove himself at Triple-A first before making his first major league appearance since September 24, 2017.

Report: Mets sign Brad Brach to one-year, $850,000 contract

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The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Mets and free agent reliever Brad Brach have agreed on a one-year deal worth $850,000. The contract includes a player option for the 2021 season with a base salary of $1.25 million and additional performance incentives.

Brach, 33, signed as a free agent with the Cubs this past February. After posting an ugly 6.13 ERA over 39 2/3 innings, the Cubs released him in early August. The Mets picked him up shortly thereafter. Brach’s performance improved, limiting opposing hitters to six runs on 15 hits and three walks with 15 strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings through the end of the season.

While Brach will add some much-needed depth to the Mets’ bullpen, his walk rate has been going in the wrong direction for the last three seasons. It went from eight percent in 2016 to 9.5, 9.7, and 12.8 percent from 2017-19. Needless to say the Mets are hoping that trend starts heading in the other direction next season.