2008 Reds / Reds - General

Reds Sign Franciso Cordero – 4 years, $46M

Per Ken Rosenthal.

I do NOT like this move contract one bit.  (I think Cordero will probably be a good addition.  I just don’t like the dollars or contract length).   I’ll be back soon to explain why.  I’m confident that at least 20 relievers will be more productive over the span of this contract, AND will cost less than $10M for the whole period.  That’s not a knock on Cordero, it’s just the nature of the beast.
The Linebrink contract was silly. This one is for more than double the money.

Here’s why I don’t like this deal:

  • Cordero will be 33-36 during this deal. Few relievers are effective beyond age 34.
  • Cordero will be paid “closer money” four years from now. Few relievers remain at an elite level for four years, let alone seven or eight (assuming Cordero’s been elite for the past three).
  • Nearly $12M per year is just stupid money for a guy who’ll pitch 65-75 innings. Even if Dusty Baker were to use Cordero in every high-leverage situation, it’s a bad use of resources. And I can only assume that Baker will use Cordero only in the 9th inning, and only with leads of 3 or fewer runs.
  • By almost all accounts, Jared Burton has “closer stuff” and whatever intangible so-and-so needed to serve as closer, certainly as soon as 2009, at a price of around $600k. He’s now blocked by a guy making 20% more than Mariano Rivera.
  • The Reds reportedly outbid the Brewers by $1M per year. Can’t like that.
  • This presumably shoots the Reds wad for the 2007-08 off-season. And there’s still a hole in the rotation.
  • Cordero isn’t even a “big name” to satisfy Joe Sweatsock. I’m sure most WLW callers are saying “who?” right now. (Not really a negative to me, but if you’re paying premium-plus prices, you’re probably trying to make a splash.)

The good news is that his strikeout and walk rates were as good as they’ve ever been, and he keeps the ball in the ballpark.

Your thoughts?

88 thoughts on “Reds Sign Franciso Cordero – 4 years, $46M

  1. This doesn’t change things much, but he wasn’t the best closer in the NL last year. That honor went to Takashi Saito of LA who posted an ERA+ of 327 with a 0.715 WHIP and only a few less saves than Cordero. Jose Valverde of Arizona saved more games and had an ERA+ of 177 compared to Cordero’s 150. Cordero was closer to third as his stats actually grade out comparably to Billy Wagner.

  2. Thanks for the perspective Godly. I thought we were getting a decent closer, not the third best.
    Similar to Billy Wagner! Ugh! How could Krivdog do that?!?

  3. just who would you complainers like to see as the reds closer next year? weathers? gagne? benitez? alfonseca? percival? wickman? foulke? dotel? the only legitamite complaint you have is the contract. but its either overpay or run out yet another retread.

  4. I don’t know if this has been discussed here yet, but any ideas on who they’ll drop off the 40-man?

  5. Before negotiations concluded, Melvin said he asked Cordero’s agent, Bean Stringfellow, if his $42 million offer was “within $1 million or $2 million” of the highest bid. He said Stringfellow indicated that the top offer was higher than that, so Melvin pulled out.

    For those who think the Reds erred by paying a million more per year than Milwaukee, this shows it was likely necessary.

  6. This guy is as shaky as Danny Graves was in his last couple of years with the Reds. Does ANYONE remember how bad he looked closing out games last year against the Reds? This contract is going to come back to haunt the Reds for several years, much as the Griffey and Milton contracts did. That said, I do applaud the Reds for trying to upgrade a terrible BP. The money they (the Reds) paid Cordero, is a sad statement of just how far down the crapper Major League baseball has gone. I think the money could have been spent wiser. But it is not my money! I really hope I am wrong and he turns out to be the stud closer so many of you believe he is. (Check out the home and away stats from last season). I’m betting the Reds will regret this signing by next September! Go Reds!

  7. This move has the look of Castellini. I heard Marty say on the radio several times during the last month of the season that Bob C. told him “we are going to turn this thing around.” Combine that w/ the 3 mil. signing of a manager and it doesn’t surprise me to see the Reds throwing big money around to fix the bullpen. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is another big trade yet for a starter. I’m sure Castellini made promises to Baker to improve the pitching in order for Baker to come to Cinci. Let’s hope Krivsky makes a few smart moves.

  8. Cordero’s road ERA
    July 28th @STL 3ER, July 26th @CIN 2ER, June 29th @CHI 3 ER, June 14th @DET 2ER, and June 9th @TEX 4ER. All 4 of the losses/blown saves were on the road. Other than these few outings he was awesome. Basically he had a bad June. I do not see how any LIFELONG REDS FAN can be negative about this signing, and if you are one of those guys its time to see the doctor and get some ZOLOFT. Seriously, this critisism is ridiculous.

  9. I wouldn’t worry about the road ERA thing either. That’s 22 innings for Pete’s sake. 🙂

    Careerwise, here are his splits:
    Home: 262 IP, 3.19 ERA, 0.652 OPS against, 0.302 BABIP
    Away: 243 IP, 3.40 ERA, 0.702 OPS against, 0.316 BABIP

    Maybe a slight tendency to perform better at home–which is impressive given that he pitched in Arlington for all those years–but not enough to massively change his effectiveness.

    He’s been an outstanding pitcher for a long time now. … my biggest concern is whether he’ll continue to be that effective, but I’m choosing to be cautiously excited about this move. 🙂

  10. Don’t worry about Cordero being ineffecticve. He had a great year last year and that will be the same in 2008. In one year, you will not get horrible all of a sudden

  11. I think I’m with what a lot of people have said on here that I like the move, but I don’t like the contract.

    They being said, who else were they going to get. There’s no starter out there worth spending that money on, so I guess they might as well get an ace in the bullpen, which was horribly bad last year.

    Now, Wayne needs to get a #3 or #4 starter and he has done a good job this offseason.

  12. Yeah, do we even know who the FIVE starters will be next year?
    1. Aaron Harang
    2. Bronson Arroyo
    3. Homer Bailey?

  13. Where will EZ be at? He was pretty good a couple of years ago. He went to waste.

  14. Zoloft? I think ANYONE who cannot see the potential downside to this signing
    needs MUCH more than Zoloft to deal with reality. This signing has the potential of being a real jewel or to make Mr. Krivsky look like a fool. I hope it works out, I really do. But to not at least question the teams spending so much money on ONE pitcher when there are so many needs to be filled, would really make someone need Zoloft. EVERYONE has the right to their own opinions without some know it all questioning their opinion. Is that not what blogging is all about? I still think the Reds will regret this signing next September! I hope I am wrong, because I love the Reds and I go to at least 60 games every year,so I feel like I have a right to my opinion. There are MANY others who feel the way I do. At the end of this 4 year contract, we will ALL see who is right. Have a GREAT day EVERYONE. Go Reds!

  15. So what will Codero turn out? Eric Milton’s big contract or a successful sign?

  16. I agree with Chris, from the very first comment: “Cordero should be good, just not worth the money.”

    If Cordero, Weathers, Burton and Bray pitch up to their potential, and if any one of Macbeth, Majewski or Coutlangus steps up, the Reds would have one of the finest bullpens in the NL. Those variables might not pan out, but they’re not implausible, either.

    With the money they just spent, though, I’ve got to think this sets up another move for a #2 or #3 SP. I’ve heard rumors connecting the Reds to A.J. Burnett and Joe Blanton, and I even saw speculation that the Reds could jump into the Santana sweepstakes. That’s pretty unlikely, even if Bruce were included, because of the money needed to keep him — but still. It’s nice to be mentioned.

    I wonder if Hamilton, Maloney or Cueto, and Daryl Thompson or Travis Wood would be enough to fetch Blanton? How about Alex Gonzalez and Maloney or Cueto for Burnett?

    i love this cause we need bullpen now!
    not later so get a veteran who can get it done.

  18. I think the Santana sweepstakes is obviously out of the question for us, since he wants to go to a team with a lot more calliber than the twins, and frankly we’re not there yet. But, I was thinking about Dontrelle Willis. I haven’t heard anyone mention this as a possibility, why not? He’s still on the trade block, or at least has one foot on it, right? I’d be happy to see us sacrifice a position player (Gonzalez, a first basemen, etc.) for him.

  19. It’s not the greatest signing ever, but it beats paying 5 mil a year for a set up man.

  20. He may be the excpetion rather than the “rule” on the age thing- his arm wasn’t abused at a young age- he threw only 268 innings in his 20-24 age years. He also hasn’t been on the DL in over 5 years.

  21. Both good points, LVW. Age-based generalizations are usually right, but they are, at essence, still generalizations.

    What I’m interested in, and what I hope to post on soon (or even better, maybe JinAZ or someone else could do it and have it be accurate), is how Dusty Baker is likely to use this valuable asset — has he been the type of manager who uses his bullpen stopper in the highest-leverage situations, or is he the type to just robotically use his “closer” in all save situations, and never any other time?

  22. Reds get a closer. the 7-8-9 now looks like Burton-Weathers and Cordero. Also important it takes away from Divisional rival. Th wage and years are high but with few marquee names out there I will certain take getting the best closer there. Rivera signed for 45 mil over 3 years. It is dandy by me that we have a solid back end of the bull pen now. now lets get a mid tier rotation man. Wayne did something positive!!

  23. By the way, there’s no point in complaining about the contract because it’s not our money. Let Castellini spend his money however he wants albeit it be on good players.

  24. Hey, I woke up this morning and wondered what else the Reds have done to improve themselves. I have an expectancy right now. That’s a welcome change…..

  25. The “it’s not our money” argument does not make sense. While it is truly not our money, the Reds are not an unlimited payroll team. I think the Cordero contract is a make or break contract for Krivsky’s future, so, in a vacuum, I like it. My concern would be if in a year, the team turns around and says that there isn’t enough money to pay Adam Dunn. That’s why anyone here can question the dollars involved in a contract.

  26. It’s not supposed to make sense, it’s not a theory. The extra $1 million we offered more than Milwaukee isn’t going to bankrupt the franchise, or impede any future deal whether it be an extension for Dunn or a FA signing for a #3 type SP. So just sit back and be happy that the Reds have, for the first time in 10+ years, an actual front of the line closer who strikes some fear into the opposing lineup.

  27. Re: ellis: You mean ‘ol Stormy didn’t elicit fear in the opposition?! (end sarcasm…)

    I agree, it’s a good sign that the Reds are trying to acquire legitimate players. Now, about that Santana guy… (yeah right).

  28. One million might not affect the signing of other players, but 46 million might.

    The Reds needed a closer and got one, that’s good and I’m actually a fan of this deal for reasons I’ve mentioned before, I just worry that the money spent here will be used as an excuse for not giving Dunn an extension.

  29. With respect to the contract, does anyone think the Reds won’t be able to deal Cordero in the 3rd or 4th years of the contract, if necessary? He is an “established closer” after all. Someone will be willing to take on the contract, if the Reds need to get away from it.

    Meanwhile, the bullpen is immediately improved for the next couple of years, at least. I’m very happy with that. The Reds are a better team now than they were one week ago.

    That is a good thing.

  30. The Reds are better now than they were last week… that’s true.

    But you’re assuming a LOT if you assume that Cordero’s contract will be tradeable in 2 years.

    That contract is big enough that if he’s injured or ineffective, absolutely no one will want it. And when you’re projecting 2 years out on a reliever who will be 34 by then, you have no idea what you’ll have.

    How many free agent signings for 4 years or more wind up being good deals for the team for the whole duration of the contract? I don’t know the answer… I’m genuinely curious.

  31. Im on the side of: Good signing, bad contract. I like the move, it gets us a guy at the backend of the rotation that (as of now) I can trust to close the game. It appears that in today’s game, you build from the end and work your way to the start.

    In the end, I like the move because it has me thinking about the Reds in December! I can’t wait till opening day. How many days?

  32. Cordero is very solid, but ask the Blue Jays if that BJ Ryan contract has worked out and how tradeable that is. I think $12MM/yr is better spent on other aspects of the team regardless of how bad the bullpen has been the last two years. And come on people, Burton had a solid 43 IP, but had a .232 BABIP and you can expect that to go up by 60 points and his K/BB was certainly not dominant.

    I also love how some people here think that any team wants Alex Gonzalez. And for Burnett or Dontrelle? Please.

  33. I swear some of you are the most negative people. Huge hole at closer caused our pen to be in flux the last two years. They go out and get the second best closer on the market and people bitch about it. I forgot that you guys were professionals. Maybe when there is a GM opening the Reds will start searching the blogs for the next best thing. Chris cross your fingers – it could be you.

  34. I’m sorry but I haven’t read any of the comments other than the post and I just want to speak my peace (sorry if someone has already said this) But I like this move: Yes the reds paid a ton of money for him, but he is an all-star and is very good, but also not only are me making our team significantly better but we are also taking him away from the Brewers & or Astros (division rivals) who were going after him. Anytime we can make our team better and our rivals worse, I’m for it regardless of the cost, the reds made a good move here…

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