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Rangers sign Cotton to minor league deal

The Rangers have signed three players, including pitcher Jharel Cotton, to minor league deals

MLB: Texas Rangers at Oakland Athletics John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Rangers have signed pitchers Jharel Cotton and Edubray Ramos and outfielder Jason Martin to minor league deals, the team announced today. All three have been invited to the major league spring training camp.

Cotton is the notable name here. The hard throwing righthander was originally a 2012 draft pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and was dealt to the Oakland A’s, along with Frankie Montas and Grant Holmes, in the trade deadline deal that sent Rich Hill and Josh Reddick to L.A. in 2016.

Cotton made it to the majors in 2016, putting up a 2.15 ERA in 5 starts for the A’s, and appeared to be someone who would be part of the A’s rotation going forward. Cotton had a rough 2017, however, then missed all of 2018 due to Tommy John surgery. He pitched a little bit in the minors in 2019 before a hamstring injury necessitated surgery and sidelined him again. He was dealt to the Chicago Cubs last November, but did not appear for them in 2020, and was released in September.

My guess is Cotton will work as a reliever, as that’s what he has done since returning from Tommy John surgery.

As for the other two players, Ramos to Texas was mentioned last week, and his is a righthander who will be a bullpen option and AAA depth. Martin, 25, is an outfielder who was originally drafted by the Houston Astros, and went to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Gerrit Cole deal. Martin is a center fielder with 51 major league plate appearances, and would appear to be a AAA depth guy.