In a move first reported by Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal, the Milwaukee Brewers have signed left-handed relief pitcher Neal Cotts to a one-year major league deal. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports that the deal is worth $3 million.
Cotts has a career 4.05 ERA, 4.25 FIP and 8.6 strikeouts per nine innings in 415 career appearances (all but five which were appearances out of the bullpen). He has been a fairly reliable lefty out of the bullpen for a majority of his career, but his numbers suggest that he is actually better against right handed hitters as opposed to lefties. He is a solid bullpen pitcher, but he is certainly not a lefty specialist.
Cotts did not pitch in the big leagues from 2010-2012 after he went through Tommy John surgery and multiple hip surgeries. The Texas Rangers gave Cotts a chance in 2013, and he did not disappoint posting an impressive 1.11 ERA. He backed that up with an inconsistent 2014 season where he had a 4.32 ERA.
The Brewers hope that Cotts can help soften the blow of losing left-handed reliever Zach Duke, who signed with the Chicago White Sox as a free agent this off-season. Milwaukee is still very much involved in trade talks with the Philadelphia Phillies for closer Jonathan Papelbon, and has also been reported to have interest in bringing back Francisco Rodriguez.