© 2012 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

02/20/12 11:18 AM EST

Rangers sign Cotts to Minor League deal

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers have signed left-handed reliever Neal Cotts to a Minor League contract. He will not be in Major League camp, but he will report to the Minor League side.

Cotts has not pitched in the Major Leagues since 2009, when he pitched for the Cubs. He underwent Tommy John surgery and was placed on the disabled list on July 2, 2009. He has also had some recent issues with his hip.

Cotts, 31, has pitched in 284 games in the Majors with the White Sox and the Cubs, and he is 10-12 with a 4.63 ERA. He has 279 relief appearances and five starts.

His best season was with the White Sox in 2005. He was 4-0 with a 1.94 ERA in 69 games and did not allow a run in four postseason appearances as the White Sox won the World Series.

The Rangers want to see if Cotts can enter the race for the a spot as a left-handed reliever in the Rangers' bullpen. During his career, left-handers are hitting .253 off him while right-handers are hitting .248. He is more likely to be a long-term project than immediate help.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.