Cortes, 26, began his professional career with the New York organization. Selected by the Orioles in the Rule 5 draft, he made his MLB debut with Baltimore in 2018 but didn’t stick on the roster all year. The Orioles returned him to the Yankees, where went on to log rather significant long relief duty the following season. Cortes tossed 66 2/3 innings over 33 games in 2019, working to a 5.67 ERA with average strikeout and walk numbers (23.2% and 9.4%, respectively). That wasn’t enough to keep his roster spot, as Cortes was designated for assignment and traded to the Mariners for international bonus pool space.
Seattle gave Cortes a brief MLB look last season, but the results were disastrous. He lasted just 7 2/3 innings in five games, allowing 14 runs (13 earned) on a whopping six homers and walks apiece. The Mariners waived him after the season, and he signed a minor league contract with his original organization last December. Cortes has been excellent in fifteen innings with the RailRiders this year, allowing just two runs while running an 18:1 strikeout to walk ratio.