Prospectus’ Christina Kahrl has finally weighed in on the Cordero signing. ($)  Surprisingly, the evaluation is positive, more-or-less, and echoes what’s been written around the more thoughtful neighborhoods of Reds Country.

You might think this a strange pickup for a team not often considered to be a worthy entry among the ranks of 2008’s contenders, but the Reds aren’t patsies. . . . I think Wayne Krivsky has got that much right—the Reds aren’t that far off, as the division remains within reach of any team that can get to 80 wins, and signing Cordero does indeed help them get closer to that.

. . .  The question from there is whether or not Cordero is a great bet to deliver value on the deal. He hasn’t missed significant time since 2001, and that was from stress fractures in his back that haven’t recurred. He’s still pumping premium-grade gas, so his arm hasn’t lost anything to age, and that one bad spell in Texas in 2006 doesn’t seem to have been indicative of any larger chronic problem.

Kahrl says that compared to the alternatives (Gagne, Benitez, Dotel, and Chacon), Cordero is far superior “in terms of staying healthy and being able to do his thing his way when he’s out there.”

Nobody’s going to give Krivsky a medal for being brave with the checkbook, or being unwilling to take a cheaper risk, but as much as I might initially struggle to accept a major capital investment in a closer, there’s an understandable aversion to risk blended with the club’s aspirations in the seasons to come.

Kahrl says that adding Cordero should deliver a “cascade of additional benefits,” in the way of increased confidence and stable usage patterns for guys like Bray, McBeth, Salmon, or Coffey.  One point that I hadn’t considered (and frankly, don’t give much credence to), is “that maybe—maybe—signing Cordero does is give Krivsky something to show to Adam Dunn and his peeps, as part of a further demonstration of a desire to contend,” making a multi-year extension more likely.

15 Responses

  1. Bill

    The Reds invested $40M+ in Cordero, if they get any kind of decent starter that is being talked about, it’s going to be expensive also…and on top of that, many of us want them to get Dunn resigned…which will be $45M plus…Does anyone believe the Reds will spend close to $100M in this off season?

  2. Chris

    Lalallalalalalaal….. I can’t hear what you’re saying…lalalalala.

  3. GodlyCynic

    Yes, I do think that the Reds would spend $40+ million on Cordero, $100+ on a Bedard extension, and $90+ on a Dunn extension in one off season. Why wouldn’t I? Are you implying that this team hasn’t spent money since the force out of Schott? Have you not seen this team throw lavish amounts of money at people like Juan Castro, Rheal Cormier, and Mike Stanton? Have you so forgotten the coup that was the Gonzalez contract?

    In other words, I agree with Chris’s decision to reduce my mind to the level of blissful ignorance.

  4. Chris

    As I see it, there are three different questions:

    1. Is Cordero a good guy to lock up for 4 years and a big chunk of your budget?

    2. Could the Reds have gotten Cordero’s expected level of performance cheaper?

    3. Will this signing handicap the Reds over the life of the contract?

    I’m comfortable answering the first two: Yes, and no. I think I’ve explained my thinking on both of those – and that the first one is really my primary concern

    …because I don’t know the answer to question #3 (which is where Mark T’s point (#4) falls). We really don’t have any way to know what the Reds revenue or budget is going to be in the next few years, so we don’t know how much it will hurt to overpay for Cordero (though as I’ve said, overpaying for Cordero might not be the worst thing they could do).

  5. al

    bill seems to be trying to strawman the $100 mil number, as if it would imply a team salary of a $100 mil next year.

    do i think the reds team salary next year will be $100 mil? no

    do i think the reds would allocate $100 million or more to player salaries over an unknown amount of future years? sure, why not?

    i bet the reds would throw down $200 mil in future money if they could get ryan howard, jose reyes, peavey, webb, let’s see, papelbon, santana, king felix, and i don’t know utley, ryan braun, and jared saltalamachia all signed for the next 10 years. maybe even $300 mil

    so it’s really a pointless question.

    i agree with chris (#5), and think that those questions can be extended to any and all contracts the reds make.

  6. Willy

    no we couldnt have gotten him cheaper
    we gave up what we had to to get what we needed
    if we offered him 36 million and someone else offered him 46 he would take 46.
    its simple
    and dusty helped us…

    we need a starter though

  7. GodlyCynic

    Willy, the question wasn’t whether the team could’ve gotten Cordero cheaper but rather production equal to Cordero’s for cheaper. It’s a good deal, but it is possible that the Brewers get identical production out of Gagne for cheaper.

    And if it’s as simple as Cordero taking the richest deal, then Dusty helped no one, the money spoke for itself.

  8. Bill

    I don’t think it’s pointless at all. I think it has to do with the future direction of this team.

    I don’t see anywhere where I insinuate that the payroll next year will be $100M. I’m talking about a $100M commitment over, logically, the next 3-5 years. (Not even taking into account all of the deferred money that is owed to Griffey)

    That’s a huge financial commitment into the future that would limit other moves this team makes in that time period.

    I just don’t see them signing that many huge contracts at one time.

  9. Nathan

    There seems to be no concern over Cordero’s ability-only over his price. So let’s make some assumptions. In the next season or two, Cordero meets expectations but Burton also proves that he can more than adequately assume the closer role. (Both are pretty safe bets, I’d say >50%).

    If this is the case-then we can trade Cordero in the next season or two (even if we have to take a little hit on the salary-its worth it) for the remainder of this contract. I think everyone is thinking of him like Eric Milton and that he will have absolutely no trade-value. If Eric Gagne can command 10 mil for a year-someone will surely take Cordero.

  10. preach

    I don’t think signing Cordero, a middle of the rotation starter, and extending Dunn are deals that would break this team or handicap the future by any means. None of this is unforseen and, in my opinion, if you are going to hire a big name manager you have to expect to give him the tools to work with, and my gut says that this was already decided before Dusty was hired. And I’m not as quick to dismiss the value of hiring Dusty and signing Cordero as an incentive to Dunn to at least be patient, if nothing else.

  11. Chris

    Re #10:

    Nate may be right, but there is a risk that Cordero will get hurt, and then he won’t be tradeable. Always a risk with a 4-year deal for any pitcher.

  12. Bill

    There is also the chance this he becomes Stantonesqe, and is thus untradeable also. He has to continue to be effective to be tradeable for $12M/year.

  13. Nathan

    That is a risk with ANY player. But I think we need to operate under the assumption that Cordero will be as good as advertised for the first two seasons, in which case he is valuable trade bait.

  14. Chris

    I think that’s a fair assumption. Cordero’s about as safe a bet as you can make, reliever-wise.