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White Sox sign RHP Jake Cousins to minor league deal

by Jordan Lazowski

Announced earlier this week by MiLB-Transactions on Twitter, the White Sox have signed former Brewers reliever Jake Cousins to a minor league deal that includes an invitation to Spring Training.

A Park Ridge native and graduate of Wheaton Academy, the 29-year-old has spent his entire major league career with the Milwaukee Brewers after being signed in the 20th round of the 2017 MLB Draft by the Washinton Nationals. He has pitched in parts of three big league seasons, and his results were quite good in the first two. Over 2021 and 2022, he tossed 43.1 innings with a 2.70 earned run average. His 35.3% strikeout rate was quite strong, though it also came with a concerning 14.7% walk rate. 2023 was a struggle for him, which is likely the biggest reason he became available. In just 9.1 innings, Cousins posted a 4.82 ERA, 15.6 K%, and 22.2 BB%, though he did deal with shoulder inflammation.

In 51 career appearances, Cousins is 3-1 with a 3.08 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, and a 4.12 FIP.

Throughout his career, Cousins has thrown four pitches – fastball, sinker, changeup, and slider – with well above-average horizontal movement on all of his pitches. His slider is his main swing-and-miss pitch, registering whiff rates in the 40% range over the past few seasons. So, if it’s not abundantly clear, the stuff hasn’t necessarily been much of a concern for Cousins – it’s been results and walks.

With the White Sox decimating their pitching depth since the trade deadline – and with a Dylan Cease trade inevitable – the team will continue to need more pitching depth to get them through the season. Cousins brings big-league experience, and that alone makes him incredibly valuable to the White Sox. If he’s able to harness his stuff and get onto the roster, he still has an option, meaning the club could send him back to the minors if necessary. He also has under two years of service time, which could allow the club to keep him beyond 2024 if things go well.

Follow us @SoxOn35th for more throughout the offseason!

Featured Image: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

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