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3/25/1980 (37 y)
2001 June Amateur Draft - Round: 2, Pick: 25, Overall: 69, Team: Oakland Athletics
$0.2M / 1 Years (2016)
Cotts signed a minor league deal with the Nationals on Thursday that includes an invitation to spring training, The Washington Post reports. (1/13/2017)
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Q&A: Neal Cotts, Evolution of a Comeback
David Laurila (FanGraphs)
(Click Year to Expand /
Neal Cotts turned in easily the best season of his career in 2013. He posted a 1.11 ERA (2.17 FIP), a 0.95 WHIP, and a 29.2% strikeout rate. In 57 innings pitched, Cotts gave up only 36 hits. And it's not like Cotts was just used as a LOOGY -- of his 57 innings, 29.1 came against right-handed batters who actually performed worse than the left-handed hitters. RHB slashed just .154/.230/.206 against Cotts while LHB hit .198/.259/.306. In fantasy formats, Cotts value is hampered due to the volume of quality bullpen arms around him. Even with Joe Nathan leaving in free agency, Cotts is probably third or fourth on the depth chart to close -- and he's not much closer to contributing in holds leagues either. Keep an eye on whether Neftali Feliz will close or start, because if he starts, that should bump Cotts up a rung in holds leagues, but it would still take a huge shakeup to see him closing out games. As it is, it looks like Feliz will relieve, which puts Cotts third or fourth on the closer role depth chart. (
The Quick Opinion:
Neal Cotts sits comfortably in the middle of one of the better bullpens in baseball. His 2013 season was easily his finest, posting a 1.11 ERA (2.17 FIP), 0.95 WHIP, and a 29.2% strikeout rate. Cotts is perhaps due for some regression looking at a particularly high strand rate and particularly low batting average on balls in play, but he's likely to still be a valuable piece in the Ranger bullpen. The Rangers have such depth in the bullpen, Cotts isn't likely to see closer duties, and will only net you a handful of holds.
Neal Cotts may have been out of the big leagues from 2009 to his return in 2013, but he’s been solid middle reliever for the Rangers over the past couple seasons. A left-hander, Cotts has actually had quite pronounced reverse splits over the past two seasons, making him an interesting guy for managers to get a handle on. Cotts isn’t quite good enough to merit picking up saves on a good team, and an ERA around 4.00 isn’t exactly enticing in holds leagues. Cotts isn’t much of a mixed league option, but if you’re looking for holds in a league specific format, he could be an interesting late-round flier. (Zach Sanders)
The Quick Opinion:
Cotts isn’t quite good enough to get saves, and despite throwing from the left side, he’s actually better against right-handed hitters. There’s no need to pick him up unless you’re in a league specific holds format.
Appearing in 68 games as a middle reliever for both the Brewers and Twins, Cotts pitched to a 3.41 ERA with a concerning 5.00 FIP. The Twins have expressed interest in bringing Cotts back, but it is very difficult to see any fantasy league in which he would be useful. Even while appearing in so many games last year he still managed just five holds, one of which came in his 17 appearances in Minnesota. Not being a candidate for holds, with poor peripherals and pitching in his age 36 season, Cotts has never really had any fantasy value and will not this year either. (Ben Duronio)
The Quick Opinion:
Cotts is not useful in holds leagues and will be far down the pecking order, if he even exists on it, for saves in Minnesota if they do bring him back. He is not someone to consider in fantasy baseball.
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Updated: Saturday, March 25, 2017 3:38 AM ET
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