Who knows? What’s evident is that the Reds are still in the running:

There could be some movement, one way or another, in the next few days on free agent closer Francisco Cordero. The Reds are still in the running.

“We’re still talking with [Cincinnati] and a couple of other clubs,” Cordero’s agent, Bean Stringfellow, said on Tuesday. “We’re making progress on a lot of fronts. Multi-year contracts are definitely involved.

“The Reds are involved and are still interested in bringing him back. I am talking with them on a regular basis.”

Key words above: Multi-year contracts are definitely involved.

If the Reds sign CoCo to a multi-year deal, I can’t see any scenario where they won’t regret that decision.

I like Cordero, and I don’t have any objection at all to him returning to Cincinnati…at the right price. Dumb contracts given to Bronson Arroyo and Scott Rolen have already caused budget problems; why add to the mess?

I’m afraid that this isn’t going to end well. Hopefully, my suspicions will prove to be wrong. In Walt We Trust (?).

Blame Chad for creating this mess.

Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.

You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

Join the conversation! 80 Comments

  1. It’s sort of ironic that the two bad contracts – Arroyo and Rolen – were partly the products of a desire to pinch pennies. We extended both of them over more years as a way to lower the per-year salary earlier. Penny wise, pound foolish, as the cliche goes.

    The most recent reporting by John Fay was that the Reds had offered Cordero a single-year contract. Cordero’s agent is saying other clubs have offered a multi-year deal. We’ll see if the Reds are willing to go for another year.

    I hope they don’t.

  2. Yuck. I hope Fay’s right, and the Reds are not offering a multiyear deal. Not worth it for a relief pitcher.

  3. Stringfellow doesn’t elaborate if any of the multi-year offers are with club or vesting options. I can’t see any team offering Cordero a guaranteed multi-year offer at his age. A 2 year contract with a $500k to $1 million option or a vesting option based on incentives/milestones is probably what we are talking about.

  4. Signing CoCo also loses a top 50 pick under the new CBA.

  5. Multi-year deal? I hope that’s not true. Thanks for the prior service Coco. But being fat, old, and under a multi-year contract doesn’t sound good to me. I’ve had enough stress in the 9th inning from Coco to last me a lifetime. Time to explore options other than Coco.

  6. CoCo may bring stress in the 9th inning, but he is a capable closer. The top closers in MLB average 4 to 6 blown saves per year, and have proven that they can take the ball on a routine basis.

    The fact is that, stress or no, CoCo gets the job done, and his WHIP last year was actually significantly better than his career statistic. Do you really want to risk handing hte ball to (gulp) Nick Masset? At this point in time, giving CoCo a 2 year deal may be their best option. Better the devil that you know than the one you don’t. I can live with the heart jumping 9th innings with the reasonable expectation that the job will get done most of the time. Past history has shown that he will close it out.

    • @StHendo:

      The fact is that, stress or no, CoCo gets the job done, and his WHIP last year was actually significantly better than his career statistic. Do you really want to risk handing hte ball to (gulp) Nick Masset? At this point in time, giving CoCo a 2 year deal may be their best option.Better the devil that you know than the one you don’t.I can live with the heart jumping 9th innings with the reasonable expectation that the job will get done most of the time.Past history has shown that he will close it out.

      Do you think you can expect a 37 year old reliever to out perform his career numbers (WHIP) two years in a row? I don’t.

  7. i really feel like there’s a jeckyll and hyde thing going on in our front office. i just don’t get how the same gm can do things like the latos and marshall deals, as well as the arroyo and rolen deals.

    this feels much more like the arroyo rolen deal, so i hope they get mr. hyde under control.

    his era was an illusion last year, and unless he finds the fountain of youth, he’s going to be bad.

    here is the list of players currently on the reds that i think will have better seasons than cordero:

    marshall, bray, masset, lecure, bailey (if put in the pen). if you told me that ondrusek and arredondo would too, i wouldn’t be shocked. basically, i think cordero is definitely going to have a better season than carlos fisher, and that’s it.

    he’s a good guy, and i wouldn’t mind having him back, but i would offer him 1yr/$3mil max, and if he is just going to be insulted by that, i wouldn’t offer him anything. i’m not trying to insult the guy, if he can get a better deal, get it. but he’s been worth .5 WAR and .1 WAR the last two seasons, exactly how much do we think that’s worth?

    and he’ll cost us a draft pick!

  8. I think many of us cannot divorce our feelings for Coco the man, and Coco the pitcher. I know I have a difficult time with it. I want him back very much and I’d be okay if they spent $5-6 million on him with an option year of the same and a million dollar buy out. The problem for me is the top 50 draft pick. That is what gives me pause.

    The chances of a top 50 draft choice becoming a very good major league player is a highly favorable. Cordero (when on) is gold and he’s on most of the time. But when he’s not, well he makes me want to kick my dog.

    I am truly, truly, truly torn about this. He has a lot of fans in this town, myself included, and I’m certain he will always get a huge applause in Cincinnati when he steps on the rubber whomever he pitches for in the future, but there comes a time…

  9. I was feeling overly sentimental when I wrote that so let me change the figure to $3-4 million. According to Fangraphs I think it was less and one, but come on, it’s Coco.

  10. @TC: this just seems like another instance of paying a guy in the future for what he’s already done (see arroyo, bronson).

    cordero WAS very good for us, but he also made close to $50mil. so why pay him again?

    last year cordero had a career year in several stats:

    lowest k/9
    lowest BABIP
    highest LOB%.

    that means he was striking out the fewest people of his career, which is bad, but the downside of that was masked by the fact that people hit a lot of balls right at fielders, and that he spread his outs around in a way that supressed runs given the number of baserunners he had.

    the first one is the only one that is really related to how cordero was pitching. his k’s are unlikely to come back.

    the other two are much more based on chance, and so you would expect them to revert to his career norms (.294 BABIP instead of .214; .769 strand rate instead of .823).

    that means more baserunners and more runs allowed per baserunner.

    let him sign somewhere else, get the draft pick.

  11. @al: Yeah. My point was that unfortunately I agree.

  12. @al: That’s what I keep saying. He will be the worst pitcher in the pen, because Fisher ain’t making the team.

    I have one question…WHO are these “other teams”. Name one, Stringfellow! I think one might be the New York Knights.

    • I have one question…WHO are these “other teams”. Name one, Stringfellow!

      Exactly right Dave. Walt had better be telling him: Then go sign with that team(s) and enjoy your prosperity, but our offer is set. Sort of reminds me of the charade that Jeter and his agent went through when he was demanding his last 3 or 4 year contract– go get it if it’s there, but we know it’s not.

    • @Dave Lowenthal
      : That’s what I keep saying. He will be the worst pitcher in the pen, because Fisher ain’t making the team.I have one question…WHO are these “other teams”. Name one, Stringfellow! I think one might be the New York Knights.

      Just because you don’t like his numbers doesn’t mean others don’t. Do you really think that if the Reds don’t sign him he will be out of baseball next year? Is Co-Co a great closer, no, but to discount his ability is just wrong.

  13. @TC: TC: can I have the other 2 million you just dropped from Cordero’s offer? 🙂

    Honestly, when Cordero’s on, he doesn’t walk people and balls get hit to people. That’s the 2011 Cordero.

  14. I feel better reading Sheldon’s update.

    …General manager Walt Jocketty made it clear he wasn’t one of the clubs looking to offer multiple years.

    “We’re looking at one year or one year with an option,” Jocketty said. “That’s all it could be, right now — one year guaranteed.”

  15. WJ has stated – and is quoted right in that article – as saying that the Reds are NOT one of the teams offering a multi-year contract. He has explicitly said that the Reds have offered a 1 year contract.

    I agree with your overall comments, Al, but you do omit that CoCo had close to his career lowest BB/9 last season (2.8/9) and the lowest WHIP of his career.
    I do not buy into BABIP as a magical measure of luck (not that you do). He gave up fewer screaming line drives last season than in 2010, because he was throwing 3 pitches for strikes, and hitters didn’t know what was coming.

    Having said all that, I think hitters will adjust to the “new” CoCo in 2012 and he won’t be as effective as in 2011. He probably wants a minimum of $7M, and I wouldn’t offer that much. I don’t know enough to say exactly what Wj should offer. I do think an 1 year offer should be made, given that WJ is talking about Ondrusek as a possible closer.

  16. @Dave Lowenthal: I suggested the Long Island Ducks.

  17. Is his agent really named Bean Stringfellow?

    As an aside, I like Cordero. He’s a stand up guy. But this team is trying to win a world series. There is no time for sentimentality.

    • Is his agent really named Bean Stringfellow?

      His agent is really named Thornton Bayne Stringfellow. I suspect the “Bean” nickname is because his last name is Stringfellow.

      Well, that and who wants to go through life called “Thornton”?

  18. @pinson343: WHAT? Ondrusek? He’s Coco, Jr. I suppose if you can’t have the worst pitcher in the pen close, you may as well have the second-worse pitcher close. This team cannot use its personnel properly.

    • @pinson343: WHAT?Ondrusek?He’s Coco, Jr.I suppose if you can’t have the worst pitcher in the pen close, you may as well have the second-worse pitcher close.This team cannot use its personnel properly.

      Don’t forget (like I would let anyone) that Massett needs to be right there with the worst of the worst. 😀

  19. @pinson343: Pinson, he said “probably one of the lefthanders”. That’s proper. No need to bring back Cordero.

  20. Please, we’re halfway home to a CoCo-free new year, since they were saying on MLB radio that Crisp re-signed with the A’s. How about going 2-for-2 and letting Cordero take multiple years from somebody else???

  21. @BubbaFan: Interesting. Is his partner Pippi Longstocking?

    Anyways, I hope Thornton holds out for a multiyear contract from someone else.

  22. @Dave Lowenthal: If I was Logan, being called Coco Jr. would be a compliment. There are people here who things Coco is washed up. I don’t get that. I truly believe Coco would be an asset to a World Series team. Yes, there is sentiment, but if I was driven completely by sentiment I’d be yelling for WJ to get Brian Goldberg on the phone.

    Not that I put too much stock in the posters on Fay’s blog, but there is overwhelming support of bringing him back. I stand by my last post and say the price is too high, but deep down I will be thrilled to have him back as a Red in 2012 if he is.

  23. As an aside, “According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, Crisp’s deal will award him $6 million this year and $7 million in 2013. The A’s also hold a $7.5 million option for 2014, with a $1 million buyout.”

    So much for money ball in Oakland. That’s just obscene.

  24. One more thing. What in the world happened to Andrew Brackman?

    • One more thing.What in the world happened to Andrew Brackman?

      Don’t you suppose there is a good chance it is an issue with his physical, possibly even one not directly related to baseball. From what I understand about the current health records privacy regulations (HIPAA; and I got out of a related business just as it was coming on line a little over a decade ago), it would be in the gray area to even acknowledge there was a nonsports injury health issue let alone say anything about what it was/ might be.

  25. @TC: I mean Coco Jr. as in Coco Jr. 2011. Not Coco Jr. 2007.

    There’s been a lot of talk about why Cordero is very possibly washed up. There’s overwhelming support by traditional baseball fans to bring back Cordero because they like the save stat.

  26. @TC: I don’t get that at all. Terrible signing by Oakland.

  27. @Dave Lowenthal: Perhaps Coco is not what he was. I don’t know. Within the past hours or so I believe I’ve resigned to apathy.

    I FINALLY found one reference to Andrew Brackman. At the very end of Mark Sheldon’s Welcome to 2012 blog post this morning, he says the deal has been delayed for “some unknown reason”. So, it’s been delayed. Doesn’t sound like much news, but nothing has been said since December 14th.

  28. @OhioJim: That is the only thing that would seem to fit the facts. What else could be the cause of such a strange lack of news and why he is still not on the 40-man.

  29. @Dave Lowenthal: The only thing it has to do with the save statistic is how difficult it seems to be for a lot of pitchers to transition to the closer role. Pitchers who have been good otherwise in their bullpen careers seem to choke when it comes to the 9th inning and the game on the line. I put any other pitcher in the Reds pen in that category. Ondrusek, Bray, Masset, none of them have shown the mental toughness to be able to close. Marshall possibly could, but then you don’t have him to provide the depth that he was traded to bring to the pen.

    And while you mentioned several statistics that CoCo had a career year in you neglected to mention his career year in WHIP and BB/9. He doesn’t need to blow people away if he can induce ground balls and not give up rocket line drives like he did in 2010 when he was still trying to overthrow the ball.

    • Pitchers who have been good otherwise in their bullpen careers seem to choke when it comes to the 9th inning and the game on the line. I put any other pitcher in the Reds pen in that category. Ondrusek, Bray, Masset, none of them have shown the mental toughness to be able to close. Marshall possibly could, but then you don’t have him to provide the depth that he was traded to bring to the pen.

      I think there may be some selection bias at work here. We remember closers who’ve flamed out because it’s more memorable to lose games in the eighth or ninth inning, with a measurable statistic (save) on the line for one usually recognizable pitcher, than it is when a couple of less recognizable guys dribble away a lead one unmade out at a time through the sixth, seventh or eighth innings.

      Closers are typically the relievers with the best single out pitch in the bullpen, while middle relievers are typically not as good. The leaderboard for saves last year is comprised primarily of good pitchers whose xFIP is < 1.50 runs higher than their ERA. This suggests that these pitchers are all pretty good.

      However, there are a few exceptions that jump out: Jose Valverde, Mariano Rivera and CoCo. This does suggest that there may a mental component that allows experienced closers to overcome poor performance/bad luck and nail down the save. But as you might expect, their career xFIP is much closer to their ERA, although Rivera’s has been at least 1.50 higher each of the last four seasons and Cordero’s has been the past three.

      Which is to say, I would not commit to more than one year of Cordero, and certainly not at a premium price.

  30. @StHendo: I won’t repeat all the data given by others as to why his WHIP was so low.

    As to your other point, there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that Ondrusek, Bray, or Masset couldn’t close. How many save opportunities have any of them had—I mean real ones, as in, they’re brought in in the 9th inning with a lead?

    And how many pitchers that try to transition to the 9th inning actually fail by the definition that most fans use—which is saves/save opportunities?

    • @Dave Lowenthal
      : I won’t repeat all the data given by others as to why his WHIP was so low. As to your other point, there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that Ondrusek, Bray, or Masset couldn’t close. How many save opportunities have any of them had—I mean real ones, as in, they’re brought in in the 9th inning with a lead?And how many pitchers that try to transition to the 9th inning actually fail by the definition that most fans use—which is saves/save opportunities?

      What matters is whom are manager sees as the closer and he doesn’t see any of them as closers so the option for them to close won’t be there. So since it appears he doesn’t see Marshall as a closer either Walt has to sign a closer, so of those on the market who would want the Reds to invest in?

  31. Cordero gets the job done. Comparing him to Ondrusek, a guy who’s never proven he can close or even be a reliable set-up man, just isn’t fair.

    A one-year deal I’m fine with, because that likely keeps Chapman out of the bullpen no matter what Jocketty said about how they plan to handle Aroldis in 2012 if he struggles in the rotation. If Cordero is on this team, with Marshall setting him up and Chapman struggles, he will go to Louisville.

    Cordero isn’t as bad as some think. If he comes fairly cheaply, he’s a better option than overpaying for Madsen. That money could be spent on fine-tuning the roster.

  32. @Bill Lack: Having an unproven closer is a great way to ruin a good team. If the club feels Madson is too costly, Cordero for one year is the best option.

  33. @TC: Oakland will never have to pay the entire contract. That’ll be a pretty reasonable contract for some contender to take on at the trade deadline. I won’t be shocked if he ends up in a Reds uniform…

  34. Way too much selective bias on these comments. For looong stretches, both Masset and Ondrusek were our best relievers the last two seasons. Pitchers go thru slumps just like hitters. It is what it is. That’s not to say either are my preference for closer, because remember the market is still bottoming out. Another kneejerk signing would be stupid (re: Marshall trade). You could probably pick up Matt Thornton in trade or Kerry Wood as a FA. Stop acting desperate!

  35. There are 3 things that I can’t looks past when talking about Cordero

    Age: 38
    K/9: 5.4
    Fastball velocity: 93.0 (worst it’s ever been)

    These things together in terms of closers are a recipe for disaster.

  36. @CP: 2013 is guaranteed for 7+M, right? Who’s taking him on in 2012?

  37. @secondguessingfanbase: That statement is completely unsupported. Perhaps the following is correct: “Putting a terrible pitcher in the closer role is a bad idea”.

  38. @Dave Lowenthal: The $7 million really isn’t that much when contrasted with other OFs though, and its basically just a 2 year deal. He should be pretty attractive at the trade deadline. On a scale of 10, Crisp is like a 6, surrounded by a bunch of ugly 3s.

  39. @Bill Lack:

    There are those here who believed a banged up 36 year old FA OF (Beltran) could out perform his numbers and wanted the Reds to sign him, what is the difference?

  40. @dn4192: Why is Bill’s opinion on Coco contigent on what other people thought about signing Beltran?

    Besides, couldn’t it be that in both cases it’s a risky proposition regardless of whether or not people have a favorable attitude about it.

    • @Matt WI
      : Why is Bill’s opinion on Coco contigent on what other people thought about signing Beltran? Besides, couldn’t it be that in both cases it’s a risky proposition regardless of whether or not people have a favorable attitude about it.

      I am just baffled at how people are brushing off Co-Co as being washed up when his numbers last year were not bad. No he did not pitch up to his contract cost, but his numbers were not horrible. Yet many seem to think that Beltran who is close to the same age and has HUGE health issues/durability issues was wanted by many and ended getting a pretty sweet deal by the Cards for someone who hasn’t produced nearly as well in the previous few years as Co Co has.

      I agree, I wouldn’t offer Co-Co much over 5-6 million for next year with an option for the following year, but given whom are manager is I don’t see how signing Co Co to close makes us a worse team?

      • I am just baffled at how people are brushing off Co-Co as being washed up when his numbers last year were not bad.

        Cordero’s results (2.45 ERA, 37 saves, 1.02 WHIP) were good last year, yes. But there’s just too much in his stats that indicate that his skills are eroding. (Basically, that his good results last year were largely lucky.)

        Mainly, I look at this:

        Francisco Cordero:
        2007: 12.2 K/9
        2008: 10.0 K/9
        2009: 7.8 K/9
        2010: 7.3 K/9
        2011: 5.4 K/9

        Basically, he was good last year because of a really low BABIP:
        2007: .320 BABIP
        2008: .307 BABIP
        2009: .306 BABIP
        2010: .296 BABIP
        2011: .216 BABIP

        (The MLB average for BABIP – which is also Cordero’s career BABIP average – is .298.)

        You can say all you want about why that happened – that he was keeping hitters off-balance or whatever – but the big-picture stats just don’t back that up. Pitchers – none of them – can sustain really low BABIP’s like that.

        In other words, Cordero is not likely to repeat last season. Not even close, in my opinion.

        • Cordero’s results (2.45 ERA, 37 saves, 1.02 WHIP) were good last year, yes. But there’s just too much in his stats that indicate that his skills are eroding. (Basically, that his good results last year were largely lucky.)Mainly, I look at this:Francisco Cordero:2007: 12.2 K/92008: 10.0 K/92009: 7.8 K/92010: 7.3 K/92011: 5.4 K/9Basically, he was good last year because of a really low BABIP:2007: .320 BABIP2008: .307 BABIP2009: .306 BABIP2010: .296 BABIP2011: .216 BABIP(The MLB average for BABIP – which is also Cordero’s career BABIP average – is .298.)You can say all you want about why that happened – that he was keeping hitters off-balance or whatever – but the big-picture stats just don’t back that up. Pitchers – none of them – can sustain really low BABIP’s like that.In other words, Cordero is not likely to repeat last season. Not even close, in my opinion.

          Luck? Come on really?

          • Luck? Come on really?

            Well, call it whatever you want, but the point is, he is NOT likely to have a .216 BABIP again this year. Probably it will revert to something close to .298 BABIP.

            And if that happens, and his K rate stays down in the 5 or 6 K/9 range (plus his usual 4 BB/9), that’s not a good recipe.

          • Well, call it whatever you want, but the point is, he is NOT likely to have a .216 BABIP again this year. Probably it will revert to something close to .298 BABIP.And if that happens, and his K rate stays down in the 5 or 6 K/9 range (plus his usual 4 BB/9), that’s not a good recipe.

            I think sometimes we get way to caught up in prephial numbers. To me given what his job is, the only stat I care about is his saves to blown saves number. I don’t care how he got the save, but that he got it. For me as long as he can convert 90%+ of his save opportunities and at a reasonable finacial price to the team then I am okay with him coming back. All the other numbers are wonderful for the fantasy league folks and the hard core baseball fan, but basically its saves and money in contract that matters to me…

          • I think sometimes we get way to caught up in prephial numbers. To me given what his job is, the only stat I care about is his saves to blown saves number. I don’t care how he got the save, but that he got it. For me as long as he can convert 90%+ of his save opportunities and at a reasonable finacial price to the team then I am okay with him coming back. All the other numbers are wonderful for the fantasy league folks and the hard core baseball fan, but basically its saves and money in contract that matters to me…

            When looking at the past, you are right that the peripheral stats don’t always match the ERA/W/SV results and CoCo did get those save stats. No doubt.

            However, peripheral stats are better indicators of FUTURE success. So the number of saves he accumulated last year are less important than BB/rate, K/rate, BABIP, etc. Can he repeat the save conversion success he saw last year? Most indicators say no…his BABIP is likely to regress to the mean…his K/rate has been in a steady decline. These all point in a direction that to me say – not only shouldn’t the Reds pay him a lot, they shouldn’t even have him on the roster as the closer.

      • I am just baffled at how people are brushing off Co-Co as being washed up when his numbers last year were not bad. No he did not pitch up to his contract cost, but his numbers were not horrible.

        Yet many seem to think that Beltran who is close to the same age and has HUGE health issues/durability issues was wanted by many and ended getting a pretty sweet deal by the Cards for someone who hasn’t produced nearly as well in the previous few years as Co Co has.

        i never wanted to give beltran the deal that he got with the cards, but to say that he hasn’t produced as well as cordero misses a major MAJOR point: relief pitchers are the some of the least valuable players because they contribute in very few innings.

        in beltran’s worst seasn this decade he pusted .8 WAR in 64 games because of injuries.

        in his 4 years with the reds, cordero has put up WARs of .8, 1.4, .5 and .1. the most innings he’s pitched has been 73.

        i’m not saying that cordero has NOTHING in the tank, but he’s an aging pitcher who’s peripheral stats are in decline, and at most will pitch about 70 innings.

        there’s just no way that that should be worth more than a couple $mil for a club in the reds position. they should save money so that they have some flexibility to add a key player at the deadline if anything.

  41. There is no reason for the Reds to overspend here. Realistically, Marshall can be moved as could Bray or even LeCure. The Reds should give it the old college try but anything multiyear is a failure and anything more than 7 mill is a failure.

    Offer him 1 year at 4.5 with performances bonuses that could match his base salary (1 mill to pass the 50 save threshold?). A potential of 9 million if he is the league’s best closer would then look like money well spent.

    • There is no reason for the Reds to overspend here. Realistically, Marshall can be moved as could Bray or even LeCure. The Reds should give it the old college try but anything multiyear is a failure and anything more than 7 mill is a failure. Offer him 1 year at 4.5 with performances bonuses that could match his base salary (1 mill to pass the 50 save threshold?). A potential of 9 million if he is the league’s best closer would then look like money well spent.

      I doubt there is any pitcher in the Reds bullpen that wouldn’t be willing to give it a shot, that is not the issue, our manager/GM have a view of “whom” a closer is and they don’t view them as closer material.

  42. @rightsaidred: Many believe signing him, for whatever cost, is a recipe for disaster given his peripherals and the manager of the team. Count me among those. It’s just a huge unnecessary risk given that there are multiple better options available. To me, anyone wanting to keep the guy must believe he’s the best we can do.

  43. @dn4192: There is no comparison between Cordero’s 2011 and Beltran’s 2011. Durability is a clear and obvious risk with Beltran, but you’re being a little disingenuous in arguing that Beltran “hasn’t produced nearly as well in the previous few years as Co Co has.” Beltran’s 2011 crushes CoCo’s 2011 in value. Beltran was injured for most of 2010 and part of 2009 due to the same injury + recovery. CoCo also outperformed Adam Wainwright the last couple years. Heyyyyyyyyyyya. 😆

    • @dn4192: There is no comparison between Cordero’s 2011 and Beltran’s 2011. Durability is a clear and obvious risk with Beltran, but you’re being a little disingenuous in arguing that Beltran “hasn’t produced nearly as well in the previous few years as Co Co has.” Beltran’s 2011 crushes CoCo’s 2011 in value. Beltran was injured for most of 2010 and part of 2009 due to the same injury + recovery. CoCo also outperformed Adam Wainwright the last couple years. Heyyyyyyyyyyya.

      Being injuried means you don’t produce and I guess it depends on how Beltran did last year if you think he out performed Co-Co. Again I would rather have the Reds spend say 7-8 million for one year of Co-Co over 26 million for 2 years of Beltran.

  44. I’m just praying to the merciful lord that somebody outside of Cincy is actually offering Cordero a multi-year and it isn’t just a Stringfellow bluff.

  45. Fay thinks the Reds “have upper hand” with Cordero, for good or ill.

  46. @Dan: Good points, good points. Those numbers speak pretty loudly. Of course anything can happen, the house doesn’t always blow up when there’s a gas leak, but I wouldn’t light a match to find out.

  47. @Dan: i agree wholeheartedly that cordero will not be able to repeat his ERA success from last year.

    that said, i do think that it’s possible that his increased GB rate could lower his BABIP under his career numbers.

    i wouldn’t be surprised if he had a BABIP in the .270 range and an ERA in the upper 3’s.

    i still wouldn’t give him more than 1 year/3mil or so. there are better free agent relievers that will sign for that or less.

  48. @al: Yes, there are still better options for less $$, IMO. They’re waiting for Coco to make a decision and may lose out on another player.

    Kerry Wood, for example, made 1/8th of what CoCo did last year, has the same bb/9 rate over the past 4 years, but strikes out about 10 batters per 9. I’d bring in Wood for a couple of million to setup Marshall before I gave Cordero half of his 2011 salary (plus lose the draft pick compensation.)

    • @al: Yes, there are still better options for less $$, IMO. They’re waiting for Coco to make a decision and may lose out on another player. Kerry Wood, for example, made 1/8th of what CoCo did last year, has the same bb/9 rate over the past 4 years, but strikes out about 10 batters per 9. I’d bring in Wood for a couple of million to setup Marshall before I gave Cordero half of his 2011 salary (plus lose the draft pick compensation.)

      There is only 1 problem with that plan. Marshall isn’t a closer. We have to work with what we know we have. The Reds do not have a closer on the roster as of right now in the view of the GM and Manager. Those two right now are not going anywhere, so that leaves us with deciding whom of the FA out there would be the best fit finacilly as our closer.

      • There is only 1 problem with that plan. Marshall isn’t a closer.We have to work with what we know we have.The Reds do not have a closer on the roster as of right now in the view of the GM and Manager.Those two right now are not going anywhere, so that leaves us with deciding whom of the FA out there would be the best fit finacilly as our closer.

        Do closers just appear or do they come from somewhere? You make it sound like they appear in a bolt of lightning from above..

        • Do closers just appear or do they come from somewhere? You make it sound like they appear in a bolt of lightning from above..

          I believe closers are those pitchers a manager/gm view as closers. I have yet to hear Walt or Dusty comment that player X or Y already on the roster is the closer going into the 2012 season. This tells me they don’t feel anyone on the present roster can handle the job successfully or don’t want to try.

      • There is only 1 problem with that plan. Marshall isn’t a closer. We have to work with what we know we have. The Reds do not have a closer on the roster as of right now in the view of the GM and Manager. Those two right now are not going anywhere, so that leaves us with deciding whom of the FA out there would be the best fit finacilly as our closer.

        Isn’t a closer? Neither was Jason Motte at the beginning of last season. That’s why I’d advocate a former closer like Wood over a traditional setup guy like Dan Wheeler. The FO and Dusty would be a little more comfortable with a backup plan that has actually been a MLB closer in the past.

  49. @Greg Dafler: totally agreed. and haven’t i read that wood and dusty still like each other? it could be a nice way for wood to end his career, back with his first manager, winning the world series they never could in chicago. 🙂

  50. FWIW, out of all the pitchers in baseball who threw 50 or more innings last year, there were only 4 who recorded a lower BABIP than Cordero:

    Antonio Bastardo (great name) – .182 BABIP
    Koji Uehara – .197 BABIP
    Tyler Clippard – .201 BABIP
    Mike Adams – .214 BABIP
    Francisco Cordero – .215 BABIP

    So it really was exceptional. I would bet that every one of these guys would regress, at least a little, in 2012.

  51. @LukeSho: Relevant line:


    Stringfellow said that two other clubs and talking with Cordero and that the talks involve multi-year deals. The other two clubs — Stringfellow declined to mention them at the clubs’ request — are looking at Cordero as a closer.

    Hmmm……IT’S A BLUFF.

  52. @dn4192: None of the stats you use have any predictive value. I think everyone had this same conversation when Bronson’s contract was extended (age, poor peripheral stats, too much $$$, etc.).

    Since I work under the assumption that the highest leverage innings occur in the 7th and 8th, I’m not 100% against seeing CoCo in a Reds uniform, closing out ball games. It’s just a matter of price and my price for CoCo is pretty low. CoCo is probably the 4th best reliever on this team if he resigns.

  53. @Bill Lack: It’s true you don’t see many Dwarf women. In fact, they are so alike in voice and appearance, that they’re often mistaken for Dwarf men.

    This in turn had lead to the belief that there are no women, and that dwarves just spring out of holes in the ground, which is of course ridiculous.

    😆

  54. Gotta get a daily LOTR reference in!

  55. @dn4192: Yeah, I hear you, dn4192, but believe me – you and I want the same thing. We want a closer who will close games without blowing many.

    The question is, if Cordero is our closer in 2012, how effective is he likely to be converting saves?

    I’m saying that his numbers (even with the good ERA) suggest that he will be worse in 2012 than in 2011 – quite possibly a lot worse. (And that doesn’t even take into account that he’s going to be 38 years old – at least not directly.)

    I know BABIP is one of those new-fangled stats. But all I’m saying is, Cordero is very likely to allow more hits in 2012 than in 2011. Which will likely lead to more blown saves. That’s all.

  56. I know I’ll get slammed for this, but for my money, here’s someone who we could get cheap (probably) and who would most likely be just as good as Cordero. Maybe even better.

    Juan Cruz.

    I know, he’s never been a closer. And his walk rate is even worse than Cordero’s. He’s flawed, for sure.

    But I’ve always liked him. He strikes out a lot (9.1 K/9 career). His HR rate is OK. And he’s been a LOT better in the NL than in the AL. (NL: 3.77 ERA, 1.35 WHIP. AL: 5.39 ERA, 1.55 WHIP).

    And he played for $850,000 last year, for Tampa.

    He’d at least be good bullpen depth (not necessarily as closer), and could allow us to spend a little more on LF (if there’s anyone worth spending on).

    OK, go ahead and chew me up now… I can take it… 😉

  57. @Dan: Cruz in a good pitcher. But who goes to Louisville if he is signed and why is he an upgrade? That’s it. No chewing. Just a follow up question.

  58. If given a choice I would rather see the Reds go with someone already on the team in the closer role or closer by committee and use the monies in other areas. However we know that won’t happen so then you have to ask yourself IF the Reds are going to spend money on that position what is the best/cheapest possible solution and I think Co-Co might be it.

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About Chad Dotson

Blame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, "The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds" is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad's musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine. You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

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