Tyler Chatwood is the favorite for the Cubs' fifth rotation spot, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports, which would likely push Cotton to Triple-A Iowa to begin the season. Cotton was mentioned as a possible candidate for a rotation spot earlier in the spring, but the battle for the final role has seemingly come down to Chatwood and Alec Mills. Without the benefit of additional Cactus League play to bolster his case, Cotton will likely head to Triple-A and try to find some success in the minors after posting a rough 6.75 ERA in 30.1 innings across two levels last year. The 28-year-old missed all of 2018 recovering from Tommy John surgery and hasn't pitched in the majors since 2017.
Cotton agreed to a one-year, $640,000 deal with the Cubs on Monday, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports. He will avoid an arbitration hearing with his new team. Cotton, who was acquired earlier this offseason from Oakland in exchange for cash, has not appeared in the big leagues since 2017 due to Tommy John surgery. As things currently stand, Cotton would compete with Alec Mills and Adbert Alzolay for the Cubs' final rotation spot, but they could also add a starter in a trade or free agency.
Cotton was traded from the Athletics to the Cubs on Saturday in exchange for cash considerations. Expectations shouldn't be too high for Cotton, who's heading into his age-28 season having not appeared in the big leagues since 2017 due to Tommy John surgery. He wasn't great prior to that, posting a 4.95 ERA over 29 starts. Still, it's a low-risk flyer on a player who had a moderate amount of hype back when he was a prospect due to his strong changeup.
Cotton was designated for assignment Wednesday. Cotton was booted off the roster so the Athletics could protect Daulton Jefferies ahead of the Rule 5 draft. Recovery from Tommy John surgery has kept Cotton out of the big leagues for the last two seasons. He stumbled to a 6.75 ERA in 30.2 rehab innings in 2019.
Cotton (elbow) was activated from the 60-day injured list and optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis on Monday, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports. Cotton has made five rehab appearances since July 9, though he's struggled to a 9.82 ERA, 2.05 WHIP and 9:4 K:BB across 7.1 innings in those outings. As such, the right-hander will continue to shake off the rust in the minors before joining the Athletics in a relief role for the stretch run.
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