Cousins, 29, has 51 games of major league experience, all of those coming with the Brewers over the past three years. His results were quite good in the first two of those years but the most recent campaign was a struggle. Over 2021 and 2022, he tossed 43 1/3 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.
In 2023, he pitched 9 1/3 innings for Milwaukee, striking out seven batters but issuing 10 walks. He was placed on the injured list in June due to shoulder inflammation and was optioned to Triple-A once activated. The Brewers put him on waivers in July, with the Astros making a claim, though that club kept him on optional assignment and later passed him through waivers. Between the two organizations, he had a combined ERA of 6.35 in Triple-A for the year.
It was obviously not his best showing, but the White Sox were likely intrigued by his previous work. He’s always racked up big strikeout numbers in the minors, though the control has been an issue there as well. 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 without exposing him to waivers. He also has less than two years of service time, which could allow the club to retain him beyond 2024 if things go especially well.
The Sox have been focused on improving their pitching depth in recent weeks. The Aaron Bummer trade brought three arms to Chicago and the club subsequently signed Erick Fedde and then grabbed Shane Drohan in the Rule 5 draft. Cousins will give them a bit more depth in a non-roster capacity while trying to earn his way back to the big leagues.